Strong President's team secures another win
RN President's XV
Royal Australian Navy
The Royal Navy Rugby Union President's XV were delighted to take part in the opening fixture of the Royal Australian Navy Rugby Union tour to the UK. Going from strength to strength, the President's XV played a convincing match of rugby, defending well and scoring 3 tries to win 15 - 0.
This was the fourth Royal Navy Rugby Union President’s XV outing of the 2017/2018 season and under the watchful eye of Rugby Development Officer, Ady Cherrington and strong leadership of head coach, George Hillan and team manager Pony Moore, the team has been improving with every match. Loaned a couple of Senior XV players who were in need of game time the capable team was further enhanced by the likes of Kurusasa and Trehan.
The Royal Australian Navy were keen to try out a few player combinations ahead of their Commonwealth Navies Rugby Cup clash against the RNRU Senior XV so both sides were up for what proved to be an exciting match. The game started with both teams full of energy, keen to get the upper hand on the opposition. Play was fast and furious, skilful passing and hard tackling the order of the day. First one team and then the other had possession as the play moved from one end of the pitch to the other. However neither side could find a gap in the other side’s defence. Attacks by both sides were capably repelled. Until the thirtieth minute when one such attacking phase of play from the President’s XV allowed winger Roko Kurusasa to make a quick pass to fullback Pat Coy who found some space to touch down in the corner. The President’s took the lead 5 – 0.
The response from the Royal Australian Navy came quickly; they worked their way into the President’s red zone but the President’s defence held strong. The frustration of the visitors began to tell and just before the half time whistle the referee awarded a yellow card and the visitors were down a player. Half time score RNRU President’s XV 5 – Royal Australian Navy Rugby Union 0.
From the restart the Australians were keen to get on the scoreboard. Sustained pressure inside the Navy 22 tested the President’s defence yet again – but it held firm. Finally the Australians were rewarded for their patience – with a penalty. Opting to kick for the points they were disappointed when the kick went wide. The score remained 5 - 0. With the pressure relieved the President’s XV went on the attack again. From their own half replacement Penfold made a break, with Coy in support and the full back notched up his second try of the night to extend the Navy lead 10 – 0. Team captain Benzie was unable to add the extra 2 points with his kick.
As both teams made their replacements the quality of play remained high. A small mistake by the visiting team as the second half neared its close allowed the President’s backs to get through the Australian defence to allow Penman to score the third and final try of the night. Final score 15 – 0.
The crowd had been treated to an exciting evening of rugby between the two sides. One spectator was heard to say ‘We have seen a more entertaining display of rugby this evening than some of the matches that were on TV over the weekend!’ The Royal Navy Rugby Union President’s XV will be in action next on 28 March at the United Services Sports Ground, Portsmouth when they welcome the RAF Hawks. Kick off 1900 and entry is free so come along and see the action.
1. Mid S Bentley, 2. AET C Oliffe, 3. ET C Frogley, 4. Mne J Stanifoth, 5. SLt D Johnson, 6. Mne T Worboys, 7. Mne T Papp, 8. SLt T Trehan, 9. AET S Carter, 10. Mne O Carter, 11. Mne R Williams, 12. ET S Benzie (team captain), 13. LS B Jeacock, 14. AB(Logs) R Kurusasa, 15. LCpl P Coy, 16. Mne D Pearce, 17. Musn H Marsh, 18. ET N Treveil, 19. AB G Hughan, 20. Cpl M Warwick, 21. LET T Penman, 22. AB R Penfold, 23. AET M Horton, 24. Lt H Mitchell-Hegg
Referee - Cap I Kiy, AR1 - SSgt S Kiddie, AR2 - Maj M Monier-Williams (ARU)
Words by DoC
Images: Royal Navy Rugby Union © John Walton