On this surprisingly sunny Wednesday in October we achieved our first win of the season; hurrah!! What's even better than that? We beat last year's league winners! Supported by our fellow team members and alumni, (Tara you babe), who made their way down to Berrylands despite being injured (we love you all), the team showed some of the greatest teamwork to date, with us winning an incredibly intense match!
The game started off in our favour, with a strong push up against our competitors and an impressive defensive line, causing us to dominate the pitch for the first half of the game. Scrums stayed strong throughout the game, with us winning all of ours and even stealing theirs! Sussex increased the pressure in the second half and really gave us a run for our money, making this one of the most physical games we've played. However the girls showed immense perseverance with the forwards making strong tackles and the backs creating some great lines and scoring our winning try!
In the last quarter of the game we held our own and stuck to the set plays despite Sussex's determination to score, and we have never been more grateful to hear a whistle blow! Phew! One of our hardest games to date, but we put up a fight and the win was one of the sweetest we've tasted. A big thank you to the Sussex team for a great game and for the amazing photographs of all of us in action!
Tries: Chiara (1), Thiviya (1), Marie-Lys (1), Harriet (1)
Conversions: Chloe (1)
Forward of the match: Melissa
Back of the match : Chiara
Oppositions player of the match: Chloe
Credit to Al Craig for the photos!
On this beautiful Sunday, we had our first proper game of the season - a friendly with our Strand neighbours, LSE, who are always great fun to play. It was the first game for many, many of our freshers and we're very happy to walk away victoriously, partly due to our great play, but also because lucky charm mascots Sarah and dog Luna were there to cheer us on (see photo with Paz below.. who's more excited, Paz or puppy??)
The scrums were initially contested and LSE dominated these and stole many of our balls. After injuries, we went to uncontested, though, which really put us back in the game, though it's always frustrating for the forwards not to get really agro at the bind (though that didn't stop fresher Angharad, hehe). Forwards phases worked really well, using our pod and rucking training to break the gain line and secure our balls - very few turnovers, yay!
Our backline showed excellent ball handling skills and managed to outrun the LSE defense on multiple occasions - shoutout to Reagan, Chiara, Marie-Lys and Helen, who really made a massive push for our first try, executed straight by the book. Defensively, tackles were solid from backs and forwards throughout the game, stopping even strong, tall LSE girls in their tracks. Special mention to freshers Ree and Tash who put in some try-stopping tackles and Paz who had a moment of fame as fullback.
In the final 20 minutes, LSE were getting frustrated at not using their opportunities properly, and we had to defend at our try line for 15 minutes, mauling, holding up balls and making turn-overs in the ruck. We were absolutely WHEEZING by the end, but still managed to kick and chase soooo many balls, keep our composure and play to the whistle. EXCELLENT PLAY!
Tries: Chiara (1), Mariama (1), Marie-Lys (1)
Conversions: Chloe (2)
Forwards of the day: Rosie and Jess
Backs of the day: Marie-Lys and Reagan
Dick of the Day: Angharad for hooking in LSE's uncontested scrum... woopsie
Our first game of the year was as always the annual Alumni Games against recent and old graduates of our beloved KCLWRFC family. The sun popped out exactly for the 2 hours where we played on the pitch at HOP, making this a hot affair.
The first 15 minutes, the current squad showed great defense and managed to keep the alumni in their own half (no small feat!!) before letting in a few tries in the second quarter (courtesy of ex-8 Daisy and old captain Anna M). Freshers Rosie, Tash and Afaf showed AMAZING defensive skills, really using our session from Wednesday to put in some sick tackles. Ball handling and passing also improved as the game went on - special shout-out to fresher and first-time centre Ree! - and fewer and fewer mistakes were made, resulting in an impressively low number of penalties and dropped balls.
As we ventured into second half, we switched teams 50/50, so alumni and current girls were able to play with each other (the scoreline is the one left at halftime). Uncontested scrums meant fly-halves and wingers went to front row when needed, making even the ref laugh (speaking of the ref, someone apparently pinched his bum while we played?? Hilarious). The whole game culminated in fresher Tash scoring her very first try for KCLWRFC, placing the bad boy underneath the posts after solid forwards play.
As always, a great game with two great squads. We even won team of the year at the award ceremony afterwards and somehow accepted a viking hat on behalf of the whole KCL Alumni side.
Finally, defending her title from last year, Emma H won the Joanne Smith Award for Selflessness, Dedication and Adversity, presented by Emily Smith, Jo's daughter. Jo was always a fantastic support for the team before passing away in 2014 and the award each year goes to the player who best embody her spirit by showing unconditional dedication, loyalty and selflessness.
Joanne Smith Award for Selflessness, Dedication and Adversity: Emma H
Forwards of the match: Tash (x2), Daisy, Rosie, Afaf
Backs of the match: Marie-Lys, Hannah
Dick of the day: Alumni George for running to score a try, only to knock on the ball as she entered the try zone!! Worthy runner-ups were Chiara, who fell on her bike the morning of the game and couldn't play, Liz, who was caught squealing while playing and finally Daisy, who bestowed a nearby bush with her sick.
Less words, more pics?
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