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Rugby: Harlow Ladies pegged back by Chelmsford

Lifestyle / Mon 3rd Nov 2014 at 11:26am

Harlow Rugby LadiesReport by Harlow Rugby Club

Chelmsford 14 v 5 Harlow

FOLLOWING on from Harlow’s emphatic win over Cambridge two weeks before, we travelled to Chelmsford ready to face a team well known to Harlow after many years in the same league. The usual inspiring pre game speech from injured player Kelly Smith ensured we started the game determined and with a set game plan. Our aim was to play our game with a strong defensive line, avoiding our previous mistakes of getting sucked in.

Harlow started the game strongly making the most of the downhill slope, and within the opening 10 minutes we had camped ourselves in Chelmsford’s 22. The conditions were typically autumnal and so we had to make the most of our strong pack to secure our ball going forward. An infringement from Chelmsford at the breakdown gave Leah Dixon, in her typical go forward style, a chance to take the penalty quickly and dive over the line to score before Chelmsford had time to realign themselves.

Unfortunately we lost our super tackler Hooker Carla Marshall-Souch to injury early into the first half and with only one sub available we had to play the rest of the match with Katherine Mockeridge at Lock and Charlotte Smith Flanker, both for the first time. Thank you ladies for stepping up: they played exceptionally given the literal training on the job!

The rest of the first half was a tight affair with both teams confident to kick the ball to territory. Full Back, Dani McKenna and Winger, Sharon Houston, both confidently collected the ball to run forward with McKenna in particular, strongly running through several missed tackles from Chelmsford to then recycle the ball safely. Louise Steel and Emma Hancock in the centres moved the ball assuredly along the back line to keep the ball alive and moving.

Half Time: Chelmsford 0 Harlow 5

Despite Harlow successfully executing their defensive line, by not over committing to Chelmsford’s ruck and communicating strongly along the line, Chelmsford made the most of a full bench of substitutions in the second half. They made the most of their speed in the backs to distribute the ball to their Full Back who was confident to run around our defensive line scoring two converted tries. A third was on the cards but Dani McKenna produced the tackle of the season to take the Full Back into touch.

Harlow remained positive until the final whistle, keeping possession in Chelmsford’s half and were unlucky not to score again with strong forward running from Lock Emily Wooller and Prop Lorna Hunter continually taking the ball over the gain line.

A loss, but an incredibly positive team performance which will only make us stronger as the season continues.

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