In a weekend of freezing temperatures the Streatham-Croydon ladies had no fear that their game might be called off, playing for the first time on a 4G pitch at Rosslyn Park. Clear blue skies and cold weather meant that supporters were looking forward to a game of open running rugby.
Rosslyn Park came firing out of the blocks and we were given an early indication of their strategy when a pinpoint accurate kick from the fly half pinned the team on their 5m line. Turning over the lineout Park showed slick hands through their back line and scored in the corner within 5 minutes of kick off.
This triggered a reaction from Streatham and they demonstrated their strength in the backs by getting the ball wide to winger Grace Moore who brushed off the defence to go over for her first. The rest of the first half saw tries and retaliation as Rosslyn Park scored another two, as did Moore for another hat-trick, taking advantage of her pace on the plastic turf. Rosslyn Park nearly went over for their 4th but sterling defence from centre Helena Solomon enabled her to hold up their powerful second row. 19-17 at the half.
The second half saw some changes in the Streatham line, utilising their strength in depth on the bench. Debut prop George made a significant impact in the scrum, putting Park under great pressure in their own 22. Loose ball was picked up by returning vice-captain Mel Laidlaw-Anderson who identified some space and went in under the posts, comfortably converted by Dani Davies. Against the wind, Rosslyn Park were struggling to make the most of their kicking game, although they spent a great amount of time in the Streatham 22. Streatham’s defence held firm and despite ill-discipline giving away a few penalties at the breakdown, they were able to keep a clean sheet for the second half.
The final points of the game came from a powerful break from back row Amy Allen, who used her incredible acceleration and pace to step the full back and run in a 50m try under the posts, converted by Ana O’Connor. Despite the opposition having a great amount of territory and possession, Streatham demonstrated their ability to take their chances when they come, scoring from nearly every visit to the opposition 22, and their dogged defence under extreme pressure. Full time score 33-17.
Next week SCRFC Ladies return to the league as they take on old foes St Francis Away. 2.30pm KO Sunday 4th March.
Forward of the Match: Amy Allen
Updated 11:19 - 26 Feb 2018 by Millie Ross
Back of the Match: Helena Solomon
Scorers: Grace Moore (3T), Mel Laidlaw-Anderson (1T), Amy Allen (1T), Dani Davies (3C), Ana O’Connor (1C)