Rugby Union

Royal Navy and RAF men's opening Inter Services fixture ends in rare draw

Watch: The Royal Navy and the RAF battle it out at the Inter Services opener in Plymouth.

The opening match of the men's Rugby Union Inter Services has ended in a rare draw between the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force in Plymouth. 

A try each by the Navy's Craig Duncan and the RAF's Chris Williams, as well as two converted penalty kicks on both sides, saw the dark blues and the light blues evenly matched with the final score ending at 13-13.

The game ended with the RAF's Isaac Norton being named the Elliot Brown Player of the Match.

The Navy was awarded a penalty kick early in the game with Jake Hanley on hand to convert it into a three-point lead, which later turned into a six-point lead as the Navy were awarded another penalty kick. 

The Navy were in control of the game in the first half with brilliant scrums and great defence, as the Navy's Sam Matavesi came close to the try line several times, but not able to get over the touchline due to a stable RAF defence. 

In wet and slippery conditions, due to heavy rain during the women's game earlier in the day, players on both sides will have been frustrated by not being able to play as quickly as they would perhaps have liked. 

As half time approached a strong carry from Jay Toogood and Rhys Williams allowed Craig Duncan to snatch a try just before the whistle.

The RAF were awarded a penalty kick during stoppage time, successfully taken by the RAF's Mark Williams to finally get the light blues on the scoreboard, which sat at 13-3 at half time. 

The beginning of the second half saw the RAF once again awarded a penalty and electing to kick, with Mark Williams once again converting to bring the RAF closer to the Navy at 13-6.

The Navy found themselves more on the defensive in the second half as the light blues began to push harder.

The RAF took advantage of the turn in tables as Chris Williams caught the Navy napping and sprinted to the try line to get the RAF's first try of the game, later converted by Mark Williams to level the scoreboard at 13-13. 

The Navy began to turn it back up in the closing stages of the game and were awarded a penalty. 

Jordan Gott elected to kick for what could've been three extra points, but the ball was just short of getting through the goalpost.

The Navy began to look dangerous towards the end but the final whistle saw an end to an exciting match resulting in a rare draw at 13-13, which may leave the Navy a little disappointed by not taking an outright win on the Inter Services opener. 

The RAF, who were on the back foot for most of the game, will be delighted to have made up the deficit to avoid an outright defeat.

The RAF will travel to Gloucester to face the Army on 15 April, and the Navy will have to wait until 13 May to face the Army at Twickenham Stadium. 

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