President’s XV out-played by strong Hampshire Academy
RN President's XV
Hampshire Academy RFU
It was a tough match for the Royal Navy Rugby Union President’s XV when they hosted a Hampshire RFU Academy side at Burnaby Road. The score line wasn’t really a reflection of the quality of the match, but the President’s players will definitely have learnt a few lessons from the encounter.
The Hampshire side were determined to stamp their authority on the match and were quick to attack. A lovely little chip kick made it through the Royal Navy President’s defensive line and the Hampshire left wing followed it to score the first try, Navy 0 – Hampshire 5.
With the first points on the board, Hampshire seemed to relax into the game and showcased their fast-flowing rugby, passing smoothly out to the wing again. The President’s XV were ready this time and put in the tackle, driving him into touch. The Navy team line out was effective and their scrum was strong too. Building on these elements of their play, they found themselves in an attacking position, however, a penalty was awarded against Hampshire. The President’s team opted to kick and Hanley put 3 points on the board for the Navy after twenty minutes played. President’s XV 3 – 5 Hampshire Academy.
The next phase of play saw Hampshire attacking again but the President’s XV defended hard. They gained possession and mounted their own attack. Again, Hampshire were penalised, but this time Hanley missed the posts. A few minutes later, Hanley was injured, and that was the end of the night for him.
Hampshire took advantage of the change and returned to their game plan of fast paced rugby, shipping the ball quickly out to the wing. Hampshire’s Rory Penfold, showed off his pace but the Navy winger, Ross Williams was ready for him, tackling hard. Hampshire attacked again, and this time the result was a try, which was converted, extending the Hampshire lead 3 – 12.
The final try of the first half was conceded very disappointingly by the President’s XV just before the whistle. From a Hampshire line out, the President’s XV managed to intercept the ball, but then passed it right, in front of the posts. The clearance kick never came and the Hampshire side regained possession and passed the ball out to the left wing who went over for the try. The half time score was President’s XV 3 – 19 Hampshire Academy.
At the start of the second half the play was evenly matched, as first one side then the other had possession and were on the attack. However neither side could break through the strong defensive line of the opposition team. That was until the final twenty minutes of play. The Royal Navy President’s XV started to make some handling errors and Hampshire were ready to capitalise on them. Hampshire ran in two further tries, both of which were converted, and by the time the final whistle blew the scoreboard showed Royal Navy President’s XV 3 – Hampshire Academy 33.
It had been a tough match for the inexperienced Navy team however it was the opportunity to play against some strong opposition and learn some valuable lessons. The team management are focused on developing their team ahead of their fixture against the RAF Hawks on 20 March so will have been delighted at the quality and strength of the visiting team. Next up the President’s will be taking on Plymouth Albion Academy on 6 March at The Rectory, Devonport Services RFC. Entry is free and spectators are welcome. Kick off is 1915 so come along and support the team.
Team list: 1. Scott Bentley, 2, Ed Gaught, 3. Chris Warner, 4. Mo Morris, 5. Jonny Stoppard, 6. Stew Bartlett, 7. Gav Elsam, 8. Keyton Leyland-Jones 9. Nick Burgess, 10. Jake Hanley, 11. Ross Williams, 12. Tom Davies, 13. Luke Warrington 14. Ratu Roko-Kurusasa 15. Adam Gallagher Replacements 16. Peter Erne 17. Tom Hughes, 18. Pete Fowler, 19. Ash Wakefield 20. Marcus Stevens, 21. Sean Walker, 22. Will Browne, 23. Api Daunibau, 26. George Watson.
Images: Royal Navy Rugby Union © Keith Woodland