Royal Navy Young Players Show PromiseThe Navy's second game at the IDRC saw them take on a semi professional ACT Brumbies XV at T.G Millner Field in Eastwood, Sydney. A Brumbies team comprising of the best players from the premier 1st grade clubs in the Canberra area. The power and fitness of the ACT players was evident throughout the match and they were on the scoreboard as early as 7 minutes with a well constructed try. An early injury to ET (Ian) Cooper (HMS Astute) also hampered the RN as he was replaced after just 10 minutes. The Navy looked slightly shell-shocked as they had to cope with wave after wave of attack. The Brumbies found space in midfield and were allowed to get in behind the Navy defence on a regular basis and finish well, scoring a further 6 first half tries.
The second half started as the first ended with the Brumbies powering through to score under the posts 2 minutes after the restart. The Navy however never gave up and put together a 20 minute period of well constructed play confidently going through phase after phase showing good continuity and ball retention. ET (Jon) Marlin (HMS Drake) and NA (Ben) Priddey (RNAS Culdrose) broke the gain line on several occasions. However, the Brumbies defence was well drilled and quickly snuffed out any danger. A few wayward RN kicks resulted in good counter attack leading to further tries ending the game with a score line of 83 - 0.
The Navy certainly had a wake up call, with many of younger players have played against the calibre of the ACT Brumbies side which gave them a great experience. It was pleasing to see they never gave up and let their heads drop, they worked hard right up until the final whistle. Special mention must go to 21 year old prop ET (James) Parry (HMS Monmouth) and S/LT (Hugo) Mitchell-Heggs who never took a backwards step and also AET (Gareth) Jones (HMS Nelson) who's work rate was fantastic from start to finish.
The RN must now regroup before playing in the quarter final on Thu 13 Oct against the winner between the French Defence Force and the Samoa National Police.