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New look side is a winning formula

Old Leamingtonian Ladies

Last Updated: Sep 4, 2013 06:59pm
Blackdown, Warwick
By Hannah Leyland
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That time of year has come again and the OL Ladies took no prisoners in there defeat of Moseley Women’s RFC in their friendly home game on Sunday 2/09/13.

The team is oozing with potential and have set the bar high for what is to come this season. With plenty of fresh faces proudly filling the new shirts of both sides the outcome of this friendly was anyone’s guess. Our girls went in with their heads held high; dedicated to reaping the benefits of the pre-season fitness they have been enduring under coach Gemma Lewis (newly appointed Warwickshire County ladies coach).

Nine new players were welcomed to the OL ladies squad claiming there first cap to a win against a neighbouring team of a higher division with a token trophy of no tries conceded. There were a few staple oldies dust barely wiped off the boots that kept a calm and collective team leading the novices to a harrowing defeat of Moseley. Sarah ‘Doris’ Mundy filled the role of captain with Hannah ‘Cambridge’ Wells commanding the forwards as pack leader. This fantastic duo lead this spectrum of experience to victory maintaining a calming and positive attitude of all players throughout the game.

With a new season comes new talent and new aspirations of team development. This friendly saw four quarters of players position swapping to aid selection choices for the season ahead. Despite the position hopping the girls held it together for the duration. Moments of magic left the crowd buzzing with excitement for what lies ahead for OLs ladies this season.

From the kick off Mosley sent the ball into the pack only to have OLs forwards hammer them back into their own 22. It was here that OLs ladies camped out for the duration of the first quarter. Despite valiant efforts of hard lines, good hands, the determination of the OL ladies were met with Moseley’s well drilled defence and no tries were conceded. Dominant ball carrying was made in particular by flanker Kim Carlile This quarter saw the first scrums for both teams using the new laws. The latter of this quarter saw the first OLs substitute with Stacey who despite showing excellent promise and talent was replaced by Janine McComiskey following a knee injury.

The second quarter was opened with OL hungry for a try with Winger Alex Dixon stepping up to the mark capitalising on an overlap taking the first 5 points of the game. This quarter set the tone, OLs were taking lead and holding onto it. The majority this quarter had Moseley on the back foot but they kept their own in defence with an occasional turnover greeted by a wall of blue and yellow. Replacements to this half saw Megan and Sophie ‘Woody’ Wood step up to play their first cap for OLs Ladies. Megan showed excellent dominance in the pack and Woody (complete fresh meat to rugby) was described as maintaining a ‘hench’ second centre stance in the back line. The forwards took to their own in this quarter hammering at the weakening Moseley defence line. Nippy legged scrum half Danny ‘Billy Elliot’ Benge held back only by the restriction of the quick penalty requirements of the referee capitalised on the weakening Moseley defence. Both teams conceded a series of fatigue related penalties in this quarter as the not yet seasoned legs tired to offside rules and holding on mentality took control. But just when energy was flailing Kim Carlile broke the line on the half way & went all the way to make the scoreline 10-0.

The next score came following a misjudged kick to touch by Moseley, fullback Vicky Lewis cleared up & passed a clean ball to Phillippa Rawbone who powered down the touch, fending off 3 defenders and stepped round the fullback to score under the posts allowing Benge to take 2 points – 17-0.

 With a quick halftime match turnover, a mouthful of Gatorade (YUM!) rinsed down with a spot of water and chosen encouraging wisdom from Coach Lewis and Captain Doris the Blue and Yellow line filed out to attack a flat drop kick from Doris right into Moseley’s front row. The pack was on it! Flankers Cara, Jen Vermulen and Smurf worked relentlessly pummelling at the Moseley side. Several cheeky penalties and lapses in off ball concentration almost saw Moseley women almost granted a try. Technical difficulties in scrummaging saw plenty of practice to the ‘Crouch Bind Set’ training.

With Moseley confident of their line outs the majority of penalties received were kicked to touch. OLs forwards matched in lineouts choosing not to contest but to instead close in on the 9 and 10 disrupting the life line to the backs. Hannah ‘Cambridge’ Wells scrimmaged through the Moseley line hell bent on a quick steal or hammering the scrum half. Success ensued when Claire ‘smurf’ Penna intercepted a centre pass and with Jen Vermulen in support OLs capitalised and scored. A further try in this quarter was earned by Benge at 9 who converted to end the 3rd quarter 24-0.

In the final quarter neither team appeared to ease of the gas and a final try of the game was well earned by Benge’s dancing feet as she weaved through the defence to add 5 more to the final score of 29-0. New girls slotted in flawlessly and stood up to the challenge with their ever supportive experienced teamsters. Several knock on’s from both sides saw the girls improve their adaptation to the new scrum engagement laws. The Referee had kept a calm but strict adherence to the laws by both sides addressing any infringements with clarity to help develop players and this was much appreciated by both sides. Pre-empting a final whistle a kick to touch from OLs winger Alex Dixon was sadly followed by an opposition lineout but the game was ended by an knock on by a Moseley hand.

Follow the Ladies Season on twitter @olrfc / new players welcomed www.olrfc.co.uk  

Photograph: File pic

 

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