This was set to be a tough game from the start. Portsmouth's results had been hard to read so we didn't know what we would come up against after our long minibus journey. The first 20 minutes were all about us. We dominated, which I for one found surprising as I thought the delayed arrival of us and the coaches would mean we'd take a while to wake up. The first try came from Sara after a strong push from the whole team. Unlucky not to get the conversion we were 5-0 up and motivated to do more. Next, we capitalised on Portsmouth's mistakes and Lilly kicked a penalty to add to the score board. A break from Lilly as a result of the backs making space led to the next try, which was a fairly epic run. Converted, we were up 15-0 and this was probably our downfall. We took a step off the pedal as Portsmouth woke up and changed their tactics. Knowing we were turning over the majority of scrums thanks to some excellent hooking by Georgina, they reverted to ignoring the hook and trying to shunt over the ball as much as possible.Their 10 made nearly all of their breaks and it's not often you can say that one player can make all the difference. On the back foot and outpaced, she was able to put points on their board in return. Three tries came for Portsmouth from her with 1 conversion out of the 3 meaning we were 24-15 down with around 10 minutes to go. It's a shame we only seemed to respond properly at this point, working as a team, phase after phase to allow Lilly to squeeze in our well deserved try in the right corner of the pitch. No conversion here, we needed another try to win and we were putting the pressure on in the final minutes. Unfortunately it all came a bit late and with a turnover by Portsmouth they put the ball out to finish the game.
A difficult match is probably just what we needed to make sure our minds are ready for Twickenham and The Macadam Cup next week. Rest and preparation for bigger things still to come.
Tries - Lilly (2 + 1 conversion + 1 penalty), Sara (1)
Forward of the match - Sara
Back of the match - Anne-Julie
Holloway away was a game that we knew was going to be physical after our last encounter with them. However we also felt we didn't play our best last time so had a point or two to prove. In some of the weirdest weather we've played in (random snowstorm halfway through) we managed just that. A more than confident win with a more than comfortable scoreline.
The first try of the game came from some double play on the right wing. A starting run by Lilly, and offload to Alice, and then another offload back to Lilly allowed her to stretch over the try line for the first points. No convert at this point but we were onto a good start. The scrumming from KCL was powerful as always, however there were constant struggles with Holloway not taking to hit and wheeling and not binding properly and pushing too early and etc... every time it seemed to be something different! Thankfully our strong pack kept their composition and started turning over a few scrums in their usual fashion. Next it was the backs' time to shine and their defensive speed off the flat line led to an awesome interception of a 10-12 pass from Anna and a streaking run to score. Applauded by all, it was a magnificent moment and showed her excellent handling. Converted, we were up and riding high. Unfortunately the cold then got to a few people's hands and knock ons from both sides started coming out. It was then a Holloway scrum leading to a blindside 8 pick that meant they got their 5 points onto the scoresheet. Unfortunate for us but this only motivated us to show we weren't going to make the same mistake twice. The momentum was definitely in our favour and it was time to whip out the backs moves (after the game the ref said they were very complicated and executed like a men's team - well duh! winning!). Move after move meant Alice got 2 tries in fairly quick succession, finishing off each with a rapid sprint for the try line. She was never going to be touched for either once she got hold of the ball! The next try came from Jenny, our flyhalf, who showed quick initiative by spotting the gap and making the break off of a well constructed set of forward breakdowns instead of shipping it out. Smart move. Anna showed her smarts once again with a quick tap and go penalty letting her put yet more points on the board. The final try of the day came from Lilly, although Anna really deserved it herself. Anna made the break, Anna made the ground, Anna then decided she couldn't be arsed to take the hit over the line so gave it to Lilly who was supporting to score. Fair enough. The game finished on the impressive conversion and we showed Holloway who was boss. Then we enjoyed the England game and their food, we love playing away to Holloway!
Good game girls, keep up the fitness and rest your injuries as the countdown to Twickenham begins
Tries - Lilly (2 + 5 conversions), Anna (2), Alice (2), Jenny (1)
Forward of the match - Lynn
Back of the match - Jenny
Dick of the day - Harriet for being the captain yet SERIOUSLY breaking the drinking ban
Less words, more pics?
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