The Party Bus headed to lovely Marlow this week after 3 long weeks away due to a cancelled fixture, meaning the Rhinos were chomping to play! The game started with 13 Rhinos to 15 Rams due to a number of early injuries in the season but Rhinos came out strong and fierce, making up for the difference in numbers.
Marlow captain and Number 10 Max managed to dodge and weave her way into the first points of the game before scoring her own conversion.
The Rhinos employed a hearty and ferocious use of counter-rucking early in the game to set the standard they wanted to play at, which eventually paid off and resulted in a push of Rhino possession up the field enough to allow winger Laura MacNeil to slice through the defence and over the line to bag the first Rhino points; 7-5.
The Marlow captain, confident in kicking, then went for a penalty kick and put an extra 3 points on the Rams side early into the second half.
The Rhinos soon faced further problems when #12 Hannah Bennett faced a knee injury that meant a change in pitch and an ambulance was required. All's well that ends well and Hannah was all smiles as they put her in the ambulance (likely in part due to the influence of gas and air but we'll take it). Special thanks to the Marlow Player/First Aider and Physio for looking after the Rhino back until help arrived.
Now playing at 15 against 12, Haringey were determined to avenge their temporarily culled Rhino and some swift ball down the line allowed Aimee Foulkes to get a desperately-needed break away to equal the score at 10-10.
With the 0-0 mindset, Rhinos persevered and swung the ball from one side of the pitch to the other over and over and eventually a pocket of excellent support running from Rhiannon Ellis and Noémi Nemes gave #4 Foulkes a chance to run her second try into the corner.
With 8 minutes to go, it was 10-15 and Rhinos were tense, knowing that the greater numbers and fresher legs of the opposition could not be overlooked; they needed to keep ferocity, control and possession to come away with the win. The final minute was a nailbiter, with Marlow yards from their tryline and continually driving forward, but the Rhinos kept their cool and repeatedly denied them until they managed to regain possession and draw the match to a close with a respectable and well fought match from all involved.
Final score: Marlow 10-Rhinos 15.
Biggest Hit went to Noémi Nemes for tackling the opposing fullback so hard she felt her own ankle crunch and needed a couple of minutes to recover.
Players' Player went to captain Aimee Foulkes for rallying the team when numbers were low, filling the gap in a depleted back line, and making her own mark on the score sheet with some excellent support play.
Special thanks to Ffion Phillips from London South Bank University for helping us supply enough numbers to make a well-fought game.
Updated 21:59 - 6 Nov 2017 by Rachel Huang