Rugby Union

Royal Navy Record Another Win Before Twickenham Test

The senior service beat Richmond Vikings 22-12.

The Royal Navy men's rugby union side have recorded another win in their preparation for the Army-Navy showdown at Twickenham.

The senior service beat Richmond Vikings 22-12, following up a 25-10 victory over defending champions the Royal Air Force at the Stoop.

It was a cagey start with handling errors on both sides, preventing any real momentum early on.

Ten minutes in, a navy lineout broke the deadlock - Declan Johnson went up the middle, fed out to Pat Coy and into the hands of Ben Chambers for the try.

Nathan Huntley followed up with the conversion, and five minutes later the fly-half added more to the tally, collecting a loose ball and cantering in from 65 metres.

Huntley makes another conversion.
Huntley makes another conversion.

The first half was littered with mistakes, and although Richmond had more territory, it was the Navy who were keeping the scoreboard ticking over.

Chambers scored again just before the break - largely thanks to his opposite wing Troy Gobey, who cut through the field to feed the number 11. 

Two out of three had been converted by Huntley and the visitors were ahead 19 points to nothing at half time.

After the game, Able Seaman Brad Janes explained how the team is preparing to face the Army.

The home team came back out with their tails up and within five minutes, some strong running by the centres created space for a touchdown in the left corner.

That rattled the Navy, deciding to kick for points after being awarded a penalty.

Then, turning the Navy over, the Vikings scored again - quick hands on the run put them in under the posts.

Richmond test the Navy's defence.

In the end, the Navy held their opponents off to win 22-12, but weaknesses were exposed. 

They will take heart from the dedication shown by the entire squad, but if they are to achieve their first win at Twickenham since 2010, they will need to be at their very best on 4 May.

Speaking after the match, Navy player Able Seaman Brad Janes said: "The win at the Stoop was massive for the team, I think we haven't beaten the RAF in three years so it was a great result.

"But I think the important thing is not to get too far ahead of ourselves.

"It's a great win, we'll celebrate it, but stay level-headed because we've still got a job to do at Twickenham on 4 May.

"We've been working really hard, off the pitch, in the gym, also conditioning on the pitch.

"The fitness is there, the work rate is definitely there - like I say it's just a really good feeling, I mean everyone wants to play for each other, it's just a really good buzz, especially after that win at the Stoop as well."

"Everyone's just buzzing, there's a really good unity within the squad and we're just looking forward just like playing with each other."