This weekend saw Wasps FC Ladies face Worcester Valkyries in the 8th round of Tyrrells Premier 15s. The game ended in a 51-5 victory to Wasps, making it four consecutive wins for the West London based team.
Worcester Valkyries are a well known team to Wasps FC Ladies, having beaten them at home in last seasons premiership set up. However, the new competition saw a turn of tables. Wasps FC Ladies put in an impressive shift crossing the white wash a total of 9 times. Hat tricks weren’t good enough for Amy Atkinson who scored four tries for team during her appearance on the wing, having converted from the flank. Abby Dow, Rocky Clarke, Kate Hallett and Rachel Parry (sponsored by EP Ceramics Ltd.) also bought in those all important points for the team.
The first try came just 5 minutes into the game after Wasps, having stolen back possession after a Worcester scrum, passed it wide to Amy Atkinson to run it from the 10m and over the line. Getting the feel for her new position, Atkinson went on to score two more tries in minutes 15 and 17 of the first half. Both came after a well executed line out from the Wasps forwards, earning the team the right to play out wide and into the hands of Atkinson who dodged Worcester’s defence to earn the points. The second with a successful conversion by Louise Dodd setting the score board at 17-0.
Three tries down, Worcester Valkyries turned up the pressure in defence to take over possession from the visitors. However, quick reactions from Wasps and good organisation in defence saw them shut down Worcesters back line, denying the hosts entry into their half. Continuous pressure from Wasps forced a knock on by Worcester, giving Wasps the right of attack in Worcester’s 22. Wasp’s 4th try came from Kate Hallett who, armed with fellow forwards, pushed the ball over the line to put the team 22 points up.
Eager not to let the game escape them, Worcester set a strong mark in defence from the restart, putting Wasps skills under pressure and forcing a forwards pass. A penalty against Wasps at the scrum gave Worcester a line out in Wasps half and the right to play in Wasps 22 and eventually a try in minute 30 by Natalie English. In the final play of the first half, Wasps prop, Rocky Clark, squeezed in a 5th for the team after No. 8, Nicola Smith, picked it from the back of a 5 scrum, breaking the game line and leaving fellow forward to play.
The first 10 of the second half saw a frantic play from both teams- possession moving between the two as each fight to make their mark. Pushing Wasps into touch, Worcester Valkyries gained an early line out, only to be stolen by second row Alice Sheffield. Having gained back possession, Wasps took the play back inside Worcester’s 5m; Hannah West found a hole in Worcester’s defence and made a headline for the whitewash but was unfortunately held up on the line. Eager to capitalise off their position, Wasps penalised Worcester at the scrum; Nicola Smith picking again and passing out to Sammy Wong who tipped onto Rachel Parry (sponsored by EP Ceramics Ltd.) to take over the line and score her first try in the Tyrrells Premier 15’s set up.
The next two tries came in quick succession, executed by Wasps back Abby Dow, who found herself in possession of the ball and sprinting it over the line in minutes 60 and 63; the second with a successful conversion by, Scottish International, Nuala Deans.
The final 15 minutes of play saw Worcester Valkyries in possession and fighting hard to close the points gap. However, with no sign of tiring, Wasps step up in defence, to shut the home side down. The final try of the game came in the 73rd minute- a strong run and impeccable timing from Captain Kate Alder (sponsored by P.S.B Industries) saw the ball passed wide to Amy Atkinson, who for the fourth time dodged Worcesters defence to make it over the white wash. A successful conversion from Nuala Deans brought in the final points for Wasps FC Ladies and left the final score at 51-5.
Speaking to Defence coach, Grant Hathaway, he reflected:
“This week was a real test of our strength in depth and as a group we are happy with the outcome today. The players that stepped up to the premiership level fitted in really well and we now feel set up for the big Derby against Richmond in a fortnight’s time”
The next round of Tyrrells Premier 15’s, which is set to be broadcast on Sky on 3rd December, sees Wasps face Richmond, their West London rivals. A definite “must see” of the season.
Updated 11:39 - 5 Dec 2017 by Dom Benson