ARMY(W) 54 – NAVY (W) 12
After a sterling performance by the Army (W) against the RAF (W) in Aldershot Head Coach, Capt Glyn Barraclough RAMC made his team selection to meet the challenge of the Navy (W) at Kneller Hall.
It was the Navy who started strongly playing down the slightest of slopes armed with the bigger pack the Navy waste no time reminding the Army how to scrummage. The pressure at Scrum time led to early penalties and put the Army firmly on the back foot; it required a solid defence display to keep the Navy attack from scoring early in the game.
With the limited ball available and little ‘Go Forward’ the Army had to use any possession effectively; after putting together some good close phases of play pulling in the Navy defence Gnr Jess McAuley received the ball out wide. With limited time and space she managed to first evade and then out pace the Navy defence to score. This was followed up with another quite different try on 20 minutes by Capt Rebecca ‘Sonic’ Homer; she punched through the Navy midfield defence and drove over to score.
With the score at 10 – 0 the Navy re-grouped, applying pressure forcing the Army into their 22 and into mistakes. After giving away penalties the Referees patience was tested to the full the Army were down to 14 with 1 in the bin. This allowed the Navy to tap and go, set up a platform on the Army 5m line and build for a deserved first try 10 – 5 at the break.
Having re-grouped the Army started the second half well; soaking up Navy pressure in defence and regaining possession. Efficient close support phase play allowed the Army to show glimpses of their attacking threat. A break in play on 46 minutes saw the end of an era, Maj Kat Watkins (nee Woods) leaving the field for the final time in a Red Shirt; well done Kat a true legend of the Women’s game.
With Barraclough making further changes the Army stepped up the tempo and made best use of the slope; with ball in hand the forwards set the platform allowing the backs to break free with power, pace and support. 8 second half tries was the icing on the cake for a great squad performance. A second yellow card for the Army and a penalty try awarded very late in the game to the Navy were the only blips on a near prefect second half display.
The final try on the last play of the game received applause and cheers that almost matched the ones afforded to Kat Watkins as she left the field on her final game. It was a try from 40m scored by Cpl Bee Vasey AGC (RMP); a member of the modern day front row union powering through the fringe defence and evading the tackles of a scramble Navy defence to score under the posts.
The Army (W) scored 7 tries in the second half and 9 tries in total; 3 each for wingers Dani Phan and Jess McAuley plus tries by Sonic Homer, Nancy Kuva and Bee Vasey was the polish on a good squad performance.
A great first season for the new Coaching and Management team and the newly capped Army (W) players; Lt Chantelle Miller R Sigs, 2 Lt Erica (Kiwi) Mills RA, Cpl Carrie (Bev) Smith Int Corps, LCpl Demi Graham R Sigs, Pte Nikki O’Donnell QARANC and Gnr Jess McAuley RA.
Man of the Match went to Capt Rebecca (Sonic) Homer RLC
|Cpl||Bee Vasey||AGR (RMP)|
|Sig||Demi Graham||R SIGNALS|
|Cpl||Carrie (Bev) Smith||INT CORPS|
|2Lt||Erica (Kiwi) Mills||RA|
|Capt||Gemma Stonebridge-Smith||AGC (ETS)- VICE CAPTAIN|
|Cpl||Amy Roberts||AGR (RMP)|
|Cpl||Dani Phan||INT CORPS|
|Capt||Rebecca (Sonic) Homer||RLC|
|Maj||Charlie Maxwell||AGC (SPS) – CAPTAIN|
|Cpl||Tara McGlade||R SIGNALS|
|Sgt||Nancy Kuva||AGC (SPS)|