This past Wednesday saw UEA Women’s Rugby 1s and 2s teams take to the field, the 1s with a home game against Nottingham Trent and the 2s with their first game of the season away to Northampton.
The first team stormed onto the pitch on Wednesday with something to prove after a narrow loss to Nottingham the previous week. This was shown by a stellar performance ending with a 34-17 win.
The first try set the pace for the rest of the game, Sophie Sibley playing at fly-half made a great carry and popped the ball to Sophia Skinner playing inside centre. Sophia spotted the space and scored the first try of the game to a roar of cheers.
Following this, the team made some excellent gains in attack, turning the ball over and fighting through the defence. The second try came from a sensational break made by second row Emma Potter, who, after beating off the defence, ran half the pitch to score.
Shortly after this, another try came from second row Anna Moorhead. This game was dominated by the hard work of the forwards, and this could be seen winning most scrums and rucks.
But they could not get complacent, Trent came back with three more tries, but the team banded together, holding that brick wall defence, with Ella Watson taking out any girls that braved to run past them. UEA went onto to score two more tries thanks to Hannah Shaw, and then another from Robyn Hopewell who scored a beautiful try under the posts. India Gilmore and Sophie Sibley linked up for some kicks and conversions that changed the dynamics of the game allowing the 1st to keep their dominance on the pitch.
The second team’s last season made huge amounts of progress and climbed three places in the rankings, this was due to a win against Northampton. So playing them on their home ground this year, Northamptonhad a debt to settle…
The game started with an injury to experienced scrum-half Mia Wilkinson. This meant four girls trying the position of scrum-half, and a great case of learning on the job! Ellena Jansen played her first game, playing hooker, she hooked every ball in every scrum and made some amazing tackles. With the lack of scrum-half throwing off the seconds game, Captain Lucy Riseborough pulled the team aside for a talk, asking them to throw in all they had.
The girls returned in full colours, this was their game to win now. The forwards made committed and fantastic tackles, allowing the backs to run some great lines. Considering the girls had never played together before they banded together to win 15-12, with the tries of the game coming from Ellie Bokor-Ingram and Ella Walledge.
Northampton is one of the only clubs left with a bath, so afterwards all the players donned their briefs and hit the bubble bath.
We asked the seconds what their favourite moments from the game were, and all of them said the same thing. Yes winning was great, but simply playing together and supporting one another, seeing the moral they had created and just generally how lovely they all were, was the best part.
This is an even bigger win than the game and is something the girls should all be proud they created.