Navy look razor sharp before Twickenham clash
RN Senior XV
in the final dress rehearsal before their Twickenham showdown next Saturday, the Senior XV produced another fine display against Hampshire at Basingstoke RFC.
Hampshire weren’t going to let the Dark Blue have it all their own way. They were quick out the blocks scoring two tries in 15 minutes to lead the game 12-3. From that point, Dave Pascoe’s men showed their class and scored seven unanswered tries from Lloydal, Raumakita, Hayler, Vakalutukali, Gobey and Boulton in a high tempo game. With 15 minutes to go, Hampshire scored two consolation try’s to make the final score 48-22 to the Navy.
The performance would’ve pleased the coaching staff. The players look biconically fit and their skill level is much higher than any recent Navy side. More importantly, the culture and bond within the squad is even stronger and tighter post the RAF game.
Dave Pascoe now has a wonderful headache. He has a fully fit, 28 man squad who’re all playing well and working immensely hard off the field. His key selection issue is at Fly Half. Nath Huntley is fully fit after breaking his eye socket, but Greg Lloydal has been fantastic in the big games. In addition, Ratu Vakalutukali has played well in the last two fixtures, but every back five player involved against the French and RAF were outstanding. “This group are a pleasure to work with.” Said Pascoe “They all want to get better, they love training and are really close as mates. When you’re telling them to get off the training ground and get some rest, you know you’ve got a good bunch. We’ve got some really difficult decisions to make, but that’s a good thing. I know this squad from the support staff to those players not involved all want the same thing”.
Lt J Terry RN, LPT B Priddey, Mne C Robinson, AB(HM) J Kirwan, NA(AH) BWatson, LCpl E Pascoe, Mne R Vakalutukali, Mne J Hayler, AB(MW) G Rees, Mne N Huntley, LAET B Chambers, AET G Loydall, Mne S Raumakita, LPT E Myers, Mne C Duncan
Words: Oliver Mason
Images: Royal Navy Rugby Union © John Walton