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Army Senior Women Head Coach, WO2 Sarah Mitchelson (RLC), says that the 67-5 scoreline did not reflect the competitiveness of Saturday’s Army Navy clash at Twickenham.

There may have been 11 tries scored by the red shirts, but there was also a telling statistic on the hour shown by BFBS, which indicated a 51/49% split in possession in favour of the Army.

WO2 Mitchelson acknowledged that narrowness on the stats front as being a reflection that the Army did not have everything go their way during the game.

“Yes, it was competitive,” she commented. “It wasn’t our best performance, especially the first half, and it was a physical, good game. You have to pay credit to the Navy for that, you can see they’ve got a lot of structure in place and their processes, and they stuck to it throughout the game as well. They defended really well.

“Our tries in the first half were solo efforts, so it was nice to see in the second half we started to put our processes into place. We did score some individual tries, but it’s because of the work we did to create that space.”

Four of those tries came from Bdr Bethan Dainton (RA), who also took home the Player of the Match award, and WO2 Mitchelson was quick to praise the back rower’s contributions on and off the field.

“Everyone needs a Bethan in their team! Not just because of her skill, but her professionalism that her and Jade bring on and off the pitch. They’re also great people to be around. They support and encourage the other players all the way through, and a lot of the players wouldn’t be performing the way they did today without that.”

The win earned the Army their second successive Inter Service Championship title since the return after the pandemic lockdowns, but WO2 Mitchelson is looking for the group to improve still further ahead of 2023/24.

“This is a building block for next season,” she added. “It’s only year one for me, so hopefully I can build further. Hopefully we can start earlier next season, get some more competitive games under our belt, and put some performances together.”

Words © New Dogs, Old Tricks

Images – Alligin Photography © Army v Navy Match