Women's Championship South 1
The Saints ground out a win after a crucial last minute penalty, to come away with the 4 points after an enthralling contest against Blackheath Women.
The Woolams outfit took the field brimming with confidence after last weeks incredibly physical encounter with Trojans RFC, to take on a big, punishing Blackheath side, who were looking to carry momentum from a first week win.
The game started cagey, as both sides looked to gain control with maintaining possession, however numerous handling errors stopped either team from taking a stronghold. That was until a string of penalties in the Blackheath 22 lead to Steph Plunkett touching down in the corner to take the OA’s to a 5-0 lead.
The game continued in a similar fashion, with both teams dropping the ball in key areas, until the Saints failed to effectively clear their lines, allowing Blackheath to build the phases in the opposition 22, until the inevitable try was scored from close range. The conversion was slotted, which allowed Blackheath to take the lead, 5-7.
The Saints re-took the field after half time with a renewed energy, which led to Eloise Bloomfield sniping from the base of the ruck, gaining significant ground and taking the Saints into the final third. Phases were built and tackles were broken, leading to Number 8, Chloe Allcorn to crash over from short range, the conversion was missed, allowing the Saints regain the lead, 10-7.
In the second half, Blackheath had established a dominance at the scrum. This dominance proved crucial as numerous scrums on the OA’s 5m line, lead to the away side scoring a late try, which was not converted, taking the East London side 10-12 ahead, leading into the final 9 minutes of the game.
The home side rallied, kicked deep from the restart, and gained a penalty in the Blackheath 22 for an opposing player going off their feet at the ruck. Caz Collie held her nerve, stepped up and slotted the penalty, allowing the OA’s to once again regain the lead.
The Saints maintained possession for the remaining minutes and managed to come away with a hard fought win, after what can only be described as a physical battle between two extremely strong sides. However, the Saints will rue their missed opportunities and inaccuracies.
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