Having been two seasons unbeaten in league rugby, the T-Birds have been the “must win” game for every other team in Championship South East 2, but following last week’s draw against Harlequins, Wasps’ Seconds really fancied their chances of an upset at Oakfield.
I am often asked if ladies really play “full contact” rugby and the last two weeks have produced two shuddering physical contests with bodies laid well and truly in the line.
For the second time in succession, the T-Birds will again look back on this as a game they could and probably should have won.
Playing their physical brand of enterprising rugby, the Ts pressed hard from the off and the Wasps did not leave their own half for nearly 20 minutes.
Apart from a few clearing kicks and fewer running breaks the T’s pushed and pushed for a score, being only denied by last ditch tackles and resolute defence. The Wasps’ excellent scrum half constantly disrupting and negating the power of the T’s scrum.
Nearing the break, with Ts camped on the 5 meter line and Wasps conceding 7 penalties in quick succession the ref finally carded a Wasp. T’s took the scrum and drove for the line but despite the back row breaking early and disrupting, the ref refused the penalty try and blew up for half time.
The first ten minutes of the second half followed the pattern of the first, with T’s having the lion’s share of possession and territory, but then Wasps made changes.
Amongst others entering the fray was Welsh international Bethan Walsh coming on at 12.
As in last year’s away game she completely changed the shape and intentions of the Wasps back line and they suddenly looked dangerous, T’s normally excellent defence had no answer to her pace and movement. Within 5 minutes, she had engineered a gap for Wasps to score, 0-5.
The home team dug in and tackled their hearts out but Wasps now threatened constantly but it still remained a very even contest.
T’s had their own chances and were cut down just short of the line on several occasions.
Final score 0-5.
T-s remain second to Harlequins with the game in hand now not enough to pull level.
Back of the match Sally Appleton, forward of the match Veronica Ely
T’s resume next week away to Blackheath.
To mark a point of history, the T-Bird’s second team finally made their league debut sadly losing to local rivals Thames Toucanettes 17-39.
The second team are desperate for more players, anyone over 18 welcome, no previous knowledge required.
Training Wednesday nights 7.30, just turn up and you will be made welcome.