RN Senior XV vs Devon RFU
RN Senior XV
A Navy team coming off the back of a couple of very tough defeats and the Devon squad looking to rapidly gel before the competitive county competition starts was always going to prove an entertaining affair, and so it proved at The Rectory, home of Devonport Services RFC in Plymouth. It was a lively start by both sides, eager to dominate, and although the Navy had the early chances they could not cross the line, with CPO Dave Pascoe (771 NAS) and Mne Kyle wood (42 Cdo) coming close. The deadlock was broken after 16 mins, when after sustained pressure a 5m line out resulted in a catch and drive, with AET Kye Beasley (RNAS Culdrose) crossing the line from the back of the subsequent driving maul. This started a period of navy territorial and possession dominance with some really lively continuity play, involving both backs and forwards, in particular, prop Mne Mark Owen (CLR) was prominent in the support play, re-living his youth as a county standard centre. A second try from a 5m line out by Cpl Gaz Evans 93 Cdo Bge) on his return from a period at sea on Ex Joint Warrior, embarked in HMS Bulwark. All night the navy scrum had the upper hand and a yellow card for Devon’s tight head prop only added to their struggle, the subsequent penalty resulted in a penalty push over try, giving the navy a healthy 19-0 lead. Devon rallied towards the end of the half and put the Navy under pressure and were reward with a penalty kick and try before a superb individual effort from Mne Nathan Huntley (40 Cdo), beating 3 players to score under the posts just before half time, giving the Navy a 26-3 lead at the break.
The start of the second half saw a fresh injection from the bench for Devon and they dominated the early play. Under pressure the navy’s defence were stretched and Devon scored 2 early tries, lifting both the players and the healthy local crowd who had turned out to see the start of the county’s campaign preparations. The navy recovered some control and as had been throughout, some individual skill and clean line breaks resulted in more tries for the navy. The first came after an excellent run form the young ET(WE) Eldon Myers 9HMS Collingwood), again playing in the centre, the resultant quick ball came out to AET Jon Humnphrey (RNAS Culdrose), who was excellent all night, beating the outside man and out sprinting the cover for an excellent try, converted by Pascoe. Shortly after, quick ball was picked up by Evans, his side step and acceleration saw him go over for a try from 30 metres out. Devon rallied and after a 5m attacking line out reversed the trend of driving mauls and scored themselves, before the navy did exactly the same in injury time to leave the final score 45-20.
The Navy will be happy with their performance and win but will be under no illusions that the next three weeks will be far more testing and will define their season as they take on premiership club Worcester before the Inter Service Championship matches.
The RN Vs Worcester will take place at Sixways on Weds 16th Apr, KO 19 15