Tough contest for Royal Navy U23s against Chichester RFC U23 select side




Chichester U23

Dan Mason returned to the U23 side a veteran from last season
Making a break, Eldon Myers
Scrum half, Burgess, looks on at the strong Chichester pack
Holding on - James Griggs

The Royal Navy U23 squad travelled to Oaklands Pavilion, home of Chichester RFC, to take on a strong Chichester U23 select side.  Under floodlights and in extremely challenging conditions the Royal Navy Rugby Union set about their last trial match before trimming the squad in preparation for the defence of their Inter Service title.  They were facing a very well drilled, confident Chichester U23 Select 15 and found themselves on the back foot from the off.  Chichester playing an expansive game, despite the horrendous conditions, stretched the Navy team across the field with some smart handling and direct running.  The Royal Navy U23s defended well for 20 minutes and showed some pleasing passages of play however the sheer pressure and dominance of a large Chichester pack soon took its toll on the visitors and the home side went over to score the opening points. 

From the restart the Navy took the game to Chichester and so quick hands and a break from the inside centre took the play to within the Chichester 22.  A few phases of play followed and the Navy were camped in the 22 however some unforced errors let Chichester off the hook and left the Navy empty handed.  It wasn’t long before Chichester doubled their lead which they held on to up to the half time whistle.

Trailing 10 - 0 at the break, the Navy unfortunately conceded an early score and the Chichester team began to exert their dominance.  Having defended so valiantly in the first half the Royal Navy team began to fall off tackles and the pressure mounted.  Chichester found themselves with more time on the ball and extended their lead to 20 - 0 with a score out wide.  Facing an uphill task, things became even more difficult for the Navy when they were reduced to 14 men after repeated offenses in the red zone left the referee with little choice but to send the replacement prop to the bin for 10 minutes. 

Chichester extended their lead and despite some promising breaks from experienced Eldon Myers, the game ended with a deserved Chichester 34 - 0 victory.  Despite the defeat there were some positives that could be taken away by the Navy side.  The energy of the team was impressive throughout, their heads did not drop and they kept fighting until the final whistle.  At times they struggled defensively and will need to address this in the upcoming matches.  The next match for the Royal Navy Rugby Union U23s is away at Bournemouth RFC on Sunday 22 October kick off 2.30pm.

Team List
Ben Love, Isaac Salt, Callum Frogley, James Lindsay, Luke Kitson, Dan Mason, Fraser Wilkes, Jonny Stoppard, Nick Burgess, Tim Weale, James Griggs, Eldon Myers, Brad Janes, Corey Pulman, Cameron Haimes, Replacements Sam Vernon, Nathan Treveil, Gareth Yeomans, Dan Duncum, Edward Hemsworth, Joshua Cameron, Connor Moore, Sam Kretzschmar, Owen Foster, Tom Day.

Images Royal Navy Rugby Union © John Walton