Home and Away

Navy’s first game of the season (away) to Oxford University was moved, due to snow, from Ifley Rd, Oxford, to Burnaby Rd. In cold, wet and blustery conditions both sides contributed to a most entertaining game of rugby.

Right from the outside both Oxford University and the Royal Navy had obviously decided to defy the conditions and seek to play with ball in hand.  And despite a high number of unforced errors as a result of the conditions they produced a most enjoyable game of rugby that was in the balance throughout the night.  Though Oxford University were probably deserving of their 21-14 win, Navy DoR Andy Kellett will have been pleased with much of what he saw.

Oxford University opened the scoring through a well taken try by outside centre Henry Lamont, converted by Charlie Marr.  It was fair reward for the continuity they had maintained as the probed the Navy’s defences.  However it was to be short lived.

Dale Sleeman opened the scoring for the Navy with a try from short range. This was after the Navy forwards had been camped on the University line for a considerable period of time.
Seti Raumakita, the Navy’s open side, had to do a lot more work in the tight than he is used to. However his tackling was as ferocious as ever and his work rate never dropped.

The Navy’s second try followed shortly after and was effective if not necessarily graceful.  Pressured defence forced the error from the Oxford handling and hooker Chris McCardle seized on the loose ball and fly hacked through.  Though he was out paced in the chase to the goal line he exerted enough pressure to ensure that Sam Davies could get up in support and his kick ahead and chase gave him a try on his Senior XV debut.

Sam Davies celebrates his try on his Senior XV debut.

As ever Dave Pascoe was reliable and accurate with his kicks and the Navy reached half time with a 14-7 lead.

Dave Pascoe was two from two for the evening.

Oxford University started the second half the more brightly of the two teams and they had soon levelled the scores through a try by number 8 Fraser Heathcote which was also converted.

The game was now finely balanced when ill discipline cost the home side severely.

Marsh Cormack took exception to this throat tackle and his retaliation earned him a yellow card.

With the Navy down to fourteen men there were a few more gaps in the defence and Oxford University’s live wire scrum half, Sam Egerton, was able to scoot over for their third try, also converted to make the score 21-14.

Navy lock Marsh Cormack had an interesting evening with the referee. Sometimes it was all sweetness and light………………
whilst at others he felt he needed to get his message across. The referee won the skirmish by one yellow card to nil!

Though a loss the Navy will have benefitted from this first outing and it was good to see some of the younger players making their mark.

Josh Terry as replacement prop.
Josh Jones was neat and tidy at fly half
Tom Holiday worked hard when he came on for the last twenty.
and for Sam Davies both the joy of a try and the reality of stronger defences on his debut.


And finally. Though by no means a youngster, Sumo Thompson made the most of his opportunity and came in to the game more and more as it progressed

No doubt the Navy will have learnt much from this outing and will be looking to take a step forward next Wednesday when they are away to Esher.

Replacement centre B Buinimasi rolled back the years and was effective and very industrious when he came on.

 And Finally

A spy at the game. Army Rugby Union Secretary, Chris Fowke, was running touch and had one of those Oh f*ck moments as Navy wing Loz Blackburn sees some space ahead. Fortunately Chris’ legs did not let the reputation of the Sappers down.

One Response

  1. John Walton
    | Reply

    A very good start to the season for the RN senior team.
    With the training camp producing many positives this should be a good season, particularly if they can curb the silly and unnecessary indiscipline.
    A good article and a fair reflection of the game.

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