MUD COVERED RHINOS GO DOWN FIGHTING TO KILBURN COSMOS
An unfortunate loss
Although it was a surprisingly warm Sunday in January, the previous days of rain had left Kilburn Cosmos’ pitch at Gladstone Park looking like a ploughed-up field as the Rhinos arrived to play their first match of the season against the North West London side. Both the Rhinos and the Cosmos lost players to injury in their warm up sessions,meaning that each team started the match light on players. Having already agreed to play 12-a-side (with Haringey back, Olimpia Dordea, on loan to Kilburn), the injury count for both sides continued to mount steadily during the game, resulting in teams of 11 and at times 10-a-side as play went on.Despite these injury woes and the difficult playing conditions, the Rhinos bravely met the challenge presented by an energetic and speedy Kilburn team, with backs Noémi Nemes, Laura Macneil and Laura Magill putting in some fearsome last-ditch tackles to defend the Rhinos’ 22. Unfortunately, slip ups around the breakdown and a number of missed tackles gave Kilburn the lion’s share of opportunities to score, of which they took full advantage,running in multiple tries in both the first and second half. The Rhinos answered with three tries of their own - two from Noémi Nemes and a blistering debut try from Jess Knapman, who ran in the ball from over the half way line - leaving the final score 54-15 to the Cosmos. As always Kilburn’s sportsmanship and grace in victory meant that, despite this loss,a lot of fun was had by the Rhinos in their host’s clubhouse after the match (following much needed showers!).The award for biggest hit of the match went to Andrea Coley, who put her body on the line time and again during the match, the Players’ Player award went to Laura Magillfor her debut in the number 10 shirt, and Laura MacNeil was nominated ‘Dick of the Day’ for a surprisingly high-tackle on Olimpia Dordea (in her guise as a Cosmo splayer).
Final Score: 54-15 to Kilburn Cosmos Biggest Hit: Andrea Coley Players’ Player: Laura Magill Dick of the Day: Laura MacNeil