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
Less words, more pics?
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