RN(W) DEFEATED BY STRONG MN(F) SIDE 48-3
On Wed 3 Apr at Burnaby Road, the RN(W) played the Marine Nationale Feminines for the annual "entente cordiale" trophy. The French team included 2 international players and so it was always going to be a difficult fixture for the RN(W). The first scrum of the game went to the RN(W), who then won a free kick. However, some fast hands and strong running by the French resulted in their first try of the game at 9 mins (0-7).
Some good MN(F) attacks were thwarted by a good RN(W) defence with effective tackles being made by Navy Captain, Lt (Charlotte) Fredrickson (COMUKTG) and LAC (Emily) Park (HMS Collingwood). Eventually, the MN(F) out flanked the Navy and scored a second try. From the restart, the RN(W) go on the attack and the MN(F) went down to 14 players.
The Navy pack worked hard around the fringes of the breakdowns and released the backs with Fredrickson and AB (Lauren) Morton (HMS Nelson) running some good lines. At 30 mins, LSC (Fiesha) Greene (HMS Illustrious) came on at 13 with Morton replacing Mid (Olivia) Critchley (DTUS Trojan Sqn) at scrum half. Greene made an immediate impact in both defence and attack. At half time, the score was RN(W) 0 - 19 MN(F).
During the halftime break, the RN(W) made a number of substitutions. Broadbere, Christie and Marlor were replaced by Kightley, Sadler and Alderson. From the restart, the MN(F) were strong in attack and only a last ditched RN(W) defence stopping the No 8 from scoring, however, shortly afterwards, the MN(F) went over for their 4th try.
The RN(W) fought back and worked their way up the pitch. Just in the French 22, the Navy were awarded a penalty and AB (Sam) Alderson (HMS Scott) stepped up to score (3-24). The RN(W) played some good open rugby with only the final passes not going to hand. Again, using the strength in their backs, the French scored another try. LPT (Andrea) Marshall (HMS Nelson) then replaced LT (Caroline) Oakes (854 NAS).
The RN(W) continued to play their style of rugby and maintained possession well. With a few minutes to go, LT (Katies) Ives (HMS Collingwood) came on for NA(AH) (Caroline) Penrose (RNAS Culdrose). At full time, the score was RN(W) 3 - 48 MN(F) - a score that did not do justice to the determination that the Navy Ladies showed throughout the game.
RN(W) Head Coach LT (Dominic) "Bali" Salisbury said "I am very proud of the way the girls played against a very good team that contained a number of French internationals. The RN Ladies played their style of game and maintained possession well. They constantly and continually took the ball to the French and were as committed in attack as they were brave in defence. Whilst there is more to do, they have worked hard in training and this is beginning to pay dividends on the pitch. Excellently led by Lt (Charlotte) Fredrickson, their morale, enthusiasm, conduct and team spirit are a credit to them both as individual players and as a team. All players gave everything they had for the whole game but I was particularly impressed by the performances of LAET (Pam) WIlliams, POCT (Zoe) Beer, AB (Stacey) Hargrave and LSAWT (Emma) Swinton."
The French Ladies nominated AB Lauren Morton as their Man of the Match.
The next game for the RN(W) is against the RAF(W) at RAF Halton on Wed 10 April (Kick off 1100).