As the end of the Season approaches Thurrock T-birds welcomed Rosslyn Park to Oakfield for the penultimate game of the Season, needing a bonus point to remain in contention at the top of the table.
Park started the season slowly, but with the return of key players their recent results have improved and T’s knew this would be no pushover.
Ts attacked from the off and playing phase after phase, spent the whole of the first 10 minutes in the Rosslyn Park half.
Having been held up from a quick tap, Tammy Nichols picked up from the scrum at No8 and got the ball wide to Dannie Harriss coming in off her wing. Touching down on 11 minutes she cemented her place as top scorer for the season with her 15th.
Park now really turned it on and threw themselves at the Ts.
They steadied their scrum and lineout and outmuscled Ts at the ruck. After 20 minutes of pressure they got their reward when their Fly Half popped through a hole in the defence to score.
The half finishing 5-5.
T’s received the restart and immediately showed their determination despite making 20 meters and losing the ball, their aggressive defence drove Park back to their own 22 forcing error after error. Re-gathering possession, a series of driven scrums and penalties finally paid off with a try for Kat Emerson. 10-5.
Sensing weakness, T’s again attacked from the off and applied another 10 minutes of relentless pressure. With the scrum now dominant Ts took the scrum option at a 5m penalty and pushed the Park backwards over the try line, with Scrum Half Amy Radford touching down. The conversion hit the post and crept over, but only one touch judge raised their flag and the kick was disallowed. 15-5.
Having had a really good 15 minutes, Ts suddenly went flat and Park picked up the pace and the next 25 minutes were even Stevens, both sides nearly scoring, only to be cut down with last ditch tackles as the defences dominated it. It looked as though the Bonus Point and league title were gone.
With 40 minutes on the clock Park over threw a lineout and T’s pack broke through only to be stopped just short. Recycling and attacking from sideline to sideline T’s finally stretched the defence and Captain Mercedes Foy dropped over the line. This time Laura Kavanagh’s conversion was clean for 22-5.
Incredibly, with 43 minutes played, Ts received the restart and gave it one last lash. Attacking up the right, Kerry Jacks who had been stopped just short at least 3 times, finally made it over the line to secure the bonus point with the 5th try. 27-5.
The maths are still too close to call and will rely entirely on bonus points in other games.
T’s now finish the Season with a last home game at Oakfield, Blackheath on 28th March which still might just be the title decider.