U23 XV v Portsmouth University U23
RN U23 XV
Portsmouth University U23
The Royal Navy Under 23s took to the field in a reinvigorated fixture against a Portsmouth University side who were having their first proper run out of the season. After a successful weekend training camp, the RN were in good spirits and confident. However, despite early pressure from the RN, it was Portsmouth who snaffled a loose pass from the Royal Navy to work it well down field for the opening score. RN 0-5 Portsmouth . An early blood bin saw ET Tom Howard (HMNB Devonport) enter the fray and the Navy again applied pressure resulting in a penalty in the opposition 22. Converted by ET Josh Jones(HMS Ocean) giving a score of RN 3-5 Portsmouth . From the KO Portsmouth applied pressure, and poor RN defensive play let Portsmouth in for another try, subsequently converted, RN 3 – 12 Portsmouth.
This sparked the RN into life and some good lines of running from the backs led to a try by ET Sam Benzie (HMS Sultan), converted by Jones resulting in RN 10 -12 Portsmouth. A scrum near the 10m taken by the Navy against the head saw some good forward interplay and strong running by the backs allowed MNE Mo Andrews (43 CDO) to score just before half time RN 17- 12 Portsmouth.
Half time team talk and some changes in the pack meant the Royal Navy came out with strong purpose in the second half, but again by overplaying the ball they lost possesion leading to a try by the Portsmouth speedy right wing RN 17 – 19 Portsmouth . At last following this try and stern words from Capt Matt Horton RM (RNAS Culdrose) the Navy seemed to have a point to proof resulting in tries from AET Matt Horton (Culdrose), AB Chris Davies (HMNB Drake) and ET Jack Basher (HMNB Portsmouth).
Score RN 34 - 19 Portsmouth . Then a moment of individual brilliance from AET Ben Clarke (RNAS Yeovilton) saw him take the ball in little space, stand his man up and round the other three for a scintilating score in the corner. Not to be out done, Portsmouth quickly retaliated with a score of there own bringing the score to RN 41 -26 Portsmouth . With the game drawing to a close some well executed forward play saw prop AB Chris Davies (HMNB Devonport) smash his way over for his second try of the game.
FULL TIME RN 48 – 26 Portsmouth University
Although a deserved win by the Royal Navy, there is much to work on. This game was won by moments of individual brilliance and good lines of running. The RN U23s need to learn these lessons, value the right to go wide and never under-estimate your opposition.
Images taken by Dave George