Navy no match for Plymouth Warriors
A much changed Navy team from Wednesday's encounter with Cambridge University faced the challenge of Plymouth Albion Warriors at Brickfields on Monday night. Despite providing a worthwhile challenge, the Navy side faded badly at the end and suffered a heavy 42-11 defeat. Indeed, the nature of some of the late tries will no doubt be the cause of consternation amongst the Navy's ranks and will need to be rectified before the team returns to Brickfields to face the physical challenge of Marine Nationale on Thursday 31st March.
The Warriors started well and were a yard sharper in most respects. An early Mark Lee penalty awarded for a Navy offside was followed up by a well worked try for Max Venables, also converted by Lee. The Navy replied through an Owen Glastonbury (CTCRM) penalty to reduce the arrears at the twenty minute mark to 10-3 before the Navy conceded a candidate for softest try of the season. Poor alignment and concentration allowed Lee to step three players on his way to a try under the posts, which he duly converted. This was a wake-up call for the Navy up and saw that start of driving play that at long last caused the Warriors some problems. With the Warriors reduced to fourteen men for killing the ball on their own goal line, the Navy swept wide and Andy Vance (BRNC / HMS Albion) was rewarded with a well taken try in the corner. With the conversion missed the half ended with the Warriors holding a deserved 17-8 lead.
An early second half penalty by Lee extended the Warriors lead before the Navy produced its best period of pressure during the match. However, a combination of good defence from the Warriors and sloppy passing and accuracy in attack from the Navy prevented them from finding their way to the try line. A second penalty, this time from Dane Smallbone (HMS Collingwood), reduced the deficit to 20 -11 but was scant reward for this period of pressure.
What should have been a launch pad for an exciting final twenty, turned out to be the last hurrah from the men in blue. A third Lee penalty slightly against the run of play made it 23 - 11 with eighteen minutes still to go. What followed must have been most disappointing for the Navy supporters. The Navy side clearly had decided enough was enough, effectively ‘packed up their hammocks' and allowed the game to continue without them. Three Warrior tries were conceded far too easily and a chastening 42 - 11 defeat was the end result.
This result showed that there is still a long way to go if this Navy side is to recapture anything like the form it showed last season.
SLt A Vance (BRNC/HMS Albion), NA(SE) A Hunt (RNAS Yeovilton), Mne S Llewellyn (Cdo Log Regt RM), Mne Setareki Raumakita (42 Cdo RM), SLt S Lewis (RAF Shawbury), Cpl O Glastonbury (CTCRM), POET(WE) W John (HMS Liverpool), AB W Cairns (CFPS), AB(WS) R Roberts (HMS Bulwark), NA(AH) B Priddey (RNAS Culdrose), POAET J Court (HMS Westminster), PO P Mortensen (RNAS Yeovilton), Cpl D Chambers (30 Cdo IX RM), Mne K Morton (30 Cdo IX RM), Cpl T Lark (CTCRM).
Replacements: ET(WE) S Baker (HMS Chatham), ET(WE)(SM) I Cooper (HMS Ambush), SLt N Copeland (HMS Collingwood), AET G Jones (RNAS Yeovilton), J Clay (RNAS Yeovilton), POET(WE) D Smallbone (HMS Collingwood), ET(ME) J Marlin (HMS Chatham), Cpl C MacRae (CTCRM)