HMS Sultan v HMNB Portsmouth



HMS Sultan v HMNB Portsmouth

Wednesday 18 January saw the first game back after the Christmas break for HMS Sultan RFC in the Eastern Region Rugby Union League.  The fixture was HMS Sultan v HMNB Portsmouth, with HMS Sultan hosting the Naval Base team.  

After a brief from our esteemed referee Mr Bruce Carle both teams got warmed up ready for the 1800 kick-off.  Due to an unavoidable last minute cancellation the decision was made to go with uncontested scrums.  With a spot of luck Sultan won the coin toss and fired a great kick into Portsmouth's half to start the game.  It was clear to all spectators that this was going be a good game from the enthusiasm and aggression shown by both teams at an early stage.

A few fumbled passes from Sultan led to the Naval Base gaining an early lead with two unconverted tries; after 15 minutes of play the score stood at 0-10.  However the Sultan players' spirit shone through and they answered with two converted tries from ETME (Mason) Tyler-Holland and ETME (Scott) "Lenny" Lennox.  At half time the score stood at 14-12 to Sultan largely due to the determination of Sultan’s players and Tyler-Holland’s laser-accurate conversions.

Both teams emerged from the changing rooms knowing that it was all to play for and the tension in the air was palpable.  After 14 minutes of flat-out play the Naval Base scored another try with a spurt of pace from the wingers.  Again Sultan regained the lead with another converted try from Tyler-Holland.  However the Naval Base found a burst of speed and scored two unconverted tries, one of them in the last 5 minutes of play, which saw them victorious; the final score 21-27.  

Throughout the match Mr Bruce Carle gave fair advantage and allowed the game to flow well, remaining vigilant and policing the new rules regarding high tackles.  All players unquestionably gave 100% and though the match was marred by disappointment for Sultan, a good competitive game of rugby was had.  Spectators commented on the relentless pace and what a close-run game it had been.

Words by J Johnson

Image Royal Navy Rugby Union ©