Britannia rules in naval rugby
In the recent naval round robin of rugby games played at Brickhill, home of Plymouth Abion, The Royal Navy defeated a feisty Royal New Zealand Navy Rugby team. Any New Zealand Team has many virtues of their national team the All Blacks, and this RNZN team was no different. For £5 we were entertained by some physical yet clean rugby. The Haka set the tone and created the atmosphere as an Atlantic mist swirled in. Their earlier despatch of the Royal Australian Navy augured well for the Kiwis.
The damp autumn evening did not produce conditions suited to open rugby and catching and handling the ball was difficult. Nevertheless the Royal Navy used their backline more effectively. On a number of occassions the ball was passed the length of the Royal Navy backline, a feat which the Royal New Zealand Navy were never abe to emulate. Two fine New Zealand wingers lingered on the touchline without being fed the ball. On occassions when they went looking for the ball they showed a hint of their potential.
The sides were evenly matched in skill and commitment in the pack but behind the scrum the Royal Navy backs always looked more dangerous. The Royal Navy scrum-half fed his backs accurate and lengthy spin passes as well as kicking his penalties and conversions with extreme accuracy. The Royal Navy centres always looked capable of breaking the gain line. In the end the Royal Navy ran out deserved winners in a game much inhibited by the weather
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