Royal Navy Women's Development Bathe in Glory
RN Women Development XV
Bath Women 2nd XV
Wednesday night saw the Royal Navy Women Development Squad have their second run out of the season against Bath RFC’s 2XV at RNAS Yeovilton. The women’s section of Bath RFC are becoming more and more ambitious and the side that the Royal Navy faced are currently sitting 4th in their league. Despite this ambition from the club side it was ultimately a night of celebration for the Royal Navy who made the most of the opportunities presented to them.
The women from the Rec started strongly but were faced with early pressure from the Royal Navy. The Royal Navy’s changed line up showed commitment and skilful rugby from the off and the pacey back line put the ball through the hands quickly allowing outside centre, Abi Ashby, to score in the corner with only 5 minutes gone. Royal Navy Women’s stalwart, Sam Alderson, converted to get the Royal Navy off to a great start. Both teams then traded attempts to batter through strong defences following the restart and with recent football convert EJ Bishop, running out for only her second ever game, she proved that rugby is definitely her sport, as she bundled the Bath attack into touch.
As the game progressed the Navy’s ill discipline mounted and Prop Gemma Flowers was shown a yellow card, but despite being down to 14 players the Navy attack found some space and scrum half, Olivia Critchley-Peddle, broke through supported by fullback Sam Alderson who converted her own try to take the score to 14-0.
Bath continued to pressurise the Navy’s well organised defence but ultimately they failed to take their chances. By contrast the Royal Navy Women were beginning to seek out chances from all parts of the pitch and it was from a Navy line out deep in their own half that courage was shown to run the ball nearly the length of the pitch with Olivia Critchley-Peddle scoring and making the score 21-0 at half time.
Bath were quicker out of the blocks in the second half and from a turned over scrum they broke down the sideline to score their only points of the night. It was then one way traffic for the rest of the night as the Royal Navy score 3 unanswered tries despite UKAF’s Rose Dixon earning a the team’s second yellow card,
When the final whistle blew and the score at 42-5 Assistant Director of Rugby, Paula Bennet-Smith, was seen jumping for joy as she was overwhelmed by the precision of the team’s performance. This match certainly helps pave the way for a selection dilemma for the Senior Women’s side who will face the Army at Twickenham Stadium for the first time ever in 2022. It is a very exciting time for Women’s Rugby in the Royal Navy and the Women’s Development side continue their season on the 17th of November at HMS Temeraire against Portsmouth RFC.
Don’t forget that the Royal Navy shop is currently open and Men’s and Women’s replica shirts can be bought direct from the RNRU.