Royal Navy Medical Services (RNMS) Vs Chobham RFC 395817741




Chobham RFC

The RNMS, despite recent struggles to get a team together this season, were able to field a side to play against a well-established club running 6 teams this season.  A combination of Chobham III and IV’s with a few up and coming players from the Colts were the opposition for a team who 2 hours before the game were not all acquainted! Chobham also kindly provided a couple of players to help boost the numbers of the RNMS side. 


In true RNMS style we quickly got to know each other and the game kicked off at 1900 with the RNMS winning the toss.  The game started well for the RNMS with a few good runs from Surg Lt Cdr Dave Potter (MDHU Derriford) and MA Tanny Bolaitamana (HMS Argyll). Potter, returning to the squad after over a year out was clearly keen to make an impact; it didn’t take long for the RNMS to score the first try of the game which came from some quick hands to Lt Jack Nicholson (HMS Collingwood) and some strong running down the blind side.  The try was converted by skipper, POMA Chris Jones (DMSTG), however Touch Judges flag went up and one stayed down, therefore the referee didn’t award the additional points.


The game continued to be fought in the middle of the park fairly evenly with both sides having to work hard in defence.  Chobham managed to maintain possession for multiple phases of play and worked into the RNMS 22.  The defence seemed impenetrable as the amount of phases Chobham were running started stacking up, but eventually the RNMS was sucked in and Chobham had numbers out wide, scoring a try in the corner through quick hands.  The try was not converted, 5-5.


Twenty two minutes of the first half to go and the game was restarted by Jones; Chobham knocked the ball on from good pressure by the forwards.  Another scrum which the RNMS won and took blind to winger MA Dale Bowman (42 CDO RM), playing only his second game for RNMS.  Bowman made ground and the assault from the RNMS began once again.  A few phases of play with Potter, Bolaitamana and now full back LMA Phil Hamilton-Shaw (RM Poole) coming in the line making further ground towards the opposition 22.  The game’s momentum was with the RNMS and Potter broke the line with some fancy footwork and scored the RNMS second try of the game, unconverted, 10-5.


The pace of the game slowed with the RNMS forwards grafting hard and making ground from the restart led by Vice Captain LMA Winnie Winfield (CTCRM Lympstone) and probably the most experienced RNMS player on the field, Lt Bali Salisbury (Institute of Naval Medicine). Possession changed frequently as the ground became torn up, with sloppy handling from both sides resulting in multiple turnovers. The first change of the game saw the return of PONN Ben Harwood (HMS Raleigh)

replace debutant MA McCauley John (DMSTG) and with 8 minutes to go, Chobham had a line out around the RNMS 10 metre line, which was turned over and some quick thinking from Nicholson looping down the 5 metre channel breaking a few tackles, saw him run all the way in for the RNMS’s third try and his second under the posts, converted by Bolaitamana the RNMS now led 17-5 going into the half.


The second half began much the same as the first, both sides battling for possession in the middle of the park, the knock-ons were mounting up and the scrum became a big part of the game.  Chobham started a strong offensive and managed to break the RNMS defence to score close to the posts and convert the try. The score now 17-12.  Another change was forced in the second half as skipper Jones has to go off for treatment to an eye injury which saw another debut appearance LMA Al Palmer (MDHU Portsmouth). Chobham make a great break through as a result of some good running lines from the backs and Hamilton-Shaw was forced into making a few last ditch tackles, but the pressure and numbers were too much as the RNMS began to tire and the lack of match fitness began to show. Chobham score their third try unconverted bringing the score to 17-17.


With both sides happy for rolling subs, Jones made his return, but this time replacing yet another debut player in scrum half Surg Lt Phil Spreadborough (Institute of Naval Medicine) and taking the 9 spot.  Shortly after, a final run out after years of service to the team, for CPOMA Smudge Smith (Institute of Naval Medicine). The RNMS kept possession and made their way into Chobham’s 22.  Hard work from the forwards saw a driving maul drive 15 metres and over the try line but the referee was unable to see if the ball was grounded and no try was given.  The scrum was turned over and Chobham were relieved to clear the pressure.  With 10 minutes to go Chobham found gaps in the tiring defensive line and scored their 4th try of the game giving them the lead for the first time and the try was unconverted leaving the score 17-22.  There was time for the RNMS to come back and phase after phase Chobham were forced to defend which they did well and the game finished 17-22, Chobham.


The RNMS will now prepare for the annual fixture against the Army Medical Services on Fri 2 May, before playing Old Penarthians on Weds 10 Sep




LMA Winnie Winfield (CTCRM Lympstone) (Vice Captain)

Lt Bali Salisbury (Institute of Naval Medicine)

CPOMA Smudge Smith (Institute of Naval Medicine)

Lt Jack Nicholson (HMS Collingwood)

PONN Ben Harwood (HMS Raleigh)

MA McCauley John (DMSTG)

MA Aly Fraser (HMS Sultan)

Surg Lt Phil Spreadborough (Institute of Naval Medicine)

POMA Chris Jones (DMSTG) (Captain)

Surg Lt Cdr Dave Potter (MDHU Derriford)

MA Tanny Bolaitamana (HMS Argyll)

LMA Al Palmer (MDHU Portsmouth)

PONN Paul Hornsey (DMSTG)

MA Dale Bowman (42 CDO RM)

LMA Phil Hamilton-Shaw (RM Poole)