Another great performance improvement for the ladies

On an overcast but mild Sunday afternoon the Ladies of Stockwood entertained Hitchin in the return League Fixture of this current season
In the previous match the Ladies had a tough day going down by 50+ points even so this was an eagerly awaited contest as we felt we were better than the score line suggested last time and were determined to prove so.
Sporting the New shirts from the sponsor “Slip End Garages Ltd” and the match ball donated by ISUZU side of the garage celebrating the pickup firms active participation in Rugby Union there was a steely determination to match.
As the game started it was clear Stockwood were going to face up to the physicality of Hitchin who always come and give it 100% with an intensity of their own .What followed was a game that took place a lot of the time in middle of the park… with attack met by counter attack .. both sides were coughing up possession a little too easy.
Stockwood created a couple of opportunities that their stoic defence merited but with a lack of support and a bit of accuracy didn’t quite come off. The first 15 mins or so Stockwood had kept Hitchin at arms length and had created the better opportunities, on or about the 20 minute mark Hitchin put a good phase together and kept the ball alive and from a penalty about 15 yards out moved through hands to find their big powerful second row on the wing .. brushing aside a couple of challenges eventually she was bought down but could stretch for the line and scored in the corner. With the conversion being missed it was dust ourselves off take some confidence from the first 20 minutes as it was very competitive and see if we can be a bit more accurate with our own play.
The score galvanised Hitchin as they then had the lions share of the ball for the next 10 mins or so without really threatening the line … it really was a tough battle with both sides standing up to each other and not giving an inch .. With Stockwood under pressure thinking became a little clouded and on a couple of occasions panic meant we didn’t clear our lines properly and on 32 mins ,from a scrum 5 metres out Hitchin again found that little extra to score out wide … with the benefit of a video replay it appears there was a clear knock on prior to the score but at our level we don’t get that luxury and as half-time approached we were 10-0 down.
It felt a little unfair due to the efforts being put in but Hitchin had the experience necessary to get over the line .
We left everything as it was and started the second half much the same with thrust and counter … I felt we were turning the ball over a little to easy and when we did go forward we were a little isolated so would then be penalised for “holding on” a little too much ..We found ourselves defending a lot but again fairly comfortably both sides not letting up in intensity .. there were a few stoppages for injuries but nothing serious to worry about. 12 minutes in and there was a scrum awarded to Hitchin for what I wasn’t overly sure but Hitchin took advantage by switching play going through hands and with good support went over again in the corner to go 15-0 up .
We decided that we would give it a go for 10 mins and then try to ensure everybody got a run out we proceeded to attack and for 4-5 mins were metres away from scoring in fact Hitchin had to touch down behind the line themselves .. Whilst giving everything we just couldn’t create a clear enough opportunity to score and when a pass was intercepted Hitchin managed to ease the pressure and return it on us.
With the last 10 minutes being interrupted a bit with injuries it became a bit disjointed and with a final flourish Hitchin went over only to have the ball held up and then 2 minutes later created just enough to score in the corner ( right on the final whistle) .. interestingly the video shows again a little doubt as it appears she looked short of the line but as I said before the ref can only give it as he sees it.
The whistle blows for the end and a 20-0 loss and a tremendous amount of effort ..considering the intensity of the game both sides should be commended for their discipline and effort. For us we are developing nicely and as we play more games its clear we are learning fast … after this performance we do not need to fear anybody just try and be a little more accurate with what we do .
I haven’t mentioned any names because every single member of the 22 deserve a mention ..you could not pick any one person out as stand out as it was a real team effort and this game is a brilliant base for us to push on to the next level .. I believe there will be some teams in the league who see the result and will raise an eyebrow ..
Wouldn’t want to Coach any other side …absolutely fantastic..

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