With both EULRFC and Broughton topping their respective league tables and being unbeaten so far this season, Sunday’s Sarah Beaney Cup game was to be a hotly contested one. And it did not disappoint.
The squad was a lovely blend of experienced 1st XV players and ever improving 2nd XV players. Our resident rowing converts Naomi Rogers and Julia Guerrero have taken to rugby like ducks to water and made their debut for the 1s after impressive performances in the last few weeks.
The game kicked off with Rebecca Youngs receiving the kickoff in majestic fashion, catching the ball in outstretched hands above her head, surprising not only the sidelines but herself! Uni knocked on a few phases later giving Broughton their first possession which they used wisely. A slipped tackle or two followed by an impressive chip and chase by Broughton 10 gave them the first try of the game. 5-0 Broughton.
Uni, undeterred, collected their own kick-off which set Rhona off on a mazing run, beating 7 defenders before being taken down. Quick thinking from our Dutch import Dido set up Rachel Harvard for her first try of the game, narrowly missing her own conversion. Fast forward less than a minute and Rachel is over for try number 2!
From there both teams settled into the game, possession changing hands multiple times and some good physical battles at the breakdown. It was 13 minutes into the game before the first scrum, testament to the quality of fast, flowing rugby being played. Good awareness from Stevie followed by hard running by Ciorstaidh and silky hands from the backline set Rhona up for her 1st try of the game. Converted by Dougs (despite doubts of front-row kicking abilities from physio Steven on the sidelines!). 17-5 uni.
A barn-storming run from workhorse Nic Howat gained the uni a solid 30m ground up the paddock. A switch of play saw Harvard over for her hat-trick! Off the following kick-off Dougs was up to her old tricks with a chip and chase, uni collect and retain possession. Some hard, mauling yards by the forwards was converted to points out wide by Maria, gracias!
The next 15mins saw Broughton with most of the possession, however uni kept them at bay, with big hits flying in both around the ruck and out wide. Broughton did get their 2nd try of the game when their fullback kicked ahead, collected herself and bundled over the line despite the best efforts of uni wingers. Uni went into half-time in high spirits following some epic try-line defence and a score of 27-10.
A raft of substitutions early in the 2nd half saw no let-up in uni’s style of play, coping well with all the powerful running and nice offloading from Broughton. A real team try up next with almost every player involved; from Raquel taking 4 players to get her down, to smashing rucking from Sarah and Priscilla, along with the slick offloading from Liusaidh and Charlotte – Rhona was in for try no. 6! Further tries from Rhona, Rhona, our favourite Dr – Amy Walter, finished with a lovely show-and-go from Neek!
Final score 58-10 sees the girls in green through to the Sarah Beaney Cup ¼ finals in March. Thanks to Broughton for a competitive game played in good spirits (plus fab post-match scran!).