Great 43:17 win for girls U15s against Burton
By Stephen Oldridge
Newark Girls U15s impress in the last home game of the season
On a sunny day at Kelham Road with supporters out in force, the girls took to the pitch for the final home game of the season with Mae once again captaining the side; Kaylea playing her first ever full contact rugby match and Becky joining us as a guest player from Grimsby Rugby Club.
The opening stages were hard fought with Burton camped for the most part in the Newark half. Newark were defending with real strength and discipline but as they came to the end of the first quarter it was first blood to Burton as they crashed over from close range for the first score of the match. This was quickly followed by a second try straight from the kick-off as Newark lost their defensive shape and a Burton player broke through for a try under the posts which was duly converted leaving Newark 12 : 0 down going into the first break.
Heads didn’t drop though and with coach Mark shifting the tactical focus in the second quarter to securing better ball at the breakdown, the girls started to find their feet and really began to take the fight to Burton. First Charlotte showed great awareness to scamper through for the first Newark try of the game with Leah adding the conversion to reduce the deficit. Next up was a great break from Ember who off-loaded to Alice who held the ball well in contact giving time for Charlotte and Sophie to secure the ball as a ruck was formed. Sophie then moved the ball quickly to debutant Kaylea who timed her pass perfectly to put Becky through for her first try of the game.
Buoyed by their second quarter fight-back, the girls went from strength to strength as they went into the third quarter. Early in the quarter saw the team move of the match as the Bousfield twins secured quick line-out ball on the half-way line for Ember to release Mae. Mae fed Kaylea who took the ball securely into contact with Mae rucking over strongly to allow Ember to provide good second phase ball to Leah who in turn moved the ball quickly out to Evie on the wing. Evie shrugged off a high tackle and with a penalty advantage coming Alice rucked over well to secure a third phase of possession for Sophie to release Charlotte who surged forward over the opposition 10 metre line into contact for then Ember to ruck over strongly to secure a fourth phase of possession with Sophie again in the right place to this time to feed Becky who broke powerfully between two Burton girls, shrugged off a tackle and finished a quite brilliant team move with a try under the posts which Leah converted well.
The girls hardly looked back after that. A strong tackle by Ember and some great counter-rucking by Charlotte and Sophie created an opportunity for a third try for Becky who still had plenty to do as she broke free from the Newark 22 metre line to score under the posts with four Burton girls in hot pursuit. Leah again converted well.
A further try followed quickly with Charlotte and Alice securing good possession at the breakdown for Sophie to get the ball out on the blind-side to Evie who took a great one-handed catch before popping the ball up in contact to Sophie who accelerated down the wing from the Burton 10 metre to score.
The Newark pressure by this point was relentless both in attack and in defence. Mae, Charlotte, Ember, Alice and Sophie were strong as usual in the ruck and tackle but the most pleasing thing to see was that all the girls were putting in tackles and rucking over when they needed to. For a first match Kaylea didn’t shirk any contact and looked like had been playing rugby for years. Erin put in some strong tackles and showed real guts to dive on a loose ball in the fourth quarter to secure it in the face of the onrushing Burton defenders and with Mae securing possession at the ruck, the ball was fed out to Ellie on the wing who cut inside before the team combined well to release Becky from close range for her fourth try which Leah converted for her fourth conversion of the game.
Burton were never out of the game though and scored a consolation try of their own in the closing stages, moving the ball well out to their winger who exploited the width of the pitch well to score but Newark weren’t finished and Evie ensured the girls finished on a high with a proper winger’s try following a great miss-pass from Mae.
It was great game to watch. It was fiercely competitive and both teams gave everything but it was played by both teams in right way with a good spirit. It was a great advert for girls rugby.
Written by Stephen Oldridge
Checked by Mark Dobb