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Composure gets the job done for the Senior Academy in Portsmouth

Composure gets the job done for the Senior Academy in Portsmouth

The Rampant Lions played the Navy U23s away on the 28th of October, and the opportunity of playing against the Navy in their base was too good for the Senior Academy to turn down.

The Rampant Lions played the Navy U23s away on the 28th of October, and the opportunity of playing against the Navy in their base was too good for the Senior Academy to turn down.

A squad of 26 players made their way down early for a 19:15 kick-off.
 
With a wet but firm pitch, Scottish capitalised in the sixth minute with fly-half Richy West adding the three points from a penalty. The next 15 minutes saw two tries not allowed but instead penalised for holding on. The composure and discipline were strong aspects in the first half to set up a good win for the academy.
 
The Rampant Lions applied a good amount of pressure in the first half and absorbed all pressure from the opposition to set up a try in the corner for Henry Toomer after great build up through some good carries, in particular from Young Lions player, Ross Ludlow, and also second-rower Josh Gain on the far touch line, before the ball was played across the width and behind the first line of attack by Richy West to centre Elliott Simmons with a long ball to winger Toomer.
 
With an 8-0 advantage the second half started with intent, running it out through full-back Toby Fricker setting up a ruck over half way but a choice to kick a good third phase ball took away the possible opportunity. However a penalty a few minutes later set up an attacking line-out for replacement second-rower Tristan Davies to score from a strong drive, which was converted by West.
 
The continuous pressure meant the opposition made mistakes which lead to frustration and eventually a yellow card to the Navy scrum-half 51 minutes in. Richy West slotted the penalty to take the score to 18-0.
 
A quick throw-in by replacement winger Rhys Warner to James Faulkner playing with a bit of width, setting up a ruck on the 22m through Fricker, followed by a quick play to second-rower Davies putting Hamish Coventry through a gap on an inside line to set up another quick ruck in the tramlines. Replacement scrum-half Tim Voice got the ball away quickly against the grain with West playing a rampaging forward in midfield to set up another quick ball for West to ship it to Manzon and then to Warner to step inside and score a great team try!
 
The team started to find more gaps running good lines keeping shape. Another try by Davies from a good line-out drive meant Scottish were leading 28-0 with 18 minutes to play.
 
Enterprising play and good numbers in shape created opportunities in the last few minutes and another counter attack from a returning kick saw Faulkner slicing through the Navy defence taking the attack to within the 22m. The quick ball and quick hands down the line gave Warner his second try of the night.
 
The last try was another great team effort and underlined the performance and composure on the night.  Luca Vettori finished the evening after Louis Manzon's final break and cheeky one-handed offload inside to make the final score 40-0 including the conversion by Calum Digby.
 
Man of the match – Gus O'Grady
 
Squad:
Forwards – Sam Nixon (Capt.), Louis Keen, Bradley Ogundolunwa, Jake Ashton, Brandon Babalola and Ross Ludlow (both Young Lions), Henry Blake, Tristan Davies, Hamish Coventry, Josh Gain, Gus O'Grady
 
Backs – Mikey McDonald, Jonathan Price, Richy West, Daley Aremu, Alex Crisp, Toby Fricker, Elliot Simmons, Louis Manzon, Henry Toomer, Rhys Warner, Tim Voice, James Faulkner, Calum Digby, Calum Steel, Luca Vettori 
 

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