Women’s rugby put St. John to the sword

York showed their near neighbours little mercy on Wednesday afternoon, the 41-0 away success sending a statement of intent in BUCS League 2B

Photograph by Jessica Roy

Photograph by Jessica Roy


BUCS League 2B – Wednesday 9th December

In a much anticipated derby clash, York outclassed their city rivals in a fierce and competitive game, which saw both sides exert every effort in order to continue their own run of good form so far in the season. In this forward dominated game, York kept their composure as frustration and tempers flared within the St John side, which eventually told in the scoreline.

York dominated the first-half, enjoyed the majority of possession and worked hard to keep the ball in St John’s half. Strong forward play in the rucks enabled York to gain field position, and it wasn’t long before York put the first points on the board with a try from prop Kirsty Wheeler. As play resumed, York managed to capitalise on a series of penalties; first for a high tackle on Emma Nugent, then repeatedly for the failure to retreat ten metres after the whistle for a tap was blown.

This forced St John to tighten up their defence making it increasingly difficult for York to break through. However, quick back play enabled York to get the ball out to outside centre Emma Cooper, whose fast footwork put York in a more dominant lead at half-time and gave Captain Emma Hodgson a comfortable conversion under the sticks.

After strong words from the Coach at half-time regarding York’s failure to translate field position into points on the board, York came out more determined to finish the game. Tactical kicking from Hodgson managed to find the touchline in St John’s half making it impossible for them to move down field. Frequent line out steals from Fiona Parr meant York could regain possession allowing the visitors once again to dive over the whitewash in the hands of Hodgson.

York’s forward play in the second-half was impeccable, turning over the ball whenever St John had possession despite the hosts’ constant attempt at the illegal ‘squeeze ball’ move in rucks, which went conveniently unnoticed by the referee. York’s forwards also dominated the scrums, which allowed the backs to run around the slower and now very tired opposition, giving Kate Fullilove the perfect opportunity to score down the right wing.

At this point it seemed impossible for St John to get back into the game, and strong mauling from York, much to the opposition’s dislike, showed superior strength and fitness, something exemplified by Ang Ball, as she powered over the line taking three of St John’s forwards with her – another conversion meant York were receiving the ball once more. York’s fast hands and momentum found the hands of Cooper once more as she sprinted past St John to get her second try of the game.

In the closing moments of the game, York’s victory was made final when Ellen Larson scored a converted try straight from a ruck. Despite York’s dominance St John never lost face and put every effort into defending and attacking, making it a hard fought win for York and despite the scoreline both sides were feeling the effects of 80 minutes of hard tackles, rucks and scrums.

York Captain Emma Hodgson said afterwards: “I thought we were excellent and showed real heart in a very physical game. We have now scored 112 points and conceded 0 in our last two games which is very pleasing form to take into the New Year.”

York Line-up: 1. Ellen Larson 2. Vic Cusick 3. Sarah McLoughlin 4. Ang Ball 5. Fiona Parr
6. Kirsty Wheeler 7. Linzi Hull 8. Lizzie Prance 9. Amy Davies 10. Emma Hodgson (c) 11. Emma Nugent 12.Aimee Miller 13. Emma Cooper 14. Kate Fullilove 15. Amee Wilson

Substitutes: Jess Sharpe and Claire Beer

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