Rugby Union

Army Move Closer To Inter Services Title After 13-Point Win Over Navy

The Navy's hopes of a fourth successive title were ended after a 37-24 loss to the Army.

The Army has kicked off its U23 Inter-Services Championship campaign with an impressive 37-24 victory over the Navy.

A win for the Navy would have guaranteed them the 2018 title, but the Army’s young players blustered away with a comfortable 13-point advantage at the final whistle.

With the win, the Army can confirm the Inter-Services title next week against the RAF while the Navy’s three-year stranglehold on the trophy has slipped away.

The first half started as a tight affair, but it was the Army who had the first score after ten minutes. A chipped pass by Aeron James unlocked the Navy defence allowing Phil Graham to race through for a well-taken try. James converted to make it 7-0.

However, the scores were level just minutes later. It was an attacking line-out that led to the try and the Navy worked the ball across the field nicely for the jinking run of Rudder.

Army Try
The Army were in control at the half-time whistle, with a commanding 20-7 lead.

The number 14 slipped away from a defender and laid it on a plate for Brad Janes to drive the ball over the line. It was well-worked and the converted kick by Jake Hanley meant the score was equal.

The Army had confidence and showed it when James burst through three Navy defenders with a show of impressive pace before slamming down for the try.

A James penalty was followed up quickly by another great chip and the play ended with Du Drauvaki going over for the try leaving the Army with a comfortable lead at half-time.

sin bin
The Army managed to stay in control despite losing two men to the sin bin in the first half.

After the break, it was more of the same for the Army who extended their lead further.

The play was camped in the Navy half and after some intense pressure, Joe Mills went just over the try line to earn the points. From the kick, James converted to open up a 20-point gap between the two sides.

The Navy kept coming back though and Janes scored a try to the right of the posts that was converted by Dan Rutter.

However, a lovely piece of play would give the Army the chance to pull further ahead again. It was a run from James created the opportunity and Scott Kilbey who went over for the try. James converted the kick to make it 34-12 in favour of the home side.

line out
The Navy's work on the training field was evident with their lineouts and they scored two tries from these positions.

Another well-worked attacking lineout meant Toby Papp went over for a Navy try, but a poor tackle in the defensive half meant the Army were given a penalty in a great position minutes later. Ethan Riley scored to make it 37-19 with just nine minutes to go.

The result was in sight for the Army, but they were given one more scare when the Navy pulled back another five points.

The score came from a now trademark attacking line out and after a long team push forward, it was Sam Skinner who went over for a converted try.

The Army ran out 37-24 winners and currently top the table ahead of their match against the RAF next week.