Promising start to 2019 for the President's XV
RN President's XV
Devonport Services RFC
The Royal Navy Rugby Union President's XV travelled to the West Country to take on Devonport Services RFC at the Rectory. Despite limited training time, the President's XV put in a very pleasing performance, running out the winners 26 - 5.
Training time as a team before the match was limited but the majority of players arrived in good condition after the Christmas break. Coach/team manager, Nathan 'Pony' Moore had invited a number of new players along to join in and to benefit from the additional coaching provided to the president's XV.
The team made a strong start, with outside centre, Davies, crossing the line for the first points of the night. Scrum half Carter skilfully converted the try for the President's XV to take the lead 7 - 0. However their good fortune didn't last. As the second quarter commenced, Kurasasa, playing at left wing, was shown a yellow card after a 'no-arms' tackle. This put the President's XV on the back foot, as they were reduced to 14 men. Despite several attempts by the Sporting Blues to capitalise on their advantage, the Navy side defended extremely well, weathering the storm, and were also able to un-nerve the opposition with a couple of neat attacking patterns of their own.
There were no further scores in the first half and the half time score was 7 - 0 in the Navy's favour. Keen to ensure maximum training benefit for the team, several changes were made at half time, with Senior XV prop Chris Warner, joining the field along with Burgess and Jeacock from the RNRU U23 side.
It took a few minutes to settle back into play, but when they did the President's XV attacks came fast and furious. Right winger, Gobey was the first scorer of the second half, scoring out wide. The try was a result of several phases of play, which drew the DSRFC defenders in, so that Gobey could cross the line in the left hand corner. This time, fly half, Horton, took the kick to extend the President's XV lead, 14 - 0.
The third try of the evening followed a similar pattern; the Forwards worked well, going round the corner, carrying hard and drawing the defenders in. When released the backs delivered and Davies crossed the line for the second time, 19 - 0.
It didn't all go the way of the Navy side and DSRFC made their mark in the 73rd minute. Sustained pressure from the Services' pack resulted in them going over for a well-deserved try, 19 - 5. However, the Navy side were determined to finish on a high, and took advantage of a tired DSRFC, with a run down the left side of the pitch for their fourth try of the match. Horton converted again and the final score was 26 - 5 to the RNRU President's XV.
The coaching team were extremely pleased with the performance of the entire squad. With several new faces joining the squad and settling in smoothly, this is a real positive for the development of Navy Rugby as we continue to move forward with the President's XV season.
The next challenge for the President's XV is a match against Hampshire Academy at Burnaby Road on Wednesday 20 February. Entry is free so come along and support the team, kick off is at 1930.
Words: Nathan 'Pony' Moore / Director of Comms
Images: Royal Navy Rugby Union © Mark Andrews