Seven try thriller
Victory goes to the Navy
Victory for the Visitors at Glasgow
Ten years on from the 2007 memorial match to celebrate the life of Royal Marine Craig Hodgkinson the Royal Navy Rugby Union Senior XV travelled north to take on the Glasgow Hawks at the old Anniesland ground at the High School of Glasgow in a charity fundraiser. Playing in front of a full house, the Navy team were keen to prove their credentials and give the spectators an evening of great rugby. This they did, with the final score Glasgow Hawks 17 - RN Senior XV 28.
Navy Head Coach, Ash Coates said "We are delighted to play here this evening, to mark the anniversary of the memorial match for Craig and to raise money for the Craig Hodgkinson Trust. It is also great preparation for us as we look to defend our Inter Service Rugby title against the Royal Air Force and the Army in April."
Rear Admiral John Weale OBE, Flag Officer Scotland and Northern Ireland, hosted a reception before the match, reaffirming the Royal Navy's commitment to Scotland, and taking the opportunity to thank the local community for their continued support.
It was a crisp, clear evening and both sides were out to play free flowing rugby. The crowd packed into the stand and were very supportive of the players, giving them plenty of encouragement, and this support was rewarded with an action packed 80 minutes. Much to delight of the home crowd it was the Hawks who put the first points on the board, after sustained pressure and some good straight running lines space was created for the outside centre to cross the line. The conversion hit the posts and Hawks took a five point lead. The visitors responded quickly, and from a line out at their 22, the ball was passed out wide for the Navy to level the score, 5 - 5, and a successful conversion saw them take a narrow lead 5 - 7. Another try soon followed, with a fantastic line run by Cadywould, converted by Humphrey?, to extend the lead 5 - 14.
But it wasn't all going the Navy's way; losing 3 line outs in a row. Hawks had an attacking scrum from a promising position but the ball was knocked on, and before they knew what was going on, inside centre Myers scored a break away try. Showing his form, Humphrey kicked his third conversion of the night to take the Navy into the break with a convincing lead 5 - 21.
At the start of the second half the Navy were dominating both possession and territory but the home side began to show their mettle. Starting to play their own style of rugby, sustained pressure resulted in a second try of the night for the Hawks, closing the gap 10 - 21. Heartened by the score, Glasgow got possession again and found themselves camped deep in the RN half. The Navy defence responded well, working hard to deny the Hawks another score, but the pressure eventually became too much with the team in blue penalised at the break down. A quick tap from Glasgow led to their third try, which was successfully converted bringing Hawks right back into the game 17 - 21.
From the restart the ball was won by the Navy and Glasgow, too keen to come up, left a large gap which was exploited by Navy replacement No 21, Rhys Dimmock-Williams? The kick was straight and the scoreboard showed 17 -28 with 15 minutes left to play.
More exciting play followed from both teams, with some lovely offloads and strong support play but neither team was able to make the decisive break. As the final whistle blew, the score remained 17 - 28, with seven tries scored, the crowd were satisfied with the a great evening's entertainment, and an impressive £xxxx was raised, to be split between the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity and the Craig Hodgkinson Trust.
Navy Team List: Mason (c), Evans, Robinson, Pascoe, Harvey, Trehan, Taylor, Fox, Moore, Cadywould, Bowden, Myers, Raumakita, Welling, Humphrey Replacements: Hughes, owen, Jones, Mason, Cooper, Dimmock-Williams, Basher, Davies.
Hawks Team List:
Officials: Referee Duncan McClement, Assistant Referees Matt Duncan and Michael Todd.
Images Crown Copyright 2017 LPhot Burke