In spite storm Eunice, it was an exciting weekend of women’s rugby with a series of energetic clashes; and the odd wash out
With the play-offs fast approaching and only four games left for each team, the 14th round of the Allianz Premier 15s has once again tightened up the league table. Among the top seven teams points are getting closer and tensions are getting higher. Let’s take a closer look at what happened this very windy weekend in women’s rugby.
Wasps FC vs Bristol Bears
A lunchtime kick-off saw Giselle Mather’s Wasps host Pat Lam’s Bristol Bears at Twyford Avenue. The game looked to be an exciting clash between the two teams with an early try in the fourth minute from Wasps’ Maud Muir. This was soon answered by the Bears securing a lineout in Wasps’ 22 and allowing centre Phoebe Murray to crash over the try line. A conversion from Amber Reed then put the visitors just above with a score of 5-7. It was then, only ten minutes in, that all exciting action ground to a halt and the spectators, sunk knee-deep into the sodden grass, surely regretted their ticket. By the 80th minute, no further points had been scored and nothing had changed apart from Wasps slipping back into sixth place on the leaderboard.
Worcester Warriors vs DMP Durham Sharks
From a game of no tries to a game of many. Worcester Warriors welcomed bottom-of-the-table DMP Durham Sharks to the Sixways stadium which they share with the men. Although DMP have yet to win a match in the Allianz Premiership, anyone could see a much improved performance from the Northern side this week. A very tense first 30 minutes saw the underdogs almost match Worcester on points with two tries from Tamara Taylor and Sam Herrick. By half-time the home team were up 33-12 and they very quickly got up to 45-12 when play recommenced. But a try from Trudy Crowan in the 69th minute made the second half equally entertaining and left DMP with a lot to feel good about.
Loughborough Lightning vs Exeter Chiefs
This nail-biter of a game saw hosts Loughborough Lightning score a razor thin victory over Susie Appleby’s Exeter Chiefs. Live streamed on BBC sport, this match at Franklin Gardens was tough to watch as only small errors from each side led to scores. In the first half it looked as if the two sides were going to square up on points if not for a last-ditch try in the 40th minute from Fran Goldthorp, making the score 14-7. Then the visitors really started to step up, gaining two penalties and two tries by the 60th minute. It was only in the last ten minutes of the game that the Devon side seemed to fold under the pressure and allowed two tries from Loughborough’s Sadia Kabeya, ending with a midlands win.
Saracens vs Gloucester-Hartpury RFC
Storm Eunice was too much for this game as sadly Stonex Stadium became too unsafe to play in. The match has been postponed to an as yet undecided date.
Harlequins vs Sale Sharks
The only Sunday game was also live streamed and showed a resounding victory for Harlequins over Sale Sharks. Last year’s winners, headed up by Gerard Mullen, have now moved up to third on the table thanks to their bonus point win. The Manchester side got an unusual lead with a three-point penalty in the fifth minute, but this soon didn’t matter as Quins quickly answered with their first try. By halftime the hosts were 18 points ahead and they didn’t slow down. Substituting ex-hammer thrower Shaunagh Brown with Hannah Duffy proved to be a good decision as she secured their fifth try. The sixth and final try was scored in the 79th minute, finally ending this beating for Sale Sharks.