Match Report by Holly Foskett
Wasps FC Ladies came out in black and gold to face Harlequins Women for the first game of the Tyrrell’s Premier15’s Season. After a tough 1st half which ended with Harlequins 21 points up, Wasps fought back to leave the final score at 32-38, just missing the win over the visitors. However with 5 tries scored between Abby Dow, Louise Dodds and Kate Hallett- Wasps FC Ladies take home a bonus point.
Wasps FC Ladies started strong, their work in defence shining through and putting pressure on the visitors to secure a penalty in the first 10’ and put the first points on the board with a kick from Hannah Edwards.
Not letting this early lead get in their way, Harlequin’s fought back hard and made their mark on the pitch with a first try from their Flanker Shaunagh Brown. Despite resilience in defence from the host side, Harlequins Women went on to score a further 3 tries in the first half. With Wasps leaving left outnumbered on the outside, a final try from Harlequins no.11 left the score at 24-3 on the half time whistle.
With 4 tries conceded and none gained, Wasps had all to play for and prove in the second half. Having worked immensely hard over preseason, and having beaten Harlequins two weeks previously, they were not letting the game run away from them that easily.
Wasps first sting came from prop Kate Hallett in the 46th minute and with a beautiful conversion from Hannah Edwards, Wasps set out to close the gap. Wasps continued to put pressure on the visitors, forcing mistakes and giving them opportunity to put practice into play, scoring two further tries in the 53rd and 63rd minute from Abby Dow and Louise Dodds, who also made her debut appearance in black and gold today.
The final fifteen minutes of the game saw a fierce fight from both teams- with a tennis like succession of tries. The first from Harlequins player Holly Myers, after making an incredible intercept down the middle of the pitch. This was shortly followed by a second try from Wasps Winger Abby Dow in the 70th minute.
With Harlequins No.6 awarded a yellow card in the 76th minute leaving team a player down with 4 minutes to play- Wasps took the opportunity to capitalise. A Wasps line out on the 5m, won with a beautiful take from Alice Sheffield, resulted in a try in the final play for the host side. Kate Hallett took the ball over the line for the second time with Abby Dow converting leaving the final score at 32-38 to Harlequins Women.
We saw a game of two halves here today at Twyford Avenue and despite an epic performance in the second half, Wasps narrowly missed out on the win. However, with the first game of the season underway, everything is left to play for and the team are left raring and ready to take on Gloucester Hartpury next week.
Match Report by Holly Foskett
HARLEQUINS LADIES BEAT WASPS LADIES IN OPENING TYRRELLS PREMIER 15S MATCH
HARLEQUINS RECORDED A BONUS POINT WIN OVER RIVALS WASPS LADIES AFTER SCORING SIX TRIES IN AN IMPRESSIVE 32-38 VICTORY.
Wasps opened the scoring with a tenth minute penalty but the remainder of the first half was all Quins. Tries to Shaunagh Brown, Jess Breach, Holly Myers and Heather Cowell gave the visitors a try bonus point and a commanding 3-24 lead at the break.
In the second spell Wasps fought back valiantly with five tries of their own, but Myers and Breach both scored late as Harlequins held on to win 32-38.
Earlier, Harlequins Ladies arrived at Twyford Avenue to face Wasps Ladies on the opening day of the newly former Tyrrells Premier 15s competition.
The visitors were under pressure early from the experienced Acton outfit and only a turnover on their own line kept the scores level in the opening minutes.
Wasps centre Hannah Edwards gave her side a 3-0 advantage with ten minutes played but the Quins pack worked hard to get their side back into the encounter.
The outstanding Shaunagh Brown carried hard throughout and was rewarded with a try from the back of the maul in the 15th minute. Jess Wooden converted to make it 3-7
A few minutes later they extended their lead when England international Leanne Riley kick started a counter attack that saw Jess Breach go over in the corner.
The visitors backline were causing problems when they had time and space but it was the forward pack that earned them their third score in the 35th minute. A big scrum on the opposition five metre line won them a penalty and a quintessentially-Quins quick tap led to Holly Myers ghosting in under the posts.
Before the half was up Heather Cowell crossed for the bonus point try, after being on defence in their own 22 just two phases earlier, helping Harlequins to a 3-24 lead at the break.
As the second half began it felt like an entirely new Wasps outfit and they quickly got back into the encounter led by powerful prop Katherine Hallet. The replacement front rower scored first from the driving maul before Abigail Dow charged down a kick to close the gap to 15-24.
It was a swarm of Wasps attack as they dominated territory and possession and on the hour mark they were rewarded again as Louise Dodd sliced through from a lovely set play, but the conversion from in front of the stick drifted wide.
The momentum was all with Wasps but Holly Myers snagged an intercept try to give Harlequins some breathing room before Dow crossed for her brace with just seven minutes left to play.
The scoreboard read 25-31 but there was more action to come as Jess Breach scored again for Harlequins after beating her opposite number for pace on the outside.
Finally as the clock wound down Hallett completed her brace, and the conversion helped the home side to a deserved two bonus points in the thrilling 32-38 encounter.
Head Coaches Gary Street and Karen Findlay will be widely impressed with thier young side’s performance as they still wait for the return of a number of international stars who are still unavailable for selection post Rugby World Cup.
Next up for Harlequins Ladies is a home match at Surrey Sports Park against Firwood Waterloo next Saturday 23rd September (kick-off 15:00). The match is free to attend and more information can be found here.
|Twyford Avenue Sports Ground|
|10 Twyford Ave, London W3 9QA, UK|