Sunday, December 3, 2023

Rugby: Worcester the source of great rugby against T-Birds

TOP of the table Worcester rightly arrived full of confidence and put on a great display of running rugby to thrill a large crowd and completely dismantle a T-Birds team who stuck to their guns for the full 80 minutes but ultimately came up well short.

On their climb up the Leagues over the last 5 years, the Thurrock T-Birds have had games turn on the exceptional ability of a single player, often an England star returning from injury and getting game time in a lower team. Now they are playing against multiples of these players in most of the teams they are facing.

While they match up player for player against the majority of the teams, it’s these big names who are making the difference as their class shines through..

Despite T’s Captain Mercedes Foy sitting out with a knee injury and despite England’s Rochelle Clarke in the front row, Ts again dominated the scrum and denied the opposition clean set piece ball, but with the ball in hand, Worcester constantly changed the point of attack and their fine backs lead by England’s Merchant, Large and Waterman, cut lines that completely unpicked the T’s defence.

Their defence having been a huge asset in the lower leagues containing big runners on hard lines it seems to be less suited to managing the fine footwork before contact that is a feature of the Premiership and the best players in the world.

England Openside, Heather Fisher was completely unmanageable around the fringes and she and Centre Goddard bagged 2 trys each in a first half haul of 7 by Worcester with Captain of the day, Tamara Nichols benefiting from T’s forward power and gaining a consolation touchdown.

5 more Worcester trys followed in the second half, with Fisher and Goddard completing hat tricks and Waterman bagging 2.

At 5-72, the T-Birds ended this knowing that despite their physical commitment and endeavour, they have a huge amount of technical work to do if they want to remain a Premiership Team.

Thurrock’s Players of the match were stand in Hooker, Veronica Ely and Katie Fenn back at Centre.

Thurrock. J.Mountjoy, V.Ely, J.Convoy, T.Nichols(C), C.Boulton, F.Jordan, S.Jordan, L.Austin, A.Radford, E.Scott, I.Harvey, K.Fenn, R.Prosser, T.Pinkham, K.Emerson. Rep. L.Kavanagh 54, G.Marcassus 65, R.Francis 61., S.Clive 65

Worcester. K.Phasey, J.Mills(C), R.Clarke, J.Brightmore, R.Watkins, P.Crews, H.Fisher, K.Jones, C.Keane, C.Large, D.Waterman, Mj.Goddard, K,Merchant, S.Bree, Z.Bennion

Away to Bristol and Richmond over the next 2 weeks, The T-Birds return to Oakfield on the 28th October.


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