HM Naval Base Clyde start as they mean to go on
HMS Prince of Wales
In the first round of the Navy Cup, the newest Royal Navy Rugby Union club, HMS Prince of Wales, was drawn against the current Navy Cup champions, HM Naval Base Clyde. Being only the second match the new ship's team have ever played, the players knew they were in for a challenging time.
The bonus for the Prince of Wales (PWLS) team was the opportunity to play in front of a home crowd, this was a huge boost to many of the squad who up until last month had only ever played at a grassroots level or not at all! The stage was set on top of a very windy hillside with the PWLS trying to write a true underdog story by knocking out the current holders in the first round.
PWLS were playing in blue and white hoops with red trim, while HMNB Clyde wore their Gold and Black hoops. The first twenty minutes went all the way of PWLS. The newest aircraft carrier team were quick to show they were not just there to make up the numbers, crashing the ball up though their forwards and making good yards. With HMNB Clyde shocked with the quick start of the PWLS team, they became frustrated and gave away several penalties in and around the break down. PWLS opted for a shot at goal from one of these penalties just inside the Clyde 22, converting the kick into points though the boot of ET Lovatt-McIntyre to take the lead PWLS 3 - 0 CLYDE.
This gave Clyde captain Mne Mason a chance to have a chat with his team and from the re-start they looked like a new team with a very aggressive defence and attack. Clyde managed to retain most of the possession for the remainder of the half scoring a well worked try, converting the extras and following this up by slotting a penalty to make it PWLS 3 - 10 Clyde. However, the PWLS defensive effort was second to none and many try-stopping tackles were put in to keep Clyde out right up until just before the half-time whistle. PWLS managed a turn-over inside their own 22 right at the death of the half and chose to kick the ball out to end the half, unfortunately for PWLS the kick fell just short of touch, and after hanging too high in the strong wind Clyde’s winger ran it back and with two missed tackles they were over again, this time, however, the conversion was missed.
The half time score was PWLS 3 - 15 HMNB Clyde.
The second half was a one-way affair, with PWLS rarely making it out of their own half and Clyde more than happy to keep PWLS on the back foot. PWLS showed heart and passion in defence and did not let Clyde walk over them, even pushing the cup holders back in the scrum on more than one occasion. The few times PWLS got hold of the ball they managed to show pace out wide yet never really penetrated Clyde’s half.
Clyde scored four tries in the second half though crashing runs by their pack, converting two of them. With the score 3 -39 to Clyde going into the final five minutes Clyde wanted more and were trying to bully their way over for yet another try. Despite this, and the score line, PWLS stood strong and caused a knock-on through a hard tackle just five metres out from their own line. PWLS won the scrum and with a never-say-die attitude tried to run the ball from here, yet the dream of running the full length of the pitch to score was thwarted after just one pass with a tackle from the Clyde’s quick defence in PWLS own in-goal area, bringing the game to an end.
Full time score PWLS 3 - 39 HMNB Clyde
For the PWLS this was a fantastic learning experience, with a lot of positives to be taken away by all. PWLS would like to wish HMNB Clyde the best of luck in their quest to retain the Navy Cup. Man of the match for HMS PWLS was ET Walker
Team list HMS PRINCE OF WALES XV:
1. PO Larson 2. LA Ellor 3. LET Weighell 4. ET Parker 5. AB Reece 6. ET Walker 7. LET Martin 8. CPO Thompson 9. LH Tagivetauwa 10. LH Mellor 11. ET Lovatt-McIntyre 12. LET Whittle 13. LET Elders 14. ET Barlow 15. LET Tulakepa
16. AB Massie 17. POET Scott 18. ET Kenny 19. AB Jones 20. LA Bredbere
Head Coach PO Mua
Words: Chris Ellor
Images: Royal Navy Rugby Union © PO Oswald