Royal Navy turn on the style to overcome Devon at Rectory


THE Royal Navy turned on the style in the second half to beat a makeshift Devon side 57-10 at The Rectory on Wednesday night.

There was little to separate the teams in the first period, with Devon having more than their fair share of territory, particularly in the opening 30 minutes.

Sili Buinimasi had given the Navy a 7-0 lead, but Devon, with a team made up of players turning out at level seven or below, hit back with a try by Teignmouth winger Henry Raby.

After that score, Devon had plenty of possession and their pressure led to the Navy having Toots Vakalutlaki sin-binned.

But the county side could not turn that pressure into points and on 32 minutes the Navy scored a second try from a catch-and-drive move courtesy of Harry Collins. Like with their first touch-down, fly-half Josh Jones converted.

The Navy added a third try through Darren Bamford before Devonport Services’ player-coach Jamie Shone intercepted a Navy pass to run in and score for Devon on the stroke of half-time.

But in the second period there was only one side in it. David Fairbrother showed his power to add a fourth Navy try five minutes after the break, which Jones again converted.

Then Roko Kurusass went over in the left corner for a fifth.

The game, which pulled in a decent-sized crowd at The Rectory, was then held up for more than 10 minutes due to an injury to Withycombe’s Chris Gibbons. There was some concern about the player, but in the end he did not need to go to hospital.

The break did not help Devon and the Navy, who brought on a number of experienced replacements, scored four tries in the final 15 minutes courtesy of replacement Jon Marlin (2), Ben Priddy and Tom Davies.

The Navy begin their Inter-Service Championship campaign next Wednesday when they play the RAF.

Devon, meanwhile, are expected to be a lot stronger when they take on Cornwall in the Tamar Cup on April 28 at Brickfields and then begin their County Championship campaign on May 9. On Wednesday they did not have any players from Taunton, Exmouth, Newton Abbot and Brixham, who are expected to form the bulk of the squad.

Devon: James Atkins (Tiverton), Henry Raby (Teignmouth), Josh Barrett (Cullompton), Matt Hilton (Exeter Saracens), Jamie Shone (Devonport Services), James Wood (Teignmouth), Luke Kenny (Devonport Services), Chris Grant (Cullompton), Pete Parsons (Teignmouth), Marcus Roberts (Cullompton), Matt Gregory (Devonport Services), Matt Hauge (Teignmouth), Luke Pattison (Teignmouth), Rob Parsons (Teignmouth), Mike Richards (Withycombe). Reps: Dan Reed (Tiverton), Steve Smith, Dan Force, Will Sowden (all Teignmouth), Chris Gibbons (Withycombe), Andy Pond (Devonport Services), Josh Rice (Honiton), Ben Croft (Exeter Saracens), Aaron Conway (Cullompton)


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