Match Report: Streatham-Croydon Ladies vs Medway Ladies
Top-of-the-table league contenders end SCRFC ladies winning streak
It was always going to be a tough challenge; Medway ladies are currently sitting top of the league with a game still to play, having lost only one of their last 6 fixtures and conceded a mere 37 points across those games. Indeed, the last time Streatham-Croydon Ladies played Medway back in October 2017 in the first half of the season they lost 45-3. However, having had a good run of form and improved drastically over the last 4 months, the SCRFC ladies went into this game full of confidence, with a full and strong bench, and determined to make an impact.
Medway’s strategy was apparent from the first minute; fast ball and excellent handling from their backs put their strong winger in the corner early in the game. The home side’s line speed and wide defence were unable to contain their pacey runners and a few well-executed hand offs gave Medway an early 10-0 lead and it looked like it was going to be a difficult afternoon. Some questionable judgement from the linesman led to a disallowed try for Medway, however they turned over the lineout and again through swift hands went over in the corner on the next phase bringing the score to 15-0.
Streatham-Croydon began to get into the game at this point; a few tactical substitutions by coach Nic Verdino added tenacity in defence and a pick from the back of the ruck caught Medway unawares and number 8 VC Mel Laidlaw-Anderson went over to get Streatham on the board. Unfortunately Medway were able to come back immediately with one of their own through a powerful break by their centre and dotting down under the posts secured the conversion. A final try before the half made for a difficult half time score of 34-5.
The second half began much the same as the first, with two early tries from Medway as Streatham tried to find their feet in the game. Some free flowing rugby from the backs brought SCRFC to the 5m line, and a solid series of pick and go from the forwards put the powerful Laidlaw-Anderson over again in the corner. After this Streatham began to play with some confidence, unfortunately a loose pass led to a clean intercept by the Medway outside centre putting them over again.
A few changes in the back line made a significant impact for Streatham’s strategy. Rachel Drapper came on at scrum half, injecting some impetus and pace to the game. Ana O’Connor moved into Fly Half after a head injury to the skipper, and her footballing and distribution skills had Medway struggling to react. A powerful weaving run from outside centre Grace Moore put Streatham in under the post, converted by Dani Davies, and with ten minutes to go, the home side were chasing the try bonus point. A brilliant series of play between substitute Phili May, centre Helena Solomon, and a brilliant floating pass from Ana O’Connor put pacey winger Erin Fairley in under the posts. Unfortunately, the last play of the game was a Medway try in the same style as they had been playing all game and Streatham were denied the 5 try bonus point, with a final score of 58-24.
Scorers: Mel Laidlaw-Anderson (2T), Grace Moore (1T), Erin Fairley (1T), Dani Davies (2C)
Forward of the Match: Amy Allen. Back of the Match: Helena Solomon
This week the ladies are holding an inner warrior session on Tuesday evening, with guest star Red Roses Katy Daley-McLean - all welcome. Next Sunday the ladies development team will be travelling to Hove RFC. The following week they will take on the impressive Canterbury ladies away.