H&D Owls 43 - 0 Tabard Ladies
The home team were looking to avenge a rare defeat at the hands of the visitors earlier in the season and from the kick off they showed their intent.
The Harwich pack dominated the set piece and breakdowns and the backs running lines and handling kept Tabard on the back foot.
A combination of good defence from the visitors and handling errors from the Owls prevented any scoring despite the home side’s territorial dominance. Eventually, after fifteen minutes centre Kimberley Hutchins burst through to score under the posts. Unfortunately she hit the post with the attempted conversion.
When Tabard did achieve some possession they were met with a solid defensive wall and struggled to make any breaks at all. With scrums having to be uncontested the Owls lost a potent weapon in their armory but the strong running Harwich forwards kept them in Tabard’s half of the pitch. Errors by the home side limited the scoring opportunities until scrum half Lucie Gibson wriggled through the covering defence to score a typical poaching scrum half try. Yas Amber converted to give Harwich a halftime lead of 12 - 0.
If ever the adage of “a game of two halves” was to be applied to a game it would be here. The home side started the second half with some excellent passages of play. The forwards were now protecting the ball much better and their running lines had the Tabard defence going backwards. When they were able to put the Owls under pressure they found the mighty boot of fullback Amber a lethal weapon when combined with an effective chase. The Harwich backs were also stringing some good handling moves together and it was not long before the floodgates opened.
Amber sliced through the defence to score but hit the post and then converted it. Second row Sian Smith found herself in loads of space following some superb team handling to score out wide but Amber had the bad luck of seeing the tricky conversion rebound off the post. Amber showed some quick thinking to take a quick tap penalty and touch down whilst the Tabard defence were still trying to organise themselves and then converted it with style.
Lucie Gibson showed her elusive running game to good effect to cross the line for a converted try and the match ended with Mimi Montgomery crashing through a double tackle to score in the corner.
This was a terrific team performance, particularly in the second half when Harwich played some of their best rugby of the season. The Owls played with great structure but also a lot of flair and their defence looked as though they could have played all day without being breached.