“Excitingly for Streatham, we decided to actually run off from our line to meet them.”
Having beaten Ironsides narrowly in the league game earlier in the season, Streatham put out a decent cup team to take them on in the 3rd round of the Intermediate Cup. What follows is a play-by-play match report by Rhi Kennedy.
Jenny started the game with a strong kick which Battersea couldn’t collect cleanly and had to mount an attack from their own 5 meter line. We turn the ball over and had some pretty solid phases until we cock something up. Battersea have the put in for the first scrum of the match, with the Battersea pack being slightly stronger. They retain possession but have a hard time of leaving their 22. Unfortunately for Battersea one of their players decided to do a long looping run which began by running towards their own try line. This inevitably meant they didn’t make much ground, if any.
Streatham have a penalty for a thing Battersea did. Jenny found touch just outside Battersea’s 22. Bloody good hoof that one. The lineout was a little scrappy but we win it. Streats crack on with a couple of phases but Battersea turn over the ball. Easily done as no Streatham player seemed remotely interested in defending the ruck. So fair play Battersea.
Now on the defensive we are looking more lively, eventually forcing a scrum. Jenny clears the threat, Battersea collect with the player running the width of the pitch. Streatham couldn’t make the tackles required which resulted in the first (unconverted) try of the match.
Battersea made good meters after Streatham give a penalty for doing something wrong. Not sure but my guess would be offside. Battersea retained possession from the lineout and let the forwards run the ball in. Excitingly for Streatham, we decided to actually run off from our line to meet them. This was an effective tactic by Streatham and Battersea didn’t make any yards.
More solid Streatham defence ensued until Battersea are caught holding on to the ball. Then there are a bunch more penalties, for the time being going in our favour. Drapper does a quick tap for one of them, getting the ball out to the centres who do a very pretty thing that I don’t understand but admire. Whatever it was it ends up with a lineout in Battersea’s 22. This was not successful on any level, but the ball is recovered and Drapper goes for a run until wrestled by an oppo lock. Streatham decide to leave the scrum half to it and this ended up precisely the way you’d expect.
Mel starts a successful maul and we get a scrum out of it. Nice yards made by Rosie and Ana. We end up getting a penalty, taken quickly by Drapper catching Battersea off guard. They put in a good tackle but weren’t ten, gifting us extra meters. This is deemed close enough to have a crack at the posts, and Jenny puts 3 points on the board for Streatham.
Battersea restart play with the kick off. Doesn’t quite go as intended for them, giving Streatham the put in at the scrum on the halfway line.
The ball makes it way to Millie who perfectly lined up the defense, passing the ball to Dani who seemed to float through Batttersea’s defensive line. Battersea turn it over, running the ball in from their 22 to ours. Ribena and Roise pair up for a great tackle, followed by good rucking. Ana gets her hands on the ball and whacks it into touch on the other side of the pitch.
Battersea attempt a sneaky line out throw to their front lifter, unsuccessful as it didn't make the requisite 5 meters. Battersea go through some good phase play but Streatham defence remains solid. Judo in particular put in a bloody good tackle, driving the Battersea player back a good a few meters. Battersea stay patient in their phases, some very good carries brings them within touching distance of our 5 meter line. Streats decide this is a good time to gift a penalty and we line up on the try line. Despite strong tackling and rucking by us Battersea manage to get the ball over the line, topped off with the conversion.
Battersea catch the kick off cleanly and made some good passes before attempting a couple of netball style passes, inevitably ending up in touch. The lineout was a bit of a mess, neither side will want to watch that back on tape. The ball found its way to Millie who cleared it well with a kick, leaving Battersea chasing the ball around on the floor.
We turn it over once they get into our 22. Streatham forwards protect the ball well and the ball is cleared. Battersea run it in but slip, we regain possession in the ensuing ruck. Then give away a penalty for not holding our weight in the ruck. Ana easily catches the ball and kicks it back.
We have a bit of time off, Dani is on the ground being looked after by Physio Joe. She is clapped off the field, replaced by Amy A. Time is back on and Amy soon gets her first touch with a solid run into Battersea defense, giving us a penalty.
The lineout was messy and goes Battersea’s way.
Both sides start to infringe all over the shop and we get a penalty. I can only assume the ref lost count of the law breaking and just needed to blow for something. Jenny gets the ball after a series of events and kicks it. This presumably doesn’t go where intended but Ana is there to catch and gives it a whack herself. Some promising runs from Ana’s kick but nothing comes from it and ref calls half time.
In the second half we do a better job of coming off our line in defence, handling the solid Battersea attack well. They fight their way into our half but Streatham is now making a complete nuisance of themselves and put Battersea to the test. This display of stubborness and strength results in a scrum for us. We make a bit of a hash of it and Battersea clears with a kick. This goes over the try line and a Battersea player gets a hand to it. Ref didn’t award the try for a reason I don’t understand. They do eventually score their third try after Some more fancy backs play and complete with the conversion.
Mel and Daisy both have strong runs, testing the opposition defence until we hold onto the ball for too long and gift a penalty. Battersea are really going for it now in attack. Streatham match this by making good tackles until we force a scrum, just tucked inside our half. Mel takes the ball from the base of the scrum and runs with it. Drapper is the only one in support and despite her good intentions she can’t hold back the Battersea forwards.
The forwards pack down for a scrum, where Drapper nails her opposite number. We go through a series of decent phases until we give away a scrum and then a penalty, resulting a converted try.
Good take from Battersea at the kick off. She runs it in well but Amy sits her down and we regain possession. We fight are way into their 22 and get a scrum. After which everyone falls to pieces, with knock ons everywhere and the ref gives up and blows for full time.
The ladies next game is on Sunday 6th January, a league fixture away against Barnes. Hopefully some rest for tired bodies will see them return full of energy and not just mince pies.
Forward of the Match: Amy "Judo" Ellis-Thompson
Back of the Match: Charlie Uden
Scorers: Jenny Frost (1C)
Photography by Mark Woodward photos.
Updated 14:28 - 17 Dec 2018 by Millie Ross
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