RN Women denied at the death

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RN Women

19

Guildford Ladies

The Royal Navy Women played their last 80 minutes of competitive rugby before their historic first fixture at Twickenham and they were denied a draw with the last kick of the game.

Coming off the back of a watershed performance against the RAF where the Navy Women proved that they have taken huge strides on their development journey, the Navy travelled up the A3 to take on Guildford RFC's women's side, known as the Gazelles.

Added to the brimming confidence the Navy still had Twickenham starting berths to play for and the side that started against Guildford had that in mind. Unfortunately the eagerness to impress head coach Lt Cdr Charlie Fredrickson resulted in a somewhat loose and reckless first half where the Navy were repeatedly penalised and were lucky to keep all 15 players on the pitch after repeated high tackles. The Navy were simply not clicking, playing with a nervousness that wasn't seen in Ealing against the RAF.  And the Gazelles capitalised on this jumpy performance as they sauntered in for the only try of the half on 26 minutes.

The coaching staff had clearly fired a rocket at the players and it was a rejuvenated side that returned to the pitch and within 3 minutes they were held up over the line once before CPO Billki Staite opened the Royal Navy scoring with an uncoverted try to leave the score at 7-5 to the home side. The Navy were turning the screw and were the dominant side in the match, but there was a need to ring the changes to prepare all of the side for next weekend's fixture, and it was directly after the Navy had made multiple changes that Guildford took advantage of some disorganisation and scored their second to restore their 7 point lead.

The Navy continued to make changes but played withh fervour as they chased Guildford, unfortunately the Surrey side extended their lead to 19-5 before LAET Abi Sondack was introduced to the match who brought with her an air of confidence and cohesion and now the Navy started to chase for all their worth.  Within 5 minutes of her introduction Sondack had crashed over, with  AET Chloe Sopp converting to put the Dark Blue within an converted score. The Navy Women threw the proverbial kitchen sink at their opposition and it was only a matter of time before they scored again and on the 79th minute Midshipman Tegan Morley danced over the tryline to give Sopp the chance to tie the match with the last kick of the game. But it wasn't to be with the kick falling desparingly short and thus saving the blushes of the home side as they walked away with a very slim victory.

Despite the result the match achieved the aim of giving the Navy Women a tough test to battle through prior to playing the Army at Twickenham on the 30th of April in the historic first meeting of the two sides within the stadium. Tickets are still available to purchase from the Army v Navy Website.

Line Ups

Women
1 Lt Cdr Katie Ives
2 AB Heather Addison-Prout
3 AET Lucy Honeybell
4 Lt Sammi Smale RN
5 LA Yvonne Mealy
6 SLt Emily Howard
7 ET Elona Bythell
8 MA Megan Musgrave
9 SLt Rhian Perry
10 Lt Cheryl Goodwin RN
11 Mid Emma Tegan Morley
12 Surg Lt Cdr Emma Maxwell
13 LPT Suz Badger
14 CPO Billie Staite
15 LH Rose Dixon (C)
 
16 SLt Rebecca Addis
17 Mid Rosie Staples
18 PO Emily Park
19 PO Anne-Marie McIntyre
20 LAET Abi Sondack
21 SLt Abi Pearce
22 AET Chloe Sopp
23 ET Sian McLaughlin