Loughborough Lightning’s half time adjustment leads them to bonus point victory in a physical game with Firwood Waterloo Ladies, 30-19.
Firwood Waterloo first-half dominance and powerful attacking were undone by the second half pressure from the home side.
After a series of early scrums in midfield, Loughborough Lightning make a break for the try line, brought down just short by a big hit by Lauren Delany (sponsored by Roast Coffee & Kitchen), highlighting the level of physicality that would run throughout this game.
Despite this early push, it would be the visitors who saw the majority of possession for the first half, capitalising well and showing a sustained attacking ability. After 10 minutes Vanessa Temple crossed over for Firwood Waterloo's first try, followed by a Co-Captain Ash Neale’s try 10 minutes later. Bethany Stott’s (sponsored by Eddy Warrington) conversion took Firwood Waterloo to 12-0 with the visitors third try just 5 minutes later as they turned over Loughborough Lightning’s 5m scrum allowing Sarah Beckett (sponsored by Charterhouse Chambers) to score under the posts. A second Stott conversion put the visitors up 19-0 - 25 minutes into the game. Vanessa Temple almost added a second try for herself as she intercepted a Loughborough pass and turned on the pace, however this was pulled back for an earlier penalty giving the ball back to the home side.
Loughborough Lightning managed to get on the scoreboard 30 minutes into the game, Natasha Jones breaking two tackles to pile over in the corner. A head injury for Lauren Delany forces Firwood Waterloo to make a sub but they continue to pile on the pressure. Loughborough Lightning try to play out of their own 22 but are pushed back inside the 5m line, Firwood Waterloo managed to turn the ball over and Aimee Wallace crashes over the line but can’t ground the ball closing the half 19-5 to Firwood Waterloo.
Loughborough Lightning switch up their game plan after the break and start to kick for territory. Playing in the opposing half yields results for the home side and after multiple phases the forwards inch over for a converted try making it 19-12.
Loughborough Lightning continue to kick for territory and score twice more within 10 minutes, both from Lineouts on Firwood Waterloo's 5m taking the lead 22-19. Firwood Waterloo went down to 14 players as the referee punished multiple team infringements with a yellow card for Dani Wiseman (sponsored by Anthony John Catering Services). The extra player became evident very quickly as Loughborough crossed over for another try, the visitor's winger unable to come out on top when facing two Loughborough attackers. Loughborough Lightning added to the score towards the end of the game with a penalty to finish 30-19.