From the outset it was going to be a long day for the home side based on size alone with many juggernauts in the Army side and so it proved to be. The Soldiers were on the board after barely 3 minutes, giant Winger Bainivalumailepanoni (Bai) crossed out on the Army right to open the scoring and the try was converted by Ben O’Connell who had a great 80 minutes both with the boot and in open play. It was more of the same after 12 minutes with another converted Army try almost a point a minute! The match did settle down after the opening flurry of points with the home side getting to grips with the game and mounting some meaningful pressure on the Soldiers defence. This pressure told after 20 minutes, hooker Alex Lewis completing a good RN move, barging over the line taking three defenders with him. A good conversion by Mason Tyler -Holland and the RN were back in the game. The nightmare scenario then happened; the ball being spilt directly from the Army restart giving them scrum possession on the RN 20 mtr line. Almost inevitably the visitors crossed again on the right although the conversion was not made 6-16. The conceding of more points and the inability to play t a more expansive game was frustrating the RN and this frustration boiled over with a scuffle in front of the RN dug out, this resulted in the RN being reduced to 12 on the pitch for 10 whilst one of the water carriers was sent off for getting involved from the touchline. From the resulting penalty Nagelevuki crossed again for the Army converted by O’Connell to push the score out to 6:22. The final scoring of the match was another try for ‘Bai’ out on the right giving his side a 6:26 lead at the break. The second half was far better for the home side, getting to grips with the Army attack and trying to open play up kept the Army at bay for long periods of the half but once again in this game it was size that mattered, a further 3 trys and one conversion in the half for the Army sealed a weighty victory for the men in Red, Man of the match No 7 Ben O’Connell.
A disappointing result for Coach Chris Reeves but his team which featured a host of new faces gave their best on the day with the trip up to West Yorkshire to face the RAF on the 20th September to look forward to.
Mason Tyler-Holland, Fergus Donaldson, Adam Hinton, Kieran Hart, Lloyd Williamson, Callum Cone, John Clay, Callum Simpson, Alex Lewis, Alastair McGoldrick, Barry McLean, Matty Couzens, Brodie Lee-Butler, Joe Long, Ellis James Greenway, Chris Rees-Lloyd, Nathaniel Neal, Appi Daunibau
Mike Harrison, Bainivalumailepanoni, Josh Raqio, Don De-Jong, Liam McNamee, Semi Nagelevuki, Ben O’Connell, Dan Pickles, Scott Bradley, Rob Bonehill, Shaun Bonehill, Dan Reeves, Korosaya, Paul Tapira, Ash Horner, Dan Lewis, Vosanibole