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NLD U18 Girls V North Midlands
NLD U18 Girls were at home at Southwell Rugby Club to meet a strong North Midlands side. The teams started with a 1 minute clap tribute to Newark and NLD U18 player Max Hubbard who tragically lost his life last week and this was respected by both players and parents.
The game was the final game in the CB programme and both sides started hard with good attacking rugby and strong defence. NLD managed to break through the North Midlands defence in the first half with a great team try from a ball secured in the breakdown. The back line shipped the ball through the hands and Alex Clack broke the line and ran in under the posts and Georgia Tasker converted.
The standard of rugby played throughout the game was exceptional with both sides repeatedly attacking but being held by the opposition several times on their own goal line. North Midlands managed to score from repeated pressure on NLD’s goal line and after several repelled attacks they finally crossed the try line in the corner making the conversion difficult and they missed it.
The pace of the game never dropped throughout and both sides remained evenly matched with several try saving tackles from players on both side, however NLD’s Georgia Tasker managed to find a hole in the North Midlands defence and ran in a second try and also converted giving NLD a 14 – 5 lead.
The packs hit hard, cleared each other out and generally presented plenty of ball for a strong backline running hard and play flowing rugby and plenty of pace. A great show of Girls rugby from two strong committed side who played their hearts out and entertained the parents and coaches watching.
On behalf of the coaching team and all the support staff I am sure we all say well done and that we are proud to have been involved with all the girls in the programme and their commitment showed through with this season’s NLD U18 girls finishing undefeated.
NLD U15 Girls
NLD 10 – North Mids 5
NLD 12 – Staffs 5
The NLD u15 Girls also headed to Southwell for their final fixtures of this seasons CB programme hoping to move on from the unfortunate defeat to Staffordshire a fortnight before. In a slight amendment to the published schedule rather than a developing Warwickshire team the girls would face North Midlands and Stafforshire in a triangular set of games.
First up were North Midlands and unfortunately it took a while for NLD to get into their rhythm and a series of forced passes and attempted offloads kept the ball going back and forward between the two teams. The breakthrough came via a brilliant cross field kick from Laina Corah that Kendal Waudby collected and crossed the North Midlands try line, the conversion was missed. North Midlands came back out firing and a missed tackle in the midfield allowed them to break through the NLD line and touch down under the posts, the conversion was good and North Mids took a two point lead. The game could only be described as scrappy with too many unforced errors from both teams, stout defending from the NLD kept them in it when North Midlands buoyed by their lead kept them pressurising the NLD defense. Gradually some of the structure and directness returned to the NLD play and momentum swung their way, a tense couple of minutes ensued and with the final play of the match Hannah Blake crossed the try line to snatch a victory from the jaws of defeat.
Final score was 10-7 to the NLD with many sighs of relief all round.
After a break for the North Midlands vs Stafforshire game NLD took the field for their second game of the day.
Both teams took off at a fair rate of knots with Stafforshire using their significant size advantage to pressurize the NLD defensive line. NLD’s tackling was immense however and they didn’t take a backwards step. With ball in hand NLD were threatening and they seemed to have learnt from the first game and were much more secure at the breakdown, setting up phases and not forcing the offload. Both teams were stepping up in defense and the game was back and forth as each side sought for the upper hand. After 15 minutes a line break put Stafforshire into NLD territory and a bit of disorganization in the NLD defense left the Staffordshire winger in acres of space which she exploited and drew first blood for visitors. The conversion was missed so NLD were looking at a 5 point deficit. Another titanic midfield tussle ensued but Staffordshire started giving up penalties and their error count began to rise. NLD were giving up some size in the scrum but its was Stafforshirs who were constantly on the back foot during these set pieces. The pressure told and NLD started to move into Staffordshire territory through a series of quick penalties. A few phases of pressure and the NLD Scrum Half Sophie Lorenz picked from the base of the ruck and with the help of a couple of forwards was driven over the line Lucy Weaver slotted the conversion and NLD were finally in front 7-5. A second try from Kendal Waudby took the score to 12-5 and NLD played out the rest of the game in the ascendancy.
Two victories on the day and two good games of that left the spectators, players and coaches with big smiles on their faces.
3 wins out of 4 for the whole of the CB programme and a close defeat shows that U15 girls rugby in NLD is in robust health and the development shown by the girls has been pleasing for the coaches. The girls should be suitably proud of their achievements in representing the NLD and serve as role models for those players aspiring to pull on the NLD shirt.