Marine Nationale retain Entente Cordiale Trophy
Marine Nationale Feminines
The RN Senior Women stepped up first in the annual fixture against The Marine Nationale played on a glorious day in Vannes. The people of Brittany coming out in force to watch Le Crunch in the Stade de la Rabine with entertainment from the Band of The Marine Nationale.
Only the 3rd fixture of the season the starting team featured 7 new caps with the potential for 2 more to come off the bench.
From the Kick off the French pin the Royal Navy Women down in their own 22, with the strong breeze making it difficult to gain any territory off the boot. Both defenses were rock solid with hard tackles being made by MA Megan Musgrave and the centre partnership of LPT Suz Badger and LH Rose Dixon. The opening 20mins were dominated by handling errors with both teams unable to get the ball out to the wings leading to fierce collisions in the middle of the park. At the lineout the RN Women were dominant, scuppering the French plans with Lt Sami Smale and LAET Abi Sondack causing problems for the French hooker. With the ball in hand the RN Women put some good plays together and with a great crossfield kick by LPT Suz Badger gain some territory and a line-out on the French 5m line.
At the scrum, the French pack look dominant immediately and after 4 consecutive scrum penalties in the first 20min, AET Lucy Honeybell was issued a yellow card. Further penalties at the ruck, enabled the French to build some momentum inside the RN half and they breached the line for the first time at the 30min mark with a bullocking run from the powerful French tighthead Manon Leduc. Off the restart, the French regain possession and start to move the ball wide through the hands to the French Tighthead Manon Leduc, who crashes over in the corner for her 2nd try. The French pack now gaining yards from hard runs off the ruck, get another try just before half time and the teams go into the break with the score Marine Nationale 15, Royal Navy 0.
The second half saw both teams build in confidence and moving the ball into the wider channels. The RN looked good when they got the ball wide and some slick offloading allowed them to move up the field into French territory. The RN Women got their first points on the board at 46 mins with some well worked phase play leading to PO Sam Alderson going over the line. Through big carries in the short channels the French pack keep gaining yards and build pressure inside the RN 22m. The spirited RN defense is unable to keep out another pair of tries by the star of the show Manon Leduc who finishes the day with 4 tries. The final whistle goes with the Marine Nationale winning the match 34-7.
Despite the score, the performance of the RN Women was fantastic. In the first 30mins they combined resolute defense with good phase play and will take a lot of confidence going into the Inter-Services. 9 players got their first cap in Vannes and the team were excited for their next fixture.
1. Lt Cdr Katie Ives
2. SLt Rebecca Addis (Cap No. 59)
3. AET Lucy Honeybell
4. LAET Abi Sondack
5. Lt Sammi Smale
6. AET Elona Bythell
7. OCdt Rowann Sinclair (Cap No. 60)
8. MA Megan Musgrave (Cap No. 61)
9. SLt Rhian Perry ((Cap No. 62)
10. Lt Cheryl Goodwin RN
11. ET Sian McLaughlin (Cap No. 63)
12. LPT Suz Badger (Cap No. 64)
13. LH Rose Dixon
14. SLt Abi Ashby
15. OCdt Rebecca Bestwick (Cap No. 65)
16. PO Emily Park
17. AB Heather Addison-Prout (Cap No. 67)
18. LA Yvonne Mealy
19. SLt Abi Pearce
20. Lt Olivia Critchley-Peddle RN
21. AET Chloe Sopp (Cap No. 66)
22. CPO Billie Staite
23. PO Sam Alderson
Full Picture Gallery Here
Match Report by Thomas Blackburn