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Royal Navy - Marine Nationale Rugby success

22 March 2019
The Royal Navy played their annual games against their French counterparts in Plymouth, looking to end a 5 year wait for a win for the Men’s side.

The Band of the Royal Marines stepped out onto the Plymouth Albion’s Brickfields ground before the evening fixture, but the Royal Navy hoped it be another step towards their march to inter-services glory.

They started well against the Marine Nationale in what was to be an epic encounter, scoring an early penalty to steady any pre-match nerves.

This was followed by a second from the boot of scrum half AB Gareth Rees to put them in the driving seat.

The Royal Navy’s supremacy continued in the second half

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But the French came back with their own kicker putting the ball between the sticks, in what was to be the only French points of the night.

From here though the RN team pushed on with two quick tries before the whistle put them 18 – 3 to the better and a half time lead.

The Royal Navy’s supremacy continued in the second half and Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose’s and Cornish Pirate’s AB Sam Matavsei went on a determined run which brought about his second try of the evening.

From then on, it was all about the blue team racking up the points ahead of the Inter-services competition with the Royal Navy Men sending a strong message to their rivals.

The final Royal Navy try of the night came from HMS Sultan’s Air Engineer Technician Gregg Loydall, taking the score to an impressive 47-3 and wild celebrations in the Royal Navy ranks.

Earlier in the day the Royal Navy Women’s XV took on their French Navy equals at HMS Drake and although losing the opening rubber of the day, played well.

The final score of 3 – 25 was no way an indication of the effort and determination of the Royal Navy.

Despite the unflattering score line, the French had to work hard to break down a spirited defence and solid formation, which reflected a good team for the future.

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