BVI beat the Navy – Take down HMS Lancaster 20-0

staplesTwo tries from Matt Holmes saw the BVI Rugby XV to a comfortable if not convincing 20-0 victory over HMS Lancaster on the A.O. Shirley Ground last night, July 3, 2013 in front of a large crowd.

The BVI were not sure what to expect from the Navy team and had assembled a large squad with a mixture of their best players and some less experienced youngsters, but as it turned out the Hosts went into an early 5-0 lead with Ade Haffner finishing off a long period of possession by going over down the left hand side.

The Conversion attempt was missed and the expected floodgates failed to open as the BVI failed to get the ball out wide quickly enough to penetrate the visitor’s last line of defense.

Several promising moves came to nothing as players choose to run with the ball rather than make a more timely pass allowing the defense to recover.

The Sailors weren’t having as much luck up front though with only one spell of pressure in the first half that seriously threatened the BVI. Some scrambled kicking kept them at bay, but Lancaster kept the ball alive inside the BVI 22, edging closer and closer.

After a little “handbags” the visitors got to the BVI 10, but once again the danger was repelled and a quick break away saw the BVI stopped just short of another score.

The BVI Forwards kept probing looking for a gap in the defense and eventually the powerful Matt Holmes forced his way through and over to make it 10-0.

Again the conversion was missed.

5 minutes after the restart for the second half, Holmes made it 15-0 and with a nice cushion on the scoreboard the BVI finally put some free flowing moves together by utilizing the speed of Rory Thornton on the wing. He came close to scoring on two occasions, but was unable to find that final space.

The 4th and final score of the night, fittingly, came from Donovan Staples who went over in the left corner in the last few minutes of the game.

A 20-0 final score line was a comfortable if not dominating win and as a philosophical Coach Sherlock Solomon commented afterwards, they had really wanted more points on the board.

“Rugby is rugby and you never know what to expect until the game starts,” he said, “we were expecting a much tougher fight and also to score more points. Four tries for the whole game was a bit disappointing for us, but at the same time we gave some of the youngsters a run out, so had an inexperienced team.”

Captain Donovan Staples was also a little subdued with the result. “Basically we knew they would not be as fit as us,” he noted, “we tried to take it inside and then move the ball outside fast. But they stuck to their defense well and it was hard to break them down.”