Before stepping on the pitch, we already knew this game would be a hard one. Despite winning comfortably in our last friendly with Brunel, they have always proved a challenge to us, emphasising and taking advantage of our weakest points. I am happy to say that although messily, we won this match as the better team.
Early on in the game, Brunel already had us by two tries, which they basically gained by passing the ball out and running through the gaps by the wing, as our defense was lacking a bit on the sides. Though after we gained ball possession and composure, we did what we do best: steadily and powerfully crushing down the opposition through forwards balls. This gave us our first try, where scrum-half Helena did a quick pick-and-place on the try-line. After this, Liz scored what would become the conversion that would decide the outcome of the game.
Brunel had incredible strength and speed in their back line from fly-half to centres, which we responded to more positively in the second half by stepping up our defense. They did put a damper on our back line whose opposite players were strong and decisive in defense, meaning that forwards had to carry balls more than in previous games. Thus, the results of our strong scrummaging and forwards crash balls showed on the rest of the match's try scorers, where flankers and 8 had a great day - shout out to George, Philippa and Helen!
This did not stop Brunel from stealing tries by repeating what they did best: making an unstoppable run to the try line and scoring comfortably. Thankfully, they never scored any conversions, which would eventually determine the game.
With two minutes left, we were in Brunel's 22, where Ana took a hard tackle and had to be carried off the pitch (again by coach - wish we had pictures, but media sec was finally on the pitch, playing again!!). The score was 27-30 to Brunel. The short stopping of the game gave us a last-minute huddle, where we promised ourselves to get this win for Ana, who we at that point thought had broken her thigh bone, judging by the Spanish swears and curses coming from her tiny body (don't worry, it's not broken). As the game commenced again, the ref announced a scrum with our put-in and that this would be the last play. We won the scrum and passed to back line, where it crashed, meaning we had to ruck and recycle. Many attempts to break through the solid Brunel defense at their 5-metre became too much for them and they were penalised for hands in the ruck, which gave Liz the chance to dive on the try line and finally score, effectively ending an incredibly intense match to our advantage.
While the victory was somewhat overshadowed by a burglary in our changing rooms and Ana's injury, a win is a win - especially such a hard-fought one as this. That will be the major positive from this tumultuous day.
Tries: Philippa (2), Helen (1), Helena (1), Georgina (1), Liz (1)
Conversions: Liz (1)
Opposition's Player of the Match: Liz
Our Players of the Match to be revealed.
KCLWRFC is proudly sponsored by KPMG.
Less words, more pics?
Follow our instagram!