Thursday, December 7, 2023

Rugby: T-Birds edge it against Bristol…….98-0!

Thurrock 98 v 0 Bristol

THE T-Birds were prepared for a really tough match, but quietly confidant, fielding one of their strongest match day squads this season with the return of Radford from injury and the addition of Spanish winger Ortega Corrales.

Unfortunately this turned into a complete rout and once again demonstrated the shortcomings of the league structure in English Women’s Rugby. The crowd witnessed some fantastic running rugby and duly enjoyed a try fest, but the game could never be described as competitive and did little to further the ambitions of either set of players.

Determined to put an error strewn outing at Hove behind them, the T-birds came out in front of their vociferous home crowd in unseasonable December sunshine with all guns blazing.

With Captain Mercedes Foy carrying hard and smashing holes in the midfield and the pack destroying the first Bristol scrum, all the backs needed to do was hold their lines and ship the ball wide for Emerson to join the line from Full Back and scamper over in under 2 minutes.

With the domination of the Forwards, the backs ran riot and by 15 minutes the 5th try and the bonus point was secure with Harvey, Burford and Francis (twice) crossing the line.

Even though Bristol did some fine work themselves, their defence was mesmerised by the midfield lines of Scott, Burford and Harvey and dominated by the physicality of the Thurrock pack. Scott sliced them open for a solo effort and then the forwards got in on the action with Fi Jordan and Captain Foy bringing up the 50 point mark.

The T-Birds then rounded off the half and their domination of the Bristol pack, with the now obligatory push over try which No8 Phelps duly touched down. 9 trys, 6 conversions and 57-0 at half time.

Into the second half, Ts put together one of their Purple Patches of Total Rugby where it was difficult to tell forwards from backs and the crowd were treated to 6 trys in 20 minutes. With the referee keeping the breakdown clean Ts revelled in quick ball and Bristol had no answer to their offloading game. Foy and Phelps each completed their brace and Harris claimed a hat trick while T-Birds stalwart Convoy also got over the line. Extras from Scott brought the score to 91-0 and it looked like 100 points were on the cards.

Bristol once again raised their game to try and avoid the century and Thurrock lost a bit of focus as the bench was emptied and the points just would not come. When twin Frank was carded bringing Ts down to 14 with less than 10 minutes to play it looked all over, but No8 Phelps once again displayed her “never say die” attitude to chase down a Bristol mistake behind their try line and touch down her hat trick and the team’s 16th.

Scott closed the game out with the final kick to bring the final score to 98-0.

Played 10, won 10 with 10 “5 try” bonus points, the T-Birds are 16 points clear and need just 4 points from the final 4 games to secure the League. They’ve scored 558 points while only conceding 38.

Team: Emerson(T), Francis (2T), Harris (3T), Harvey (T), burford (T), Scott (T,9C) Cook , Convoy (T), Foy (Capt)(2T) Micallef, Nichols, Jordan.S (T), Beard, Jordan.F, Phelps (3T). Subst Wheeler, Radford, Ortega Corales

Players of the match Twin Frank Jordan and Dannie Harris

The T-Birds are away at Saracens Sunday 15th December, KO expected to be 2pm at Bramley Road.

Next home fixture at Oakfield against Trojans Sunday 22nd December KO 2pm. This will be followed by an Essex men’s Under 20 fixture under lights, so if you fancy some pre Christmas Rugby, see you at Oakfield.

As always, Thurrock Ladies, the T-Birds welcome new players of any standard to their 2 teams.

We can promise you great training and a great social life. Just turn up on a Wednesday evening at 7.30.


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