Warwick fortunate victors over Women’s Rugby

They say fortune favours the brave. Somehow, this particular expression doesn’t seem appropriate, given UEA were unfortunate to be on the wrong end of the 27-22 scoreline in Wednesday afternoon’s women’s rugby match against Warwick.

The game was almost over for UEA before they had even put together their first meaningful attack. Warwick scored two tries in quick succession after three minutes of play, when on both occasions Warwick players skipped through several attempted tackles to score. The first of which was perhaps the most impressive, as the opposition fly half ran the entire length of UEA’s half, making the most of her blistering pace to bundle over the try line.

Despite the slow start from the home side, they were still within two scores of Warwick, who had missed both conversions. The hosts finally found their rhythm, and their defensive work noticeably improved with more offensive tackling and a flatter line that proved far more difficult to penetrate.
UEA began to show a lot more attacking potential, breaking through the Warwick back line on a number of occasions. Their hard work finally paid off; when Nina Crowther ran UEA’s first try underneath the posts, which was duly converted by captain Nicola Kaciubskyj. UEA found it difficult to build on their momentum, as they found themselves being frustrated by Warwick’s stronger scrum. Nevertheless, the ball was in the Warwick defensive 22 for the remainder of the first half, and moments before the half-time whistle was about to blow, UEA scored their second try. The home side had impressively fought back to lead 12-10 at the interval.
But as soon as the second period resumed, the strength of the Warwick pack became increasingly evident. UEA did well to survive a scrum only a few yards away from their try-line, but their efforts were futile as the visitors maintained their pressure, and bundled over to give them the lead once again.
The converted try was met with bizarre clichéd shouts of “it’s still 0-0” by members of the Warwick team. Almost instantaneously, Warwick couldn’t handle the immediate pressure from UEA as they ran in yet another try. It certainly wasn’t 0-0 now; in fact it was 17-17.
UEA now really picked up the pace, and their improved rucking and strength in the scrum enabled them to dominate possession for the remainder of the game. However, disaster struck as a misplaced pass was leapt upon by a Warwick player, who managed to score despite late pressure on the try-line. This came completely against the run of play, and UEA’s pressure was maintained despite this latest setback. With only 10 or so minutes left on the clock, Warwick began to panic, leading them to make a number of needless mistakes due to the relentless pressure of a determined UEA side. As a result, UEA were deservedly back on level terms as Sarah Dyche made it over the line, making the score 22-22 with only a minute or two left to play.
Warwick were once again pinned in their own half in the final echelons of the game, as the Warwick backline was constantly hassled with a number of promising runs down the right flank, and came close to breaking through. Yet catastrophe struck once again for the hosts, and this time it would prove fatal. Warwick’s fly-half – who was probably their only real stand-out individual on the day, won the day for the visitors after yet another long distance sprint to the try-line. She found herself in space down the left flank, and ran home with little opposition.
The last gasp defeat for UEA left the disappointed players to trudge off the field, thinking back to what could have been an inspirational first win of the season. Their performance was top notch, and not more could have been done, but unfortunately it wasn’t to be their day.

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August 2022
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