Army RL v Royal Navy RL 17/09/08 - match reports


Rugby Stadium Aldershot 17 September 08

Army 18 : 40 Royal Navy

The RN senior team joined the competition this year in many peoples eyes as underdogs following the departure and non availability of players, however with seven new caps in the side and a new air of confidence the 'Brothers' took the field and produced arguably their best ever Inter Services performance.

The only scores in the first quarter of the game were the exchanging of penalties notably RN Full back Dane Smallbone’s 35 metre effort from out wide to even up the scores at 4 apiece. The cycle of penalties was broken on the 20 minute mark when a strong Navy attack brought them within sight of the line, electing to run the power play debut centre Tom Boyce beat the Army cover to score the try, another great kick from Smallbone pushed the RN out by six points and the Army never got closer than that throughout the game. The RN now began to dominate both in attack and defence and following another penalty conversion Jim Barnes took on the Army defence again on the last tackle and with the same result, another try. Dane Smallbone, in imperious form with the boot, and put over another fine conversion to move the RN out to 18-4. The Army responded though and after 35 minutes slick handling on the Army left allowed centre Mosese Matau to run at the RN defence, switching inside he found a gap and touched down, Lee Innes converting, 18-10 and that is how the first half ended.

The second half was a joy to watch if you were a Navy supporter within five minutes of the restart the RN were on the offensive again, good approach play through centre field brought the RN to the Army line and Jim Barnes used his strength to crash over for another four pointer, another fine Smallbone conversion stretched the RN out to a 24:10 lead. Despite being pegged back and outplayed in the forwards the Army gave another reminder that they were not finished with a great try scored out wide, however the score was not conveted so the soldiers trailed by 10. Dane Smallbone kept the scoreboard ticking over taking advantage of a tiring Army’s indiscretions restoring the 14 point lead as the game entered the final quarter. Once again the Army struck back though with an unconverted try for Max Vave. With the score now at 28:18 and the game entering the last ten minutes the RN played some quite wonderful football, veteran stand off Steve Lockton putting in a series of neat chip kicks one of which centre, James Wagstaffe latched onto dashing through to take the ball from under the noses of the Army Defence. Debutant Alex Scruton took over kicking duties from the injured Smallbone and showing no nerves at all calmly slotted over a 30 metre conversion to stretch the visitors lead once more. The last word went quite rightly to the RN pack in the shape of Man of the Match, blind side prop and Vice Captain Lewis Taylor. Taking the ball at pace 10 metres from the Army line there was little chance of him being stopped rounding off a great personal performance he crossed under the posts to give Scruton another conversion chance which he struck well to end the RN scoring, final score RN 40 Army 18.

This result and the manner in which it was achieved marked a new start for RNRL with all of the debutants making their mark adding to the efforts of the more senior members of the squad. Led by Skipper Jamie Goss the RN team looked confident across the field defending well when required as well as producing some fantastic skilful Rugby league when the situation allowed.

RN:- Dane Smallbone, James Wagstaffe, Jim Barnes, Tom Boyce*,Pete Howe*, Steve Lockton, Kev Botwood, Jamie Goss (C), Mark Robinson*, Lewis Taylor (V), Gareth Cadmore*, Dave Gee, Danny Johnson, Alex Scruton*, Lee Hunter*, Andrew Dennis*, Craig Sutton*.
* Denotes New Caps

Scorers ; T- Boyce, Barnes(2), Wagstaffe, Taylor.
G- Smallbone 3 Conv 5 Pens
Scruton 2 Conv.

Army Ladies 52 : 0 Royal Navy Ladies

A little bit of RN Sporting history was made in the second match of the day as a full RN Ladies side took to the pitch for the first time in the Inter Services Series. Less than a year old the RNLRLA have come along way in a short while but they were facing the most experienced and oldest of the other Service teams so it was always going to be a difficult test for the RN squad. A total of 20 players had managed to make it to the match a testament indeed to the attraction of the sport. Unfortunately the Army side proved too strong for the RN and perhaps predictably won the match quite convincingly. Credit must go to the RN Ladies who battled on valiantly to the final whistle and despite the score line remained upbeat throughout which bodes well for their second match against the RAF next week. A score would have been a great way of recognising the hard work put in by the girls themselves as well as Coaches Darren West and Gavin Daniels and Team Manger Russell Nash however it was not to be but despite the score line the 'Wrenegades' were beaten but not defeated.

Inaugural RN Inter Services Ladies Team :- Lou Clarke, Emma Swinton, Leanne Green, Sara Collen, Sam Alderson, Jade Whitby, Nat Phillips, Sarah Simms, Rachel Mifsud, Pam Williams, Lou Graham, Emily Atkins, Fiesha Green, Tegwyn Leadbetter, Laura Kennedy, Kate Parkman, Erica Attwood

Army ‘U23’ 22 v Royal Navy ‘U23’ 22

The first match on the days programme was the Academy match with the RN side being ‘under new management’ with James Arnold coaching and Howard Cooper managing the team. As with the Senior squad there were plenty of new faces in the starting 17 alongside a lot of players with proven records within RNRL. The game got off to a fairly quiet start giving no clues as to the dramas that would unfold over the next 90 minutes or so. The RN took the lead after 10 minutes with a fine hookers try from Johnny Platt, the try converted by McCoy Turner. The first major incident of the match saw the RN reduced to 12 men for the rest of the match following an off the ball incident. This broke the RN composure and in the next set the Army scored to level the scores. A Turner penalty restored the Navy’s slender advantage and as the half time whistle drew close the RN went even further ahead with another try for Johnny Platt this time Turner was just off with the conversion. The Army did strike back almost at the half time whistle with their right wing making a clean break touching down close to the posts making the kick easy, squaring up the scores at the break.

The second half saw the Army take the initiative with a second try for their left centre again not converted. Four minutes later though the RN were on terms again with a fine try for the RM rep in the starting line up and with the conversion adding the extras the RN had their noses in front by two. The Army then suffered their first permanent reduction in players as a red card was shown for repeated dangerous play. With both teams now level in player numbers the RN began to make inroads into the Army ranks and after a couple of close calls right wing Aaron Hansen raced over from close range after some great build up play. Agonisingly McCoy Turners conversion attempt hit the post and bounced out so the score was now 22:16 in favour of the RN. The last few minutes of the match were quite frantic with the Army losing another player to a red card for verbally abusing the Referee but again the RN allowed the Army a lifeline which ended with a try being awarded on the Army right wing despite RN protestations that the there was no control of the ball at the touchdown. Not withstanding that the conversion attempt would be the last play of the match, Army skipper Gray composed himself sufficiently to land the difficult conversion rounding off a thoroughly entertaining if somewhat bizarre match which was great entertainment but was nightmare for the respective coaches and heartbreaking for the RN side. The man of the match award was presented to RN No 8 Ben Cartwright who ran at and through the Army defence all afternoon thoroughly deserving his award.

RN;- Tim Vondonaravalu, Alex Watts, Ben Nicholson, Mikey Graham, Aaron Hansen, McCoy Turner, ‘Buck’ Taylor, Ben Cartwright, Johnny Platt, Richard Sharpe (C) Rob Lakin, ‘Jonah’ Jones Ryan Hayward, Glen Bilton, Val Veresa, Dan, Chris Thomson.

Scorers:- T Johnny Platt (2) Dan! And Aaron Hansen
G McCoy Turner 2 Conv, 1 Pen

The Final instalment of the 2008 Championship takes place this friday (26th) at Burnaby Road Stadium, Portsmouth, when the RAF come to town.

So if your not going weekenders get across to the Stadium and support your teams!
u23's KO 15.00, Women KO 1700, 1st team KO 19.30. Entrance is free.


good result for us there, hope to see another W on the board after fridays fixtures.

roll on january when I get out of basic.....


War Hero
Good stuff all round and well done to them all.

Young Dane's father (Chopper) works here at Collingwood with me and he was a decent player in his day also and good to see his son is carrying on the tradition.


War Hero
I'm glad that RL has been accepted as a sport now, I remember the carry on having to go to my DO & the club swingers getting the same abuse every week when I had to ask permission to play amateur RL at the weekend.



Great match report, thank you. It really does show how far RNRL have come over the years to be in the position they find themselves going in to Friday's fixture. I just hope they are more clinical and focussed going into Friday's game, as we threw it away last year.

For the record they have a number of 'senior' players who have left the service this year or are deployed overseas and they have still turned the Army over at Aldershot and given themselves the opportunity to lift the IS trophy in Portsmouth for the first time. No easy task.

There have been some great players Izzy Gay, Whisky Walker, Marv Johnson, Andy Steele, Chappy, Locko, Sandy, Heppy, Jordan, Bevs.... the list is endless (scotty I know you come on here so you are not in that list for a reason!) but there are also a lot of people who put in a hell of a lot of effort that is sometimes forgotten, as a player it can be easy to forget the hard work of a few special people over the years. So on behalf of the players who will have enough on their minds: Perry, Wayne, Gareth, Aussie Mal, Joyce 'show us your [email protected]' Evans, Knocker White, Nick Stenhouse, Nolan Chapman and all the others I haven't mentioned, I hope you all can pause for a minute on Friday and realise how much it means to the players what you do for them. When you do say Thank you to yourselves on behalf of everyone involved with RNRL and everyone who follows Service Rugby League.

Good luck lads, Kia Kaha


Re: Royal Navy RL v RAF RL 26/09/08 - match reports

Well I am really happy to report that the Babcock I/S Champions for 2008 are the ROYAL NAVY!!! After another heart stopping game, superior fitness, composure and savvy came to the fore. At Half time it was 4 each, final score 20 : 4.

It was also satisfying to see the U23's and the Women achieving home wins tonight.

I will post the full match report once done.

Scotty P, keep in touch all the best for the future been a pleasure knowing you.

Tiffy, the feeling is mutual. It has been a long hard 10 years + since Wayno was told "over my dead body", we like you do it for the love of "The Greatest Game" and days like today.

One last thing to achieve this year, winning the Military Rugby League World Cup in November. i will post the selected squad early next week.