Two wins out of two as the RNRU(W) convincingly defeat HM Prison Service ladies 57-0
RN Women XV
HM Prison Service
Under a floodlit USSG PORTSMOUTH pitch on a cool, still Wednesday night the RNRU(W) executed their most clinical and convincing win in 2 years, against HM Prison Service Ladies. Led by their Captain, Charlotte Fredrickson, the RN Women were in buoyant mood after their victory in January against Yeovil RFC Ladies. There were nerves aplenty but as RNRURS referee Stu Collins blew the whistle, they didn’t show and the RN Women went on the offensive.
The RN Women started aggressively, going into contact with the forwards recycling the ball quickly and the backs being given clean ball by scrum half Oli Critchley. The RN Women made quick ground early, allowing Charlotte Fredrickson to take a short pop ball of a ruck and attack the Prison Service Ladies defensive line. Poor tackling coupled with strong running saw her ease over the line to put the first points on the board. Loogle Worsfold added the extra 2 points making it 7-0 after 3 mins. From the re-start the RN Women continued with direct and decisive rugby and it wasn’t long before some effective handling by Nicola Elvidge at out half saw Georgia Rowley break the Prison Service Ladies with a lovely angled run and go over for a try, which was also successfully converted (14-0). Again, straight from the restart, the RN Women were in full flow leaving the Prison Service Ladies somewhat dumbstruck, a powerful break through the Prison Service Ladies centres by Loogle Worsfold saw her with a clear run from 30 metres out, which she successfully converted, making it 21-0 after 10 mins of play. The Prison Service Ladies clearly rattled by the RN Women onslaught rallied together and started to compete more strongly in rucks and made ground into the RN Women’s half through a series of penalties. They were unable however to make any significant impact with the RN Women holding tight in defence and keeping the Prison Service Ladies outside of the RN 22 metre area.
This pressure was short lived and the RN Women went back on the attack making some good territory with the boot of Nicola Elvidge and pressure by winger Billi Stait and fullback Kirsty Marlor. This pressure allowed the RN Women to quickly recycle the ball and allowed Oli Critchley to pick from the ruck and attack the blind side to run in another try, the subsequent conversion was missed (26-0). It wasn’t long before the Prison Service Ladies were caught unawares by the nimble Oli Critchley, who used her speed and agility again to good effect to go over for her second try of the match. This time it was successfully converted by Loogle Worsfold making it 33-0. The RN Women’s backs were having a field day playing some excellent running rugby, sometimes surprising themselves with the space they found which led to some unnecessary offloads. However, it wasn’t only the backs that were starting to show off their running skills. As half time approached, some strong rucking coupled with effective picking up off the back of rucks saw number 7 Pippa Hutchinson attack a gap inside the Prison Service Ladies 10 metre line. A strong runner, she fended off 2 opposition players with hand offs before beating the final defender with speed to make it 38-0. A small slip from Loogle Worsfold saw the ball hit both uprights from the conversion but fall the wrong side of the cross bar. The whistle went shortly after for half time with the RN Women 38 points in the lead.
The second half started in much the same way as the first half finished with the RN Women attacking the Prison Service from the outset, running good angles and exposing the weakening Prison Service Ladies defence. The RN Women started to own the scrum but were giving away possession and territory by infringing at rucks. The Prison Service regularly attacked using their number 8 but could not breakdown the RN Women’s defence. It wasn’t long before some effective handling opened up a gap into which substitute Drew Powell accelerated and went over for a well worked try. The subsequent conversion was missed but the scoreboard kept creeping up; 43-0. From the re-start the RN Women made yet another impact with Captain, Charlotte Fredrickson, breaking free and going over the line whilst the Prison Service Ladies’ defender, making an excellent tackle, prevented the try from being scored. The RN Women made further changes in the second half and one of them, Stacey Hargarve, attacked the Prison Service centre pairing breaking through with ease and beating the chasing defenders to the put the RN Women within reach of the 50 point mark. Loogle Worsfold made it so with an excellent kick and the RN Women were 50 points to the good (50-0). With around 15 minutes to go the effective RN Women’s ruck proved itself again providing quick ball allowing Charlotte Fredrickson to go over for her second try of the match, the conversion sailed between the posts and the score was 57-0.
Sadly an exceptional scrum by the RN Women was unable to be contained by the Prison Service Ladies with their loose head prop crumpling under the pressure and the scrum collapsing. Sadly the Prison Service Ladies loosehead sustained an apparent neck injury to which an ambulance was called. It was then agreed by both Captains and the referee that the game should be finished early and as the final whistle blew the result was 57-0. On a positive note after 10 minutes the Prison Service Ladies’ loosehead did get to her feet of her own accord and walked off the pitch.
Overall it was an excellent display of rugby by the RN Women; however, it identified areas to work on. Head Coach George Hillan said after the game, “This is yet another positive step in the right direction for the team especially with the inclusion of new players, some of which stepped onto a rugby pitch for the first time. It has given us plenty to take away and work on ahead of our next match against Portsmouth RFC Ladies but the Ladies can be very proud of the start they have made to the season.”
The RNRU(W) take on Portsmouth RFC Ladies at HMS Collingwood on Wednesday 24 February; kick off 1900.
Article by David Martin RNRU(W) Communications Manager
Images © Alligin Photography / David Martin