Rugby League

Navy Lose In Challenge Cup First Round

The military side was beaten 42-12 by West Hull in Portsmouth.

It was disappointment for the Royal Navy in the Challenge Cup first round as they were beaten 42-12 by West Hull.

The Navy were the underdogs against the current Amateur Cup holders from Hull, but started well in Portsmouth.

A dominant performance throughout the game from the away side meant the Navy were out of the competition in the first round for the sixth consecutive year

It came as the RAF progressed to the second round, while the Army suffered an upset at the hands to Yorkshire minnows Bentley.

In Portsmouth, it was the Navy who took a shock lead after five minutes.

Former West Hull player Lennox Green played a part in the try when he found Josh Copeland with a good pass. He punted it back for Steve Riley, who went over for the first score of the game.

Green converted from the kick to give the Navy a 6-0 lead, but West Hull came back with five first-half tries.

The Navy were hoping to get through to the second round for the first time since 2013.

The first came with some quick passing on the front row. Jake Moore went over for the try and Ryan Wilson converted to level the scores.

From there, it was a West Hull onslaught. Bobby Tyson-Wilson scored two tries, both converted by Wilson, to give the away side a 12-point lead.

Jack Lazenby piled over for try number four before ex-Navy man Scott Partis got in on the scoring against his former team. He converted his own try to give West Hull a 30-6 lead at half-time.

There was a bit of hope for the Navy at the start of the second period. Mika Tunibunawa snuck over the line for a try, which was converted by Green but West Hull’s relentless running was too much for the Navy to handle.

Lazenby showed his speed on the left wing to stride through for another try while in the 60th minute, an altercation resulted in the away side losing a man.

It was Moore involved for West Hull and a brawl with the Navy’s Jon Clay resulted in a red card for the second row.

In the final ten minutes, West Hull ran in two more tries. Luke Moss and Jamie Leigh both went over to seal the 42-12 win for the away side, securing a place in the second round.

After the game, Navy captain Nathan Lane discussed how difficult it was for the military side.

He said: “There were a really tough team, but our own boys did us proud. We all enjoyed it. We haven’t played in months so it was good to get back out on the field and go up against a team that could improve us.

“We came out strong but they found our weakness and pounced on us.

"It was an arm-wrestle for the first ten minutes but they eventually just battered us.

“We have a lot of injuries and a lot of deployments, but that’s life in the Royal Navy. You have to take it on the chin and go out with what you have got."

For West Hull, Scott Partis put in a strong performance and enjoyed being back at a Navy rugby league event.

He said: “It’s obviously a team and a place that is near to my heart.

"To come back is sort of a swansong for me coming in the twilight of my career now.

"It was good for us to win our first game and it was good to see so many old faces.

For a full replay of Saturday's match, watch the video below: