With the day beginning to take shape, UEA women’s rugby team cruised to an emphatic 70-0 victory over their Essex counterparts. As results filtered through from around campus, it appeared that the bid for the title would go down to the wire, ensuring any UEA point won would be significant.
Before the women’s rugby side could earn their own crucial point, a number of obstacles stood in their way. A delayed start to proceedings, due in large part to the absence of a qualified referee, caused unrest. Padding around the goalposts was also a requirement that the UEA side insisted on having. The tenacity that the team would show in abundance throughout the course of the game was being displayed with interest before a ball had been kicked. UEA’s number 1, Claire Thomas, also revealed her frustration that the Essex team wanted to play 20 minute halves, as opposed to the conventional 40.
Once a referee was found, and the rules were settled upon, UEA settled into their stride and never looked back. It is not an exaggeration to say that the hosts did not cross the UEA 22-metre line on one occasion in the first half. The pace and drive of Nina Crowther saw her claim five tries in the first half. There was an air of inevitability whenever the UEA number 10 slalomed her way to the goal line, the outcome already known. The dejected Essex side knew it more than most.
Alice Rayner assumed the role of serial salt rubber in the wounds of Essex as she consistently added the extras to Crowther’s tries to condemn the Blades to a first half obliteration. Thomas, Alice Edwards and Rebecca Edwards also claimed tries for UEA after rucks near the goal line.
Essex found some belief in the second half, despite the 50-0 scoreline. The home team’s number eight appeared the most likely to slip through the UEA backline. The visitors, happy to soak up a little pressure in the early afternoon sun, found their rhythm once more. Alice Edwards appeared to claim her second try of the match, but the referee blew for a foul. Moments later, Hannah Trafford took advantage of UEA’s mainstay in the Essex half, taking the tally to 55-0. Naomi Sadoff came off the bench to claim another try before Crowther and Alice Edwards added more points to round off a sumptuous performance.