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Navy victory in seven try stunner

10 March 2017
Spectators were treated to an exciting display of fast free flowing rugby last night when Glasgow Hawks hosted the Royal Navy Senior XV at Crow Road.

The Hawks took an early lead but the Navy came back strongly with three converted tries before Hawks got their further scores in the second half. It was the Navy side who went home with the win but an enjoyable night was had by all.

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.

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

Ash Coates, Navy Head Coach

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.

For two players it was a particular pleasure to be playing in Scotland.  Submariner, Matt Harvey, playing at lock, lives in Scotland so it was the chance for him to be back on familiar ground and replacement and Tom Hughes grew up in Scotland and learnt the game with the Helensburgh youth team.

The referee for the match, Commander Duncan McClement, was named Scottish Referee of the Year last year and works at the Clyde Naval Base.  

Dunx has risen through the ranks of the Royal Navy Referee Society and now holds the top role of Chairman. He has officiated at a number of Scottish Premiership matches in addition to his Royal Navy and UK Armed Forces commitments.

Kenneth Hamilton, Glasgow Hawks Director of Rugby said after the match, "We have enjoyed hosting the Royal Navy here in Glasgow and while we were not victorious, it was definitely an exciting match with seven tries scored and lots of money raised for charity.  We hope we can repeat the event before another ten years passes!"

Another familiar face on the side line was former Scotland team captain and Saracens player, Kelly Brown, who has been working with the Navy team in a coaching and advisory role.

He tweeted after the match, "Good to see a big crowd at the Glasgow Hawks v Royal Navy Rugby tonight. Thanks for the hospitality, it's great being back in Glasgow."

The 800 strong crowd went home happy after a fabulous display of rugby, and the match was a great reminder of the Royal Naval presence in Scotland, and the importance of Scotland's continued support to the success of naval operations.  

For further details and a full match report go to www.navyrugbyunion.co.uk.

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