Just 14 players away against 2nd in the League after a 2 hour journey - tough ask.
The final score didn't reflect the Swallows' efforts
West Norfolk agreed to match numbers with both teams dropping a fullback.
They kicked-off and immediately put pressure on us deep in our half but having composed ourselves Wold cam back and marched up the park with multiple phases keeping the ball tight. After consecutive blind pick-and-goes around the half way line Marj went blind again, broke a few tackles in the tight channel and popped it out to Sav who managed to out flank and out run the defence to score under the posts. She converted her own try. 5 minutes gone 7 points up.
West came back strongly and our line speed again let us down as we were allowing them to run at us and consequently conceding a few meters from every blast. Eventually a gap opened one side of the ruck and they took advantage bursting through to score.
We retaliated almost immediately after a backs move came off tying in their Centres and giving Sav the opportunity to run around the outside to score her second try.
All was looking good and then we had a 10 minute spell when we completely lost our structure in defence and composure in attack and conceded 19 points which basically put the game to bed for West Norfolk.
Inspired by the extraordinary turnaround of the 1st XV the day before, Wold came out in the second half determined to make amend for the disastrous 2nd quarter. Our determination was tested as we were pinned on our line from the restart but managed to win a 5m scrum and the ball was expertly passed down the line drawing and passing to commit the opposition until a final pop from Fran to a looping Sav gave her the unenviable task of running 80m to score under the posts. She even managed to get her breath back to convert.
From then on West piled on the pressure and with the help of fresh legs continued to find gaps for the stronger runners to exploit. Though our line speed improved and despite our virtually faultless rucking (over 100 rucks recorded in the game) and dominant scrum (Lainey hooking at least 3 against the head) we simply ran out of puff and West managed another 3 tries before the end of the game.
Unfortunately the passion boiled over a few minutes before the end and a mass flare-up hastened the refs final whistle. Fortunately tempers calmed to still have the tunnels and handshakes as both sides left the field. West acknowledged that the scoreline flattered them and didn't truly reflect the intensity of the battle.
Player of the Match was Sav for scoring all our points but she shared the accolade with Michaela who was in the middle of everything on the day with more than a couple great breaks and hits. Newbie Jasmine was awarded back of the day for her determination but nominated Lainey to boat race for her - needless to say that with Lainey and Michaela on the drinking seats we easily beat West!
Onwards and upwards Ladies