It was a bright sunny day as the girls met up for the away match to St. Andrews. Despite it being St. Patrick’s Day, Jen’s Birthday and Super Saturday the night before the girls all showed up bright eyed and bushy tailed! What dedication from the Broughton Babes. The girls knew it was an important match and Coach Marius had made it quite clear to lay off the booze. One of the perks of being injured means this match reporter did not need to abstain on the Saturday night after running the Mighty Deerstalker Race. And may have been up till 5 am celebrating. So apologies if this match report is somewhat lacking the energy and enthusiasm of the previous ones. But I will do my best. In other Deerstalker news, Captain Badger who also ran the 10 mile run in the dark, scrambling up scree slopes and through rivers proved her legendary strength and hardcore-ness by starting in the front row as hooker and playing a full 80 minutes. I think we are all in agreement: “Anna McFarlane you are a machine!!”
The girls were happy to have some supporters for the bus journey. Thanks to Sandy Bro and Matt Duncan for joining in the journey. Pretty sure they were glad they came, when upon our arrival at the pitches in St. Andrews there were some bikini clad beauties basking in the sun. We just happened to have a great view of their hotel hot tub from the bus! Also, I'm not sure of their real reason for coming on the bus trip as they mentioned several times that Madras is the "fittest" team we play. Either way there was some definite perving, I mean admiring of the the young St. Andrews squad.
The saints managed to field a full team this time around and Broughton had 17 players make the trip. The match started with great energy from Bro. Ciara who is new to number 8 made great impact on the pitch. She had a fantastic pick up from the scrum and strong runs. The ball went to flanker Nicky Gaskell who walked over the Madras opposition with hand offs left and right. Such strong running broke through the defensive line and a try was scored in the first five minutes! 0-5 for Broughton. Coach Nikki was a late arrival because of work but managed to arrive not long after to assume her position of massive stress pest on the sidelines.
Badger in at 2 did amazing and managed to steal a few balls off the Saints hooker. As well the line out worked well and Jenn stole numerous lineouts with her strength and power. The girls were looking for another try. Lock Jen Harris stole the ball and got the ball to Badger. Then the ball went to Greer who ran like the demon she is. The ball made it across the pitch and made it over the line but St. Andrews showed great defense and held up the try. Not long after another attempt was made, JLA in at fly-half made a crashing run through the Madras line and Jenn got it over the try line again only for the ball to be held up by the feisty saints.
After a frustrating first half with lots of mauls, great pressure from Broughton and strong defense from the Saints the girls needed a pep talk to kick them into high gear! The side that came back on the pitch was like a whole new team. The forwards did some great crashing up with Becz breaking through the Madras defence. Getting the ball to Gaskell who made another strong run and managed to get the ball through the hands out to speedy winger JLO who scored a try for Bro! 0-10. Joanne Logan’s parents were at the match to watch her play rugby for the first time so was great to see her get points on the board for Broughton.
It wasn’t long before the girls were at it again. Time for another brilliant run from Gaskell who looked like a steamroller, flattening anyone in her way! Eventually she was stopped not before getting the ball to Becz who smashed through the Madras defence and the ball got out wide to new to Bro fullback Ivana who scored her first try for Broughton. 0-15. The new fullback was looking to make an impact in her first match and after a great tackle from Joanne Logan and a steal from Badger Ivana ran the length of the pitch and scored another try and completed the conversion as well! 0-22 for Bro!
The Broughton Babes were on fire. As the forwards crashed ball up, mighty prop Claire took the ball in and completely nailed a Madras forward. It was amazing to see on the sidelines especially as the girl squealed like a wee puppy as she got smashed. Now the girls were playing like a well-oiled machine. The forward pods were doing their duty and flyhalf J Laing got the ball out wide to the back line. After a few phases and passes it was clearly try time again. With lovely presentation of the ball from winger Donna after a tackle, the ball got out to Joanne Logan who scored her second try of the match, happily in full view of her proud parents. 0-27.
Back in action the forwards were smashing things left right and centre. Jenn Harris went down with an injury, which turned out to be a twisted ankle. After a strong game it was time for some well-deserved rest. She came limping off the pitch while her (un)supportive husband Fraser stood watching ☺ Instead of using the time wisely the girls waited until Jenn was off the pitch. Then Steph realized her laces were undone and got helpful prop Claire to tie them up, further delaying the match.
The girls were starting to feel comfortable in their lead, maybe a little too comfortable. The Saints put on some great pressure and broke through the Broughton defensive line. The speedy winger looked sure to score but a massive tackle from fullback Ivana saved the day. She got owned! It was not meant to be a shutout as even with strong defense Bro managed to let Madras through to get a try. Sources say it may have been a pity try. 5-27.
Time was running out in the match but the Babes still had some pep left. Strong forward play crashing it up got the ball to the Saints 5m line. The ball went wide to the back line. Winger JLo made a great pass back inside to Ivana who scored the try and completed her hat trick. Not done yet, the fantastic fullback scored the conversion and the game ended with a final score of 4-34.
It was a great game from the girls especially when they came out swinging in the second half. I think the first half was a ploy to contribute to Marius’ grey hair, although I’m not sure he could get any more grey? I think those on the sidelines, myself included are going to take up smoking to help calm the nerves. Well done to Ivana and Megan who were chosen as men of the match. Greer, I think we are all in agreement that you really need to work on your pint downing in the future. If you are to win man of the match you really need to stop embarrassing us with your lack of downing pint skills.
The Broughton Babes were looking mighty tough and terrifying on the pitch and will be out for blood this Sunday, the 25th March where they face Morgan, league leaders in the last league match. Come out and support the Brave Broughton Beauties as they fight for the top of the league!!