On Saturday afternoon our under 18's girls hosted a Regional Canadian Side from British Columbia.
As we know our club are great hosts and Orange and Woody had gone to a huge amount of trouble in making our Guests feel welcome. (BBQ laid on, Canadian flag on display, and of course a warm welcome!)
The Canadian side had already had 2 empathetic wins on tour (playing Surrey and OA's) so we knew it would be a challenge and indeed it was!
Our 18's ring rusty from 3 plus months without playing and with a number of players missing through holiday's, and rugby trails we had only 18 girls in our squad.
The game started well for Boro with us rucking well and moving the ball nicely through the backs. However after taking the game to the Canadian's for some 5 plus minutes a intercepted pass allowed the Canadian's to sprint away and score under the posts. The lead was just 5 as the conversion was missed.
Boro again moved into the Canadian half and again held possession well and dominated territory without be able to break a hugely impressive Canadian defence. After another 10 minutes camped in their half possession was lost in a ruck and space was found on the wing for again the Canadian's to sprint away. 10- 0 and against the run of play. Whilst Pulborough were playing well enough and showing huge commitment they were not quite sharp enough and this allowed the Canadian's the time to continually reform their defence. They were incredibly well drilled and our lack of match practice showed.
The commitment from both teams showed when in separate incidents a player from each team went down injured. The Canadian player going down with an ankle injury and Imogen from Boro taking a neck/back injury in a tackle. Both were prolonged injuries and we wish both girls a speedy recovery.
Half time was called to allow for players to be cared for and the pitch had to be reduced to 2/3rds to allow the treatment to continue. (update on Imogen is badly sprained neck and shoulder muscles and we wish you well Imogen!)
Having 30 players on a condensed pitch made the 2nd half a little challenging and driving on the M25 at rush hour come to mind when looking at the space or lack of it on the pitch!
However both teams played in the right spirit and a mirror image of the 1st half played out. The Canadian side absorbed all we could throw at them and then broke away again and this time converted to take a 17 v 0.
Changes were being rung on both sides and we wished to make sure already had a opportunity for development however the pattern remained the same and eventually a kick over the top allowed Izzy Mayhew to run onto the ball and dot the ball down for a Boro try.
It was a little too late and from the last play a high kick from the Canadian side was dropped by Boro and they ran over the line to make the final score 22 v 5.
A great game played in great spirit and an opportunity for development for both sets of players .
It was great to see how the girls got on after the game , after the love of Rugby and the opportunity to swap some kit clearly the bond!
Thank you to our touring side for coming, our Ref, Ian Crouch, and the crowd with both parents and a large number of other club members coming to watch.
A great afternoon and shows the values of 'Rugby' are still going strong!
Updated 11:23 - 19 Aug 2018 by Mike Fisher