Inverdale Challenge Round 2



Royal Marines v RN West

Try as they might RN West couldn't hold back the might of the Royal Marines
Try as they might RN West couldn't hold back the might of the Royal Marines
Try as they might RN West couldn't hold back the might of the Royal Marines
Try as they might RN West couldn't hold back the might of the Royal Marines

The second round in successive weeks of the Inverdale Challenge saw the Royal Marines host RN West at the Commando Training Centre, Lympstone.  In the opening round the Royal Marines team had come from behind to secure a 20 – 43 victory away to the Fleet Air Arm whereas the RN West side secured a losing bonus point when they narrowly lost to RN North 20 – 17. 

This match turned out to be a comfortable win for the Marines who achieved maximum points for the second game in a row leaving the travellers to disappointed and left to re-group before their next fixture against RN East, knowing they will need a big result if they are to salvage anything in the competition. 

The game started slowly with both teams trying to find a rhythm and it was the team from the West Country that started strongest, forcing penalties and trying to secure territory, but to no avail.  It didn’t take long for the RMs to repel the RNW's efforts and stamp their authority on the fixture, opening their account with the first of 4 first half tries.  From the first push their scrum was dominant and with the RN West defensive line struggling to keep pace and stop the RMs playing they moved the ball across the back line and touched down in the corner for an early 5 – 0 lead.  Their next score followed almost immediately after as they used their strong scrum to best advantage and drove forward for their number 8 to drop on the ball for an easy score.  This time they converted and had a comfortable 12 – 0 lead inside the opening 20 minutes.  It took RN West a further 10 minutes of battling to make a score of their own, after missing his first penalty LPT Jonny Stephen found his range and chalked on 3 points after the Royal Marines No 9 was sin binned for an infringement at the breakdown, 12 - 3.  This score was almost cancelled out straight away after more lacklustre defending from RN West allowed the Marines No 13 to step through a gap and run in unchallenged.  They converted to increase the lead 19 – 3.  Shortly after this score the game was brought to an abrupt halt while one of the RM players received on the field treatment for a back injury.  An ambulance was called and he was taken to hospital.  The remaining 12 minutes of the half saw Stephens add another well aimed penalty at the posts and the RMs run in their last try of the half, missing the conversion.  The half time score was 24 – 6.

The score line suggested a very one sided contest, but RN West were not rolling over so easily.  The Royal Marines were clearly the stronger and much more organised team with some capable players in key positions, their scrum was a weapon they were using to their advantage and their No 10 was pulling the strings all over the park.  Never the less, for an RN West team who had only come together that afternoon they were making them work for it. 

Lt Sean Hammond and AB Silivenusi Buinimasi outlined their wishes during the rushed half time team talk but almost immediately after the restart that all went out of the window with the Royal Marines touching down for their 5th try after working the back line again and touching down out wide.  They missed the conversion and extended their lead to 29 – 6 and any thoughts of a fight back by the visitors was growing increasingly unlikely.  Over the next 10 minutes the RMs scored a further 3 tries and converted them all virtually sealing their victory with a quarter of the game remaining.  With the score at 50 – 6, Stephens was replaced by ET(ME) Luke Jones at Scrum Half after he sustained an injury.  In a game that saw RN West spend a lot of it defending they had something to cheer about after AB Gypsy Black took possession of the ball on the RM's 22 and jinked his way through to score their only try of the game, a small consolation in what was a challenging game, Jones added the extra 2 points to take the score to 57 – 13.  AB Stewart Bartlett saw yellow in the 38th minute after reacting to an incident in the breakdown.  The remaining 2 minutes went by without incident and the referee bought the game to a close with the RMs winning comfortably 57 – 13.  

Unlike the previous week - when RN West felt they should have taken something from the game against RN North, this game was out of their reach, the RMs were bigger, faster and stronger.  They were well organised, they attacked with pace and defended aggressively, they played to their strengths and used that to run in a comfortable win.  RN West will now need other fixtures to go in their favour and know that nothing but victories in their remaining 2 games will suffice if they are to progress in the tournament.  Next up for the RN West is a home fixture vs RN East on Wednesday 23rd November 2016 at Devonport Services RFC.  Supporters welcome.

RN West Team List
1.  LH Marsh – HMS Raleigh
2.  SLt Bayliss – BRNC
3.  SLt Bradley – BRNC
4.  SLt Brown – BRNC
5.  AB Payne – HMS Monmouth
6.  SLt Rees – BRNC
7.  SLt Nugent – BRNC
8.  AB Bartlett – HMS Monmouth
9.  LPT Stephens – HMS Monmouth
10.  LREG Lewis – HMS Drake
11.  AB Black – HMS Drake
12. L/Cpl Wilson-Bent – 29 Cdo
13. AB Meehan – HMS Monmouth
14.  LET Lavelawa – 1 AGRM
15.  Capt Bomby – 1AGRM
16.  Lt Carnie – BRNC
17.  ET Jones – HMS Somerset
18.  AB Stoppard – HMS Raleigh
19.  PO Carr – HMS Monmouth
20.  AB Morgan – HMS Somerset
21.  Sgt Strickland – 29 Cdo
22. SLt Klopholz – BRNC

Words by POPT Sam Sims
Images Royal Navy Rugby Union/© Mark Andrews