RN Senior XV v Worcester Cavaliers

24

RN Senior XV

56

Worcester RFC

Ben Priddey was driven over for the first of his three tries to open the scoring for the Royal Navy as they took an early 7 - 0 lead
Sam Laird was kept very busy at the breakdown but also provided some good link play and made a couple of telling breaks
Nathan Huntley had limited ball to work with at Flyhalf but brought variety to the Navy attack
Dave Fairbrother moved from Number 8 to the flanker and was effective in both attack and defence
Harry Collins (ball), Mark Jones, Richie Cadywould and Jack Basher all made effective contributions from the bench as the Royal Navy finished strongly.
All the Navy tries were scored by the front row.  Josh Terry crossed late as the Navy rallied towards the end of the match

While the RAF and Army were battling out a close encounter in the opening match of the Inter-Service Championship at RAF Halton, the Navy prepared to take on the Premiership club Worcester at Sixways.  Despite the Warriors Academy Manager being a former Royal Navy and Combined Services stalwart, Mark Hewitt set up a very competitive and ambitious team, that tested the Navy to the full.  The day did not start well; 6 first choice players were unfit to travel from Portsmouth due to illness and a rapid re-think on selection was required. To say it was a game of 2 halves would be an understatement.  The premiership outfit, peppered with international age group players, were initially under pressure from the Navy, who took an early lead after a succession of penalties, culminating in a catch and drive and the almost guaranteed try by LA(AH) Ben Priddey (RNAS Culdrose).  This stirred the West Country team in to action, and through blistering pace of hand and foot scored 7 unanswered tries before half time.  Josh Watkins on the left wing and Max Stelling were outstanding for the Cavaliers as was England U19 scrum half George de Cuthi.  Adding to the pain, fly half Elliot Davies, had one of those ‘cannot miss’ days with his boot, leaving the Navy to think again with a half time score of 49-7 down.

The Navy, as always, were not beaten and raised their game and tempo, played some excellent rugby themselves in the second half which saw two more tries from Priddey and a further one from Mne Josh Terry (RM Poole).  This was a true reflection of the dominance of the Navy in the second period (wining this half 17-7).  Mne Dave Fairbrother (45 Cdo) came agonisingly close and if ET(WE) Eldon Myers (HMS Collingwood) had retrieved his chip through after a blistering 50m break, the Cavaliers could have been worried.  It was clearly territorial and possession dominance by the Navy in the second half which sent the senior service away well prepared for what is now the business end of the season; they take on the RAF at Burnaby Road on Wed 23 Apr 14 in their opening match of this years’ IS Championship

Images Alligin Photography / (C) Richard Crane & (C) G Ashton Jones