Women's Championship South East 2
After a two-week layoff, Saints returned to league action against a Hampstead side looking to continue a run of 3 consecutive wins over their hosts.
The game started at a fierce pace with both teams showing intent to play an open game of rugby. This style of play would suit Saints’ options and challenge both team’s ability to see the opportunities.
The home side were fielding 5 debutants in their starting line-up, one of them opened the scoring, as some slick handing put Cooke away for the score, converted by Plunkett, another player making her first appearance for OA’s 7 – 0 Saints.
Both teams upped their tempo from the restart, however it was Saints who grabbed another score through McKenna out wide, extras missed. 12 – 0 Saints. The home side were showing some great control against a physical Hampstead side, who never give up. With half time approaching Saints grabbed another score to go 19 – 0 ahead. The visitors came firing back with an unconverted score of their own to make it 19- 5 at the break.
Half time discussion was about tempo and breakdown.
Hampstead started the 2nd half at a blistering pace, forcing Saints to defend for long periods of time, the home forwards were starting to turn over a few breakdowns and allow Saints to gain the initiative going forward.
The half continued at a frantic pace, with the scoreboard regularly ticking over for both teams, for the home side McKenna (2), Plunkett and Saunders added to the first half scores for a 43 – 29 win. Making the return fixture after Christmas an exciting New Year game.
Congratulations to debutants, Emma Cooke, Steph Plunkett, Sam Ganske, Kasey Kelly, Lesley Sonnen, all stood up today, making selection even tougher for next week’s visit of Lewes.
Head Coach Brown Said “The players stood up today, putting in the collective performance, the coaching team knew was there, to control large amounts of the game against a very good Hampstead side, is not easy. Some of our execution today was great to watch, the bench had a huge impact, ensuring we kept the flow in our favour. Credit to Hampstead, they never gave up.
We will look at the points conceded and plan to reduce any error counts where we can. The players were a real credit to themselves and the club today”.
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