Warwickshire Ladies 17 vs NLD Ladies 77
With the sun beaming down on Broadstreet RFC, NLD Ladies took to the pitch to take on strong Warwickshire Ladies in their first fixture of the series. Led by Inside Centre Jordan Bixley, NLD looked to take the initiative early and play the game on their terms.
NLD received the ball from the kick-off and their back row did well to secure decent ball for Scrum Half Anna Botting to utilise. The NLD number 9 quickly released the ball to her backline who, with some great evasive running notched up their first score. Fly-Half Ellen McGuiness finishing off a master class in support play. Try was unconverted by Georgie Watkins.
This was the start skipper Bixley wanted from her team, they continued to retain possession and play positive attacking rugby. As a result of some strong ball carriers from NLD’s Tight Head Nikki Hudson, NLD found themselves camped in their oppositions 22. Warwickshire did well to defend their 22 but the NLD Backline did not waste this territory and through some slick offloads set up Outside Centre Georgie Watkins in for her first score of the match, she went on to convert her score.
Immediately off the restart NLD were back in the faces of Warwickshire and again through some brilliant creativity from Fly Half Ellen McGuiness, Number 8 Kay Searcy found herself in acres of space to finish off NLD’s 3rd try of the half. Try was not converted.
Warwickshire started to make things difficult for NLD at the breakdown, with their back-row applying pressure and hurrying the NLD Scrum-Half. However despite Warwickshire’s efforts NLD secured ball and continued to make yards. It was now time for Skipper Jordan Bixley to work her magic, evading several defenders through great foot work. She not only made good yards but she went on to score under the posts for try number 4. Try was converted by Watkins.
Warwickshire responded positively to NLD’s brutal attacking start. They did well to secure ball and began to make territorial gains. After some hard work around the breakdown Warwickshire found themselves in NLD’s 22 and on the front foot. NLD tried to keep them at bay but Warwickshire made the most of the lack of line speed from the defence and went on to score their first try of the match.
NLD quickly retained possession through some great rucking from their Number 7 Aoife Fehilly. Once they had the ball they were not giving it up, through some great carries from Lock Jade Dennet and hooker Hannah Newsome they were soon back in Warwickshire’s half. NLD then went on to see the half out in Warwickshire’s half, creating three more try’s, two finished off by Blindside Flanker Tanya Bird and Watkins grabbing her second .
NLD started the second half just like the first, on the front foot. Number 10, McGuiness took the initiative early on and orchestrated her backline effortlessly, creating a try scoring opportunity for Number 7 Fehilly to finish off. NLD’s backline continued to put Warwickshire’s under immense pressure and went on to score two more tries through Bek Daft and Fehilly, epitomising continuity in attack.
Warwickshire managed to retain possession for a decent period, where they made their way up the field and into NLD territory. Warwickshire played the ball up through their forwards, asking questions of the NLD defence. These questions were not answered and Warwickshire went on to notch up their second try of the match.
NLD’s ability to be ruthless despite the score line being heavily in their favour was inspiring. McGuiness and Bixley linked up well and set up a 2 on 1 for Idiil Abid and Searcy to finish off, with the number 8 clocking up her second try of the match. The ladies from Region 4 finished off the match just how they started it , playing expansive rugby and scoring try number 12 though Alex Clinkard from Amber Valley RFC .