Sunday, June 16, 2024

Rugby: Thurrock T-Birds climb hurdles to beat Cheltenham

Thurrock 63 v 14 Cheltenham

HAVING FOUR players withdrawn by England has been a massive challenge to the T-Birds this season and any team in the country will tell you that replacing an International quality Fly Half is almost impossible. Combining that with a horrible injury list has meant a tough season and the Ts have lost 2 Championship games for the first time in 4 seasons.

Jodie Rettie joined as a Centre but manfully stepped up and tried to fill the massive boots of Emily Scott and this was her most assured performance of the season as the T-Birds finally hit the straps and scored 11 trys against a team who shaded the away fixture.

Outside her, the backline finally fired on all cylinders as the guile of India Harvey and the power of Sophie Tyler destroyed the midfield defence. Outside of them, Sally Tuson was electric, Harris finally got on the score sheet and Ortega-Coralles created space all around by her running lines from Full Back.

The pack once again were magnificent but the balance of playing both Jordan twins at Second Row added something and the tactic of playing 2 out and out 7s in the back row in the shape of Dyche and the returning Prosser, cut Cheltenham off at source again and again.

The writing was on the wall as Tyler set out her stall in the second minute by smashing through the Cheltenham defence and scoring her first and Ts kept up an average of a point a minute for the next 20 as Tuson claimed a brace and Dyche got her first of the season.

Harvey rounded the half off with the 5th try bonus point to bring the score to 29-0.

Tyler once again opened the scoring for the second half in only 4 minutes and it looked like the rout was on the cards but almost straight from the restart a touch of complacency crept in to the Ts defence and Cheltenham walked through a slow defence to pull one back.

Once again awake the Ts cut loose and got back to the point a minute score rate for the last half hour and Harvey, Jordan, Tuson and Nichols all crossed the whitewash.

Cheltenham managed another consolation try and Harris finally broke this season’s scoring duck to finish the game at 63-14.

T-Birds now have to hope that Richmond Seconds slip up somewhere on the road to keep their league title hopes alive.

Team: Ortega-Corales, Harris (T), Tyler (2T) Harvey (2T), Tuson (3T), Rettie (c), Cook (4C), Nichols (T), Foy, Mountjoy, French, Jordan. S (T) Jordan. F, Dyche (T), Phelps , Prosser . Rep: , Wheeler, Hepper, Gallimore, Shaw, Franklin, Francis, Beard

Bristol 2nd XV have withdrawn from the League so next Sunday’s game is cancelled, but the T-Birds are Home to Old Albanians in the Cup on Sunday 22nd November, planned 2.00pm KO (Keep an eye on the website for time changes)

As always, Thurrock Ladies, the T-Birds welcome new players of any standard to their 2 teams. No matter how big or small, there is a place for you in a Rugby Team.

The 2nd XV is growing weekly and now has its own dedicated Coaching and Management team. Many are beginners, playing in their first Season, so don’t be put off if you are new to the game.

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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