Win for the Royal Navy Women's Development Squad
The Royal Navy Women’s Development Squad took on Havant Women in their first competitive game at HMS Collingwood. The team was largely comprised of players who have only recently started their playing careers, augmented by a small number of more experienced players to help them develop their skills. The team spent an enjoyable day training together before facing an evening match against a strong Havant Ladies side (who are currently leading the RFUW NC 2 league).
The Royal Navy Women started impressively well. Some fantastic handling and running resulted in domination of Havant’s territory. Despite a strong Havant defensive line, Amie Walker scored on the six minute mark and Louise Worsford quickly converted to give the Navy a well-deserved 7 - 0 lead. The Navy continued with their attacking style after the restart and a determined Billie Staite was able to break through the Havant line to score the Navy’s second try, which was effortlessly converted once again by Louise Worsford to give a 14 - 0 lead against an opposition who had not conceded a try so far this season.
Havant attacked from the restart and the Royal Navy Women found themselves quickly adapting to a defensive style. They defended well against a powerful Havant front row, however, missed tackles and the continued pressure from Havant, resulted in a try for Havant. After the restart Havant continued to dominate and just before half time scored their second try, which due to the ball hitting the crossbar was not converted. The first half finished with the Royal Navy leading 14 – 12.
The home side once again started after the break with a strong attack, which very nearly saw Suz Badger score after a superb run. This half was more evenly balanced and both sides seemed incapable of breaking through. During this half, the Navy fully utilised the bench to ensure that all players gained some valuable game time. Havant had a try disallowed and another superb run by Suz Badger enabled the Navy to attack strongly, which resulted in a try for Louise Worsford. This was the only score of the second half and the game ended with a deserved 19 - 12 victory for the Royal Navy.
This was an impressive start for the Royal Navy Women's Development side and demonstrated the future potential for Royal Navy Women's Rugby. If you are interested in fun, friendship and fitness, then Royal Navy Rugby Union has a new Women's Rugby coaching programme that is designed for absolute beginners, returning players and regular players alike. The weekly sessions take place at regional hubs - in Plymouth, Yeovilton and the Portsmouth area, with the same sessions being delivered in each venue in order to ensure that those travelling between bases or attending courses can attend the full programme wherever they are. See further details.
Royal Navy Rugby Union Women's XV players have volunteered to be the regional player/managers to co-ordinate local players and be the point of contact for any questions or queries. If you are in the West Country then Sam Alderson is your lead (email@example.com), near Yeovilton then contact Emily Park (firstname.lastname@example.org) and in the Portsmouth area Lauren Salisbury is the person to speak with. (email@example.com).
Lisa Christie, Emily Park, Amie Walker, Helen Stevenson, Louise Worsford, Amy Rawcliffe, Serena Neylen, Emily Horword, Olivia Critchley, Nic Elvidge, Lauren Alton. Suz Badger, Abigail Ashby, Billie Staite, Ffyion Davies, Tulvaga Taranaiuini, Jenny Merrell, Mollie Davies, Emily Buchanan, Steph Coles, Rachel Csrrager.
Words by J Brennan
Images Royal Navy Rugby Union © John Walton