Rugby Union

First Navy Win Over French Counterparts For Five Years

In their annual fixture held in Plymouth, the boys in blue were convincing victors.

The Royal Navy have beaten the French Marine Nationale for the first time in five years.

In Plymouth, the boys in blue ran out comfortable winners by a 47-3 scoreline.

The game is considered to be a regular curtain-raiser ahead of the Inter Services Championships, but the British side had failed to win since 2014.

Earlier in the day, the Navy women's side were on the receiving end of a 25-3 loss but the men got some revenge with an inspired performance at Brickfields.

They started the game well and scored the first points within ten minutes. Gareth Rees' penalty was from a long way out, but he kept his cool and converted the kick.

Another penalty from Rees from a much closer distance had the Navy 6-0 ahead, but Sacha Yahi reduced the score in half with a French conversion.

The game received some spice mid-way through the second half. Frederick Peckre’s clothesline-type tackle completely levelled the Navy’s Ben Priddey and meant the Frenchman had to take ten minutes in the sin bin.

Navy Celebrations Over French Nationale 22032019 Credit Royal Navy.jpg
The Navy are now looking to the Inter Services Championships (Picture: Royal Navy).

The Navy took full advantage and ran in two tries before half-time. Rees sprinted away from the flagging French defence to score the first and Sam Matevesi added more points with a well-taken try.

It meant the Navy were in full control at the interval leading 18-3.

The second half continued to be one-way traffic. Matevesi showed great determination to run the length of a half for a great converted try while minutes later, Priddey’s good interception sent Mitchell Spencer away for more Navy celebrations.

Eldon Myers scored the try of the night. He picked up the ball in his own half, but with some quick feet and agile turning, he sprinted through the French defence to score.

It meant the Navy had a 37-point lead, but the scoring was not quite done.

Greg Loydall ran in the final try of the night by taking advantage of a tired French defence, and the convincing win is a message to the Navy’s Inter Services rivals.