The Swallows put in a big performance
Revenge is sweet especially on home turf and when the opposition are second in the League
After a rather underwhelming performance last Sunday against a Wymondham Development team and with an encouraging line-up including four on the bench, les hopes were high for a big performance! Not only had Stanhope beaten us earlier in the season, they were 2nd in the League Table and we wanted to make a statement.
The first 20 minutes didn't inspire as we made hard work of trudging forward and then throwing loose passes to be forced backwards. But our defence held strong and we slowly began to get in to a bit of rhythm. After barely encroaching in to their half we suddenly broke through and Elora's sublime draw and pop allowed Sav the opportunity to split the defence and score our first try. Emily duly slotted the first of her conversions. This was clearly the trigger the girls needed. Robin then did a great pick and go from a ruck to power over under the posts and Emily added a further 2 points.
Stanford then ran in a try against the flow of play before Marj ran in her own try from a Number 8 pick up. We went in at half time pumped and 19-5 to the good.
Stanford's half time talk was clearly uncomfortable as they came out all guns blazing in the second half. For 15 minutes our defensive lines were under pressure but we managed to keep them out - including two hold-ups over the line.
Our turn. Sav's clearance kick in to their half and several coordinated phases later we were deep in to their 22, where Michaela broke a couple of tackles to finally drive and twist over the line for a well deserved try - not bad for an old girl!
We kept the pressure up and just inside their half Michaela again featured as her well timed pass put Robin through the gap in the centre and she accelerated away from the scrambled defence to dot the ball down under the posts. Emily added the 2 points.
Our penalty count was unacceptably high and this may have be one of the reasons why tempers started to fray and Stanford again raised their intensity. We more than stood our ground and our commitment saw Marj get a Yellow for a strong counter attacking run - deemed too strong by the ref! After very nearly walking our scrum over their line for what would have been an awesome 8-man score on the far left, we got the ball out to the backs and Sav (now playing full back) scored on the far right corner.
Job done, bonus point win 36-5.
Our scrum was immense and out pushed Stanford winning numerous against the head. Our back row consistently caused unforced errors. Our backs were looking pretty sharp after all the spills in the first quarter - and improved as the game went on with everyone more than willing and capable of breaking their line and defending ours. But with 20+ incomplete passes (mostly in the first 15 minutes) and 23 penalties awarded against us we know what to work on!
'Forward of the Match' could have gone to a number of women but Jayne stood out both in attack and defence.
'Back of the Match' equally could have gone to several women but Emma C, who seems to be enjoying playing at 12, made some great breaks and support runs.