Women’s rugby take positives from Hull defeat

Pre-season friendly

Images: Agatha Torrance

Despite a loss, UYWRUFC began the new season with a promising start, demonstrating plenty of potential in a new side with a mixture of experienced and inexperienced players.

York started slowly, but the new team gradually picked up their game plan and flashes of brilliant potential were visible.

Due to the inexperienced York front row, uncontested scrums were introduced in the second quarter, bringing a completely different dynamic to the game.

Hull demonstrated a disciplined and organised pack at the beginning of the match, creating problems for York in their defensive rucks and the tackle area.

York failed to use the speed of their back line effectively, allowing Hull to use their forwards to continuously crash the ball in and create weaknesses in the defence.

However, York stepped up a gear in the third quarter with a ten-minute attacking burst that saw new second row Mollie Staples crash the ball over the line, quickly followed by new hooker Dee Otunia breaking down the wing and scoring in the corner.

New prop Lydia Buckley, Otunia and Staples all excelled throughout the match as complete novice players, supported by Jo Moffat who was a constant presence in the tackles and rucks.

Unfortunately, in the latter part of the third quarter and the final quarter, York became increasingly disorganised, which Hull effectively exploited by attacking the weak defensive line and the blind side, scoring four tries in quick succession.

York’s Chloe Barrand put in a brilliant try-saving tackle, followed by Laura Harris turning the ball over, supported by Harriet Allsop.

Hull deservedly won the match, as a more organised and developed squad, but overall an excellent effort was put in by both teams, each with a large number of new players.

Injured captain Lucy Davies commented, “We can take a lot of positives out of this game despite the score line. Considering we have only trained together twice before the match, the fundamental basics are now there to build up a very strong team.

“Older girls played by and set an example; likewise, the inexperienced players should be incredibly proud of themselves. There is potential to create a very good side, and we will take forward the positives and work on the negatives during this week, leading up to our first BUCS match. All the best to Hull in their league; their forwards dominated the match and I have no doubt they will do very well this season.”

York squad: Leech, Otunia, Buckley, Moffat, Staples, Barrand, Allsop, Kimbugwe, Crichton, Herron, Harris, Brooke, Hogarth, Underhill, Flynn, Robertson, Tan, McCalllum, Mendoza, Brotherton, Khalid

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