Two from two for Navy Rugby Senior XV on US Tour
RN Senior XV
On a day more suited to sunbathing than playing rugby, the Royal Navy Senior XV played their second fixture of the tour against the Potomac Exiles, a team that play in the top tier of USA rugby. As with the first match of the tour, the fixture was played in the excellent facilities of the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis. However the crowd was not quite as big even though Royal Navy Rugby Union Executive Committee members Alan Church and Roger Readwin did corral all known Brits in the vicinity!
The game kicked off under the blaze of the midday sun, with the tourists taking a quick lead after 2 minutes with a try from Sam Matavesi, which was converted by Greg Loydall who played the full 80 minutes at 10. Over the next quarter of an hour the visitors scored another 3 tries, seeing Tom Notman again on the score sheet and Sam Matavesi gaining an early hat-trick. Greg Loydall kept the pressure on the Exiles by converting all three tries.
The Royal Navy went into the water break after the first 20 minutes 28 points up. After much needed hydration the Senior XV maintained the pressure on the home team, working the phases and were rewarded with a try from Jarrard Hayler. It wasn’t all one way traffic though as the Potomac team kept working hard in both attack and defence, which included releasing their extremely fast back-three whenever they could. Their endeavours were rewarded in the 34th minute when the fullback scored a try under the posts which was converted by their fly-half, the score was 7 - 33. With the end of the first half beckoning, the tourists managed to squeeze in one more try through Greg Loydall. At the end of the first half the scoreboard read 7 - 38 to the Royal Navy.
The Tourists returned for the second half with a couple of changes. Ben Chambers came on for Tom Notman and in the back row Dan Mason got his first senior start on the blindside of the pack for Sam Matavesi. The beginning of the second half mimicked the first with early tries for the Royal Navy, from Rhys Dimmock-Williams and Pat Coy, the latter being converted by Greg Loydall to stretch the lead 7 - 50.
As the effects of the heat and fatigue started to take effect, Head Coach Ash Coates continued with his substitutions. This allowed the Navy side to maintain momentum without losing any shape and added four tries in 20 minutes putting the score at 7 - 76. The points being added by Dan Mason, a hat-trick for Ben Chambers and all but one try being converted by Greg Loydall.
To their credit the Potomac Exiles spirits didn’t falter and they continued to test the Royal Navy team’s defence doing everything they could to try to breach it. The last 5 minutes of the game saw the visitors score the final two tries through Eldon Myers and another for Rhys Dimmock-Williams, but unfortunately the fatigue had set in to Greg Loydall’s kicking leg and he missed the final conversions. Final score 7 - 88.
K Mason, H Collins, A Wilma, E Pascoe (captain), S Makepeace, S Matavesi, J Hayler, B Cook, J Stephen, G Loydall, R Dimmock-Williams, G Welling, B Jane, T Notman, P Coy, C Robinson, C Warner, G Evans, L Cooper, D Mason, C Moore, J Griggs, E Myers, B Chambers.
Words by S Ashley
Image credit Alligin Photography © Scott Taetsch