Yellow Card Proves Costly but Performance Improved


RN Senior XV


Esher RFC

Two more tries for long serving Navy Hooker Ben Priddey.
John Court, forwards coach, will be pleased with the development of some of the younger forwards.
Ben Chambers on the scoresheet with fine try from fullback.
Head Coach Dave Pascoe has succeeded in developing some younger players but further opportunities will be sparse as the season progresses.

The Royal Navy Senior XV lost a 15-0 lead through planned changes effecting their momentum and a Yellow Card.  The changes provide vital game experience for the younger players.  The Yellow Card was through this inexperience and provides lessons in precision in your play.  Final score Esher 20 Senior XV 15

For much of the match the Royal Navy Senior XV could be pleased with the progress they had made since last week.  A lead was built through two tries from hooker, Ben Priddey, and a third from fullback, Ben Chambers.  It was always planned that this match would see a number of changes throughout the game and this undoubtedly effected the Navy’s play and allowed Esher a toehold back into the game.  However, it was Will Scott’s Yellow Card which turned the match as during his sin bin period Esher scored two converted tries to close the gap to a single point.  Two penalties in the final 10 minutes was enough to complete their comeback and record a 20-15 win.  Navy Rugby followers are sure to hear far more about young Will Scott in the future, but the Marine should perhaps speak with try scorer Ben Priddey about cards.  It was an aspect of Ben’s game that brought all the wrong headlines in the past but with the cards all but eradicated it is just his try scoring that captures the attention these days.

Dave Pascoe will not have left Esher RFC too disappointed as he continues to develop the depth in his squad and expose some promising U23 players to the realities of the next level of rugby.  Alongside him, forwards coach, John Court, will be positively purring with the performance of some of the newer members in the pack.  John Kirwan, first cap last season, produced a very mature performance at the heart of the Navy pack and was strongly supported by Toby Papp and Joe Martin who are surely names to note for the future.  However, you have to go back a very long way when Ben Priddey was first mentioned as a name to note ‘in the future’.  Another strong performance suggests that he is relishing the new season and determined to become the Navy’s second most capped player, and one of their highest try scorers!

It was Priddey who opened the scoring for the Navy just after the fifteen minute mark, followed by Ben Chambers grabbing the second.  With both kicks missed the Royal Navy reached half time 10-0 in front, in a match which they were exerting a good degree of control.  In a mirror image of the first half, Ben Priddey grabbed his second try, around the fifteen minute mark of the second period, to stretch the lead to 15-0.  A specialist in scoring from the rolling maul, this time Ben’s try involved him running in open space, although knowing the bard from Kernow’s ability to weave a story of two, by the time he is back home in Cornwall this may be recorded as a break from his own goal line.

The match though was primarily about preparation for bigger games ahead and not the result.  Changes were made and unfortunately this did affect the Navy’s momentum as some of the younger players struggled to adjust to the quicker pace.  That though could not be said of Will Scott, who showed some fine touches.  However, ill-discipline with the offside line, brought him to the referee’s attention and the resulting Yellow Card cost his team dearly.  It is, hopefully, an important lesson learnt, not only by Scott.  With the Inter Services promising to be yet again close the Royal Navy, like the Army and the Royal Air Force, are all too aware that discipline, or lack of it, can decide not only the matches but the destination of the trophy.

For the squad as a whole there can be satisfaction in an improved performance form the match against Cambridge University.  But with Exeter Braves next up there will be an awareness that another couple of steps forward is required before the 4th March.

Next match for the Royal Navy Senior XV is Wednesday 4 March 2020 v Exeter Braves at Exeter’s Sandy Park.

Next match for the Royal Navy Rugby Union is next week when the President’s XV are away to Western-Super-Mare, Wednesday 26 February, KO: 19:15

By line: Geraint Ashton Jones
Images credit: © Alligin Photography