Monday, April 15, 2024

Rugby: T-Birds triumph in cup

T-Birds 26 v 15 West Park

THIS was a game that the T-Birds could well have lost, but ultimately they held together through adversity to collect the National Intermediate Cup.

Two old sayings about rugby pretty much sum up this game.

Old adage one, “Defence wins games”

West Park Leeds will undoubtedly wake up this morning wondering how they lost after spending much of the game pressing the T-Birds line. Time and time again, the T-Birds put their bodies on the line to prevent a score.

Old adage two, the forwards decide who wins the game, the backs decide by how many!

As always the T-Bird pack was magnificent but the backs outshone them, 2 intercepts on their own line allowed first Natalia Ortega and then Sally Tuson to run literally the length of the pitch and score under the posts.

The signs were there from the early minutes, most areas of the game were pretty evenly matched but the T-Bird backs looked dangerous every time they touched the ball.

The dancing feet of India Harvey weaved through to score after 14 minutes and Ts were never behind on the scoreboard, although West Park chased them gamely getting round the outside on 23 minutes for their first score, but crucially no conversion left them short.

West Park pushed hard and camped on the T-Bird line but their attack lacked a little crispness and accuracy which allowed Natalia Ortega to intercept a floated pass and race the length of the pitch.

At 12-5 West Park pushed again for the final 5 or 6 minutes of the half, but heroic defence kept them out once again. Held up over the line in the last play West Park looked a little crestfallen as they gathered for the half time talk and this was probably the turning point of the game.

West Park came out for the second half knowing that route one would not work, and they needed something different if they were to win, but a poorly executed cross field kick ultimately cost them the game as Sally Tuson collected the loose ball on her own line and set off into the distance. Touching down under the posts the conversion brought the score to 19-5 leaving West park needing 2 converted trys just to draw level.

Park scored next to keep their hopes alive but Ts somehow managed to dig deep and raise their game for their best 10 minutes or so of the match.

With Jodie Rettie kicking for position, Park were forced to defend for once and were just unable to handle the T-Bids in full flow.

Tuson’s second and the resulting conversion opened up a 16 point gap and the game was won with 15 minutes to go.

West Park kept their heads up and played for pride for the remainder of the match and gained the final try of the game with the last play

Final Score was 26-15 with the T-Birds winning their first ever Cup.

Team: Cameron, Tuson (2T), Ortega (T), Tyler , Harvey (T), Rettie, Cook (3C), Nichols, Foy, Hepper, French, Franklin, Beard, Prosser, Dyche, Rep: Wheeler, Walsh, Shaw, Cook, Fenn, Edwards, Gallimore

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.

Training will resume in June.


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