December 15, 2015
Worcester Ladies RFC Devour DMP Sharks – Bristol Ladies Loom
Photo: AJB Photographic – Ceri Large
Worcester Ladies RFC Press Release: David Guest, 1st XV Manager, Match Recap Dec. 13, 2015
Darlington Mowden Park Sharks 0-53 Worcester Ladies
“A covering of snow, coupled with a frozen pitch, saw the visitors adding an hour to their journey time in both directions as the game was moved to South Shields. However, despite this disruption, Worcester returned from a long day out heartened by a most professional performance, running in nine tries without reply to secure their goal of achieving a try scoring bonus point. This provides the opportunity to finish in the play offs for the premiership title.
The visitors adapted to the conditions much better than the home side and after some early pressure from the forwards, Rochelle Clark opened their account on just 3 minutes, crashing over from a driving maul, Ceri Large taking the extras with an admirable kick from out wide. Their intent was clear and for probably the first time this season their line out was dominant, Courtney Gill dictating superbly coupled with quick and intelligent distribution from half backs Bianca Blackburn and Ceri Large.
The final score perhaps gave the impression of a one sided game, but nothing could have been further from the truth as Sharks had an equal share of the possession and for the early part of the game, actually looked the more composed side. Worcester, clearly anxious to score tries, rushed themselves into first half errors. Despite the determination of Sharks, the visitors defence was resolute and the home side were unable to cope with Worcester’s line speed and ferocity in the tackle when Sharks were in the danger zone.
The stubborn resistance of Sharks in which George Roberts strived impressively, confined Worcester’s further scoring attempts for 22 minutes, but following some very fluent interchanges between forwards and backs, Sian Williams, a persistent thorn in Sharks side, took the final ball, stepping two players to increase the visitors lead.
Ceri Large, always dangerous on the ball, wove a piece of magic on the stroke of half time, breaking the defensive line to score, also taking the extras to provide a good platform for the winning bonus point with a half time lead of 19 points.
The second half started with some frantic determined play from Sharks, but the pattern of game soon repeated repeat itself, Worcester gaining turn over ball and moved through four phases for Rochelle Clark to add her second try and five minutes later, the winning bonus point was secured by Zoe Bennion, who was well policed today and had few opportunities to score.
With 31 points to the good, Worcester really opened up the play with intricate passing throughout the team, Rachel Lund, denied a try by a last ditch tackle in the first minute, was always exciting and positive going forward, then characteristically took on three defenders to touch down, followed by Sian Williams completing her brace with an evasive run on the wing.
Despite their sterling efforts, there was now no stopping Worcester, Rachel Lund adding her second and Kelly Smith, strangely having an indifferent defensive game but exiting in attack, running from half way to score under the posts, Ceri Large finishing the game with the conversion.
This was an extremely good all round performance from Worcester in which Rhiannon Watkins, Rochelle Clark and Bianca Blackburn were dominant influences throughout the 80 minutes. The coaches will be pleased with the return from long term injury of Samantha Bree, playing her first full premiership game of the season and but for the pace of England full back Ruth Layburn, would have also contributed to the score. Sophie Williams again provided a solid performance on the flank and replacement Rhiannon Donnahey doing sufficient work to suggest she will be a regular force in the future.
Worcester entertain Bristol at Westons next Saturday, December 19th in a critical match as a winning bonus point will secure a place in the premiership playoffs for either team. A great Christmas present. Kick-off is 1.30, your support will be welcome.
Worcester would like to thank the supporters who braved the inclement weather and a late change of venue to cheer them on, greatly appreciated.”
Women’s Premiership Rugby Playoffs
Richmond Women and Saracens Women have already booked a place in the Semi-Finals on January 10th. The final two teams will be decided this weekend, Dec. 20th. Lichfield Ladies will be the favorite to win against the Darlington Mowden Sharks, while the final battle will be between Worcester Ladies and Bristol Ladies.
Bristol Ladies enter the match with a two points advantage in the standings, however a bonus point win could be the difference in securing a playoff spot.
Poster: Worcester Ladies RFC
Standings: Women’s Premiership Rugby