Women’s rugby firsts frustrated by Sheffield

The UYWRUFC first team were subjected to a three-try defeat this afternoon in what was, in reality, a tight game against Sheffield Hallam firsts…

UNIVERSITY OF YORK FIRSTS 0 vs. SHEFFIELD HALLAM FIRSTS 17
Women’s Rugyb, BUCS League Northern Conference 2B, Wednesday 26th November 2008

The UYWRUFC first team were subjected to a three-try defeat this afternoon in what was, in reality, a tight game against Sheffield Hallam firsts. The day was worsened for York when, after Hallam’s opening try, key player Emma Cooper had to be replaced following a serious-looking injury.

York had some good chances in the first half, but solid defending by Hallam meant they were unable to find the try-line and the visitors punished this, nicking a crucial score just before the half-time break. Hallam capitalised on Cooper’s injury by scoring early in the second half and rounded the game off nicely with another, late try, which was duly converted to register the convincing, though flattering, victory.

It was a frustrating game for York, as they enjoyed ample possession but struggled to break through Hallam’s strong defence. Hallam, however, looked aggressive on the attack and too often York found themselves defending deep in their own half.

York had the first good-looking run of play in what was a mostly tight first half, following neat play from a lineout. The ball was passed deftly across the backs, with the forwards supporting them well, leading to a strong drive down the left with excellent momentum. However, as was the case throughout the match, York gave away a sloppy penalty for offside play.

York found it hard to maintain momentum and possession due to an uncharacteristic bad habit of giving away cheap and unnecessary fouls. Hallam, on the other hand, were more productive with the ball in hand and didn’t surrender it meekly.

In the second half, York again started brightly, however Hallam scored the game’s decisive try shortly afterwards, with a long run followed by an elementary pass extending the lead to 10-0. The game then reverted back to the tight midfield contest it had been throughout most of the first half.

The game continued in this manor, with York’s closest attempt coming from a rare defensive missed catch by Hallam. The knock-on resulted in a scrum for York inside Hallam’s twenty-two, but good organisation by their backs meant the away team prevented York seizing the opportunity. Hallam’s final try was a long time coming, with York losing far too many defensive scrums, all inside their own twenty two.

York will be disappointed with their lack of sharpness going forward and defensive mistakes that eventually lost them the game, something they will aim to improve on next time out at Newcastle.

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