Royal Navy Medical Services (RNMS) Vs Chobham RFC
RN Medical Services
The second game of the season for the Royal Navy Medical Services was a friendly fixture against Chobham RFC a fixture that has now continued for 3 seasons. The previously two meetings resulted in a loss for the RNMS with last season’s game ending 22-17 and the RNMS did not want to lose 3 in a row.
This particular fixture for many of the RNMS players also had additional meaning as an ex-player, captain and coach of the team, WO Paul Newman, had sadly passed away recently since leaving. As Paul also played for Chobham previously it was agreed between the teams that a minute silence would be held before the game and the RNMS No 5 shirt be left out. Team captains from both sides would also select a Paul Newman Man of The Match from each side.
Lead by skipper LMA (Sam) Winfield or 'Winnie', the RNMS took to the field and lost the toss, with Chobham choosing their preferred option of playing 'uphill' on a pitch that has an obvious angle to it. With new additions to the squad, which is often the case with the RNMS, we knew there could be no room for errors early on as we would be punished in the second half playing up the slope. The kick off from MNE Craig Galloway was high and deep and the game was under way. During the first 10 minutes both sides were testing each other’s defence until a good break from Sgt Dave Tutt made ground. Quick ball out and good hands from the back allowed CPONN Paul Hornsey get the opening try of the game right in the corner, unconverted. Chobham responded within minutes and following some poor discipline from the RNMS, Chobham's No 10 put the ball on the 5 meter line for a lineout. Their forwards caught and drove over the line in a powerful drive that showed they meant business. With the try converted, the score was now 7-5. Play resumed and the RNMS were keen to use the advantage of the going 'downhill' and with some good phases of play found themselves once again inside Chobham's 22m line. Chobham turned the ball over, but with good pressure from the defensive line they knocked the ball on and the RNMS had a scrum 10 meters out. The scrum was won despite the dominance of the Chobham pack in earlier scrums, and Craig Galloway playing at 10 saw space and crossed the line for the RNMS second try, again unconverted. The RNMS capitalised on this momentum and shortly before the half, with a combination of the forwards and backs both making ground, saw the RNMS back within 10 meters of the Chobham line. A quick pick and go from debut MA Shaun Boyd, playing at scrum half, and he was clean through for the 3rd try for the RNMS, this time converted by DMS (W)'s LPT Fentum. The half time whistle blew with the score now 7-17.
The second half started as the RNMS expected, with Chobham putting boot to ball and applying pressure to the RNMS full back and wingers. The defensive system that the RNMS had been working on during the training session earlier that day was put to the test in the second half and the RNMS began to tire, seeing Chobham cross the line twice in quick succession. The score was 17-17 with 15 minutes left to go. The game was wide open now and the RNMS dug deep. Some great running from MNE Brad Walsh on the wing saw the RNMS turning the tables and putting pressure on Chobham, eventually gaining a penalty within kicking range. LPT Fentum put the 3 points on the board and the RNMS had a bit of a cushion, but the game was not over.
With 5 minutes left to go both teams were fighting hard to win the game. Legs were beginning to tire, but the RNMS dug in and when the clocked ticked over the 80 minute mark, with Chobham in possession, it looked like it would be a repeat of the year. RNMS defence stayed strong and forced Chobham into an error that MA Boyd capitalised on and squeezed in the final try of the game, and his second. The try converted the RNMS saw their first victory of their season 17-27.
A superb effort from both sides produced an exciting, high tempo game, one that the late Paul Newman would have been proud of. Chobham nominated the RNMS scrum half, MA Shaun Boyd, as the first RNMS Paul Newman Man of the Match recipient and this new tradition will hopefully continue for many more fixtures to come.
LMA S Winfield (CTCRM) (Captain)
LT D Salisbury (DMS Whittington)
MID M Clarke (Med Student University of Manchester)
Lt C Nicholson (RNLA Collingwood)
SGT Dave Tutt (DMS WHittington)
MA Lewy Morton (DMS Whittington)
MA Lewis Baxter (DMS Whittington)
MID A Packenham (Med Student University of Manchester)
MA Shaun Boyd (DMS Whittington
MNE (MA) C Galloway (DMS Whittington)
CPONN P Hornsey (DMS Whittington) (Rep MA J Savage (DMS Whittington))
LPT D Fentum (DMS Whittington)
POMA C Jones (DMS Whittington) (Vice Captain)
MNE (MA) Ben Dixon (DMS Whittington) (Rep MNE (MA) B Walsh (DMS Whittington))
LMA P Shaw (RM Poole)
Unused Sub MA Ben Wilson (DMS Whittington)