Thousandth point of the season scored!
PRUFC under-15 girls still unbeaten
Peterborough Girls Under 15s travelled to Diss for their second round cup match vs a combined Crusaders and Diss side. Before the game started it was clear that this was going to be a different type of game than the last few weeks. The opposition were considerably larger than the Boro girls, and indeed any side that we have played against this year. With the ability to pick 15 best players from 2 sides also ensures that the quality of players selected remains high. Having played both Diss and Crusaders at the Eastern Counties tournament less than a month ago, the home side knew who they had to watch, and made sure that any intention Boro had to run away with a result was stopped firmly in its tracks. Boro knew that to get a result from this fixture they would have to play well, and more importantly, play as a team.
From kick off the intention of both sides was clear. Boro ran at the defence from their first possession, only for Jorja to be slammed into the home turf with a crunching tackle from the home team’s best tackler in midfield. The resulting phase saw the Boro forwards win good possession through some low, hard, rucking. The clean ball given to the backs was again put through half a dozen phases before another defensive tackle on the Crusaders try line saw Boro knock the ball on. The first scrum of the game. The Boro forwards really wanted to assert their intentions, and the home scrum buckled. After the scrum was re-set Crusaders managed to clear their lines from scrappy, backwards ball – something that would be consistent at scrums throughout the duration. The visiting front 5 had the opposition in their pockets, despite their smaller and lighter stature. It just goes to show what the coaching team always reinforce – “it doesn’t matter how big you are, a better technique will win more ball.”
Within 5 minutes Boro had a midfield scrum and were looking to make ground. From the solid, clean, forward moving possession, the Boro backs found a small gap in the home side’s defence, and Jorja cantered in for her first try of the game. A great conversion from Holley followed. 7-0 to Boro. This seemed to knock the home side, and soon after, Jorja was left in an acre of space and completed some good forwards and backs interchange, for her second try. Again, another great conversion from Holley followed. 14-0 to the visitors. The rest of half remained a battle for both sides, with the bigger home forwards providing scrappy ball for their backs and the Boro backs tackling well to ensure all of the Crusaders possession was poor and went backwards. The Boro players didn’t have their own way either. Some great Crusaders defence, especially at 9, 10 and 12, made sure that the score remained close. That was until 5 minutes from half time. A well co-ordinated backs move found Jorja in space again, for her to complete her hat-trick. Holley missed the conversion, but Boro turned around at half time at 19-0 up.
The half time chat consisted of the forwards deciding that they weren’t playing as well as they could, in the loose, and that they were getting in each other’s way too often. Too many errors were being made by trying to play to close and complicated, rather than simple recycling as they had done in previous weeks.
The second half started in a completely different tempo. Boro kicked off and immediately put the home side under pressure. The Boro forwards over rucked the home side possession, and gained turnover ball. From the turnover the forwards went on a 30 meter rampage with ‘pick and go’ ball, something that would prove to be fruitful throughout the second half. It was from some excellent ‘Westwood’ ball that V was stopped just short of the line, only for the ball to reach Liberty in too much space, and with only front row in front of her, the expected result was achieved – a try. Missed conversion.
From the re-start, Boro gained good possession and, again, made a huge amount of territory through the ‘pick and go’. With the home side under pressure in their own 22, they decided to kick for safety. Big mistake. The kick was straight down the middle of the park, and into Holley’s safe hands. Backing herself on the outside, Holley ran around the defensive dogleg of forwards to score a great individual try under the posts, which was converted by Liberty.
After 20 minutes of stale-mate, and with Boro camped on the Crusaders line, Jorja finished off the try scoring for the afternoon with Holley getting her third conversion. For the second week running, the referee blew up early as the home side capitulated into a ‘rabble’ – arguing and fighting with each other.
A tough game of rugby in conditions not encountered by the Boro girls before – an experience that will make them better for similar situations in the future. The forwards were particularly strong with Bob, Mia and Lennie all proving too good for the opposition front row. Alba and V were outstanding in the second half with their ‘Westwoods’, something which ended up blowing the opposition defence apart. The back row of Grace, Charlotte and Jess played well as a unit both in defence and with ball in hand.
The backs had a tougher game today, but something that will prove to be a reality check – sometimes we have to create our own space to score tries. Today’s defence was excellent at 10, 12 and 13, and the Boro backs had to be patient to get their opportunities.
All the backs played well, with a special mention to Leah, playing her first full game of the season at 9, and to Jess G, who was outstanding on the wing, rather than her usual second row. Jas controlled the backs well, out of position at 12. Lib and Jorja constantly kept the home defence honest with their elusive running. Kida and Holley ensured that no attacks made the outside player, with both making the final 1 on 1 tackle to stop a potentially dangerous attack.
Coaches, players and parents should be pleased with the performances to start the season. There is still plenty to work on in training after Christmas, if the girls want to continue their ‘so far’ successful season. In the meantime, let’s all have a great Christmas break and come back in the New Year refreshed and ready to go.
Final score – Crusaders / Diss 0 Peterborough 38
Holley 1, Liberty 1, Jorja 4.
Holley 3, Liberty 1