Match report: SCRFC Ladies vs Sutton & Epsom
By Millie Ross
The ladies go down to top of the table S&E in tough conditions.
Last weekend, the ladies were able to play some running rugby, scoring 7 tries in 19 degree sunshine. Demonstrating the fickle nature of spring in England, on Sunday the temperature was back in the low single figures, and was accompanied by driving rain and stiff winds. Facing Sutton & Epsom Ladies in any conditions was going to be a challenge; but with their last 3 league opposition having given them the walkover, the ladies from Streatham-Croydon were ready to make them work for the status of league winners. Doubling up as a Surrey Cup fixture as well, there was everything to play for.
Streatham started with the wind, and a great deal of tenacity, camping in the Sutton half and threatening their 22 on multiple occasions. The scrum was holding well and some clever set play earned Streatham substantial territory. Combined with centre Jenny Frost’s tactical kicking game, supported by the wind, Streatham were able to keep Sutton at bay, with the score still 0-0 half an hour into the game.
Sutton & Epsom’s fly half was the first to break the deadlock, slicing through a slightly disorganised Streatham defence twice to go in under the posts, both of which she successfully converted before the half time whistle blew. The weather continued the deteriorate further, and going into the second half into the wind Streatham weren’t dispirited but knew they had an uphill battle to climb. Losing hooker Rosie Carr early in the second half had a significant impact, as the wind was making throwing in from the lineout difficult.
When Sutton scored two tries in quick succession Streatham could have capitulated; however, they continued to bring it to Sutton, adding pressure to their attacking line and forcing errors. After a sustained period of try line defence by Streatham, Sutton were able to score their bonus point try with a neatly worked backs move. With Streatham’s clearance kicks struggling to make territory and unable to find any holes in the Sutton defence, Streatham deployed their traditional method of sending back rows Mel Laidlaw-Anderson and Helena Solomon up the middle, both of whom were able to make good metres with their carries, ably supported in the rucks by omnipresent Amy 'Judo' Ellis-Thompson. However, it wasn’t enough to get over the try line, and both teams were relieved to have a warm shower when the full time whistle blew 30-0.
With just one more league fixture to play, Streatham now slip to 4th place in the league which will require a series of events to now finish any higher.
Next week Streatham-Croydon Ladies take on Teddington Ladies away (tbc) in their final Surrey Cup pool match.
Forward of the Match: Amy ‘Judo’ Ellis-Thompson
Back of the Match: Dani Reynolds