Guildfordians U18s Girls in the Waterfall Cup
Written : Sunday 08/05/22 15:51
The Guildfordians U18 Girls entered the Surrey Girls Cup along with seven other Surrey Teams. We were drawn in Group B where we would play 3 pool games before finals day on 24th April 2022.Round 1 vs Sutton & Epsom:
On 23rd January 2022 we took on S&E on their main 1st team pitch. We have not played a match since middle December, but the team has been training hard and came into the game nervous, but full of confidence after a strong run in the National Cup Pool stages. We had some fantastic games against S&E over the years so everyone was looking forward to this game. The Girls put in one of our best performances to date to beat a strong S&E team 0 – 50. Had it not been for some terrific last ditch tackling by their full back, we could have added another 3
or 4 tries to our actual tally of 8 unanswered tries. Player of the match as voted by our players was a tie between Ruby and Charlotte. Both scored a try each and I am sure the whole S&E team will be having nightmares of Ruby dominating physically in attack and defence (at one point making 4 massive consecutive tackles) and Charlotte playing Scrumhalf for the 1st time provide quick and crisp service to our backs and pouncing on a loose ball out of the scrum to score.Round 2 vs Farnham & Guildford:
On 13th March 2022 we took on the cluster team of Farnham & Guildford, mostly consisting of Farnham players. Bizarrely enough, this would be the first time ever we play against Farnham in a full contact match, so we had no idea of what to expect. We ended up winning this game 22 – 55 and scoring 9 tries, but we knew our defence needed some work after leaking 5 tries. Player of the match as voted by our players was Becca who scored a hattrick and put in a fabulous all-round performance in the Centre.Round 3 vs Dorking & Old Ruts:
On 27th March 2022 we travelled to Dorking to face the cluster team of Dorking & Old Ruts on the beautiful Dorking 1st team pitch. Ruby gathered the kick-off and ended up powering through to score to set the trend for much of this game. Dorking & Old Ruts gave it their all and fought all the way to the final whistle and scored a couple of good tries themselves as a result; however, the Guildfordians team was just to strong and skilful as we ran in 13 tries to win 12 – 80. Player of the match as voted by our players was Sophie, who put in a fantastic backrow performance and scoring a couple of tries in the process. She dominated the breakdown and almost won turnovers at will.Cup Final vs Wimbledon:
Having won all our pool games, we qualified for the Cup Final against Wimbledon who won Pool A. We played Wimbledon earlier in the season in a National Cup pool match and we ended up comfortable winners, which was a very unusual result as our games are normally very close. We expected this cup final to be a close affair after Wimbledon beat Old Reigatians in their pool game.
The Surrey Finals Day was held at Cobham on 24th April 2022, where we played on their 1st team pitch. After Daisy, our stalwart Centre, unfortunately fell ill shortly before the game, we had to make a quick adjustment meaning Ottilie, one of our backrowers, played at 12 for us for the first time. Coach Matt was given a leave of absence for the day to support Leanne who won her 50th England Cap.
The game started off frenetic with Wimbledon running hard at us, but our girls put in a number of double tackles to knock them back. It was not long before our dominant tackling paid dividends and Lauren spun a ridiculously long pass out wide, over two defenders, to Megan D on the right wing who stepped and then ran around to score our first try.
Shortly after, our impressive backline moved the ball to the left where Becca spotted a gap and weaved through three defenders to score under the post.
Wimbledon fought back and put pressure on us. A loose pass was intercepted and after some great covering tackles, they moved the ball to the left wing and dived over the in far corner to open their account.
It was not long before our fantastic backrow team of Molly, Bryony, Sophie and Megan W, who was in disguise at 2nd row today, were awarded for their relentless work at the breakdown. A brilliant kick to the corner by Lauren from the resulting penalty set up a lineout 5m out. There was no stopping this Guildfordians pack as we mauled over the line and Emily scored the try.
Wimbledon slotted over a penalty to keep their score ticking over. Our next score came when we won a scrum against the head thanks to a brilliant hook by Jemima. Sophie did fantastically well at no 8 to release the ball to Lauren under tremendous pressure from their 9. Lauren beat 4 defenders and managed to release Sara into some space on the left wing and for someone with Sara’s lightening pace there was only one outcome and that was a try under the posts. This ended the half with us leading 22 – 8.
We expected Wimbledon to come at us hard in the 2nd half – their tackling was ferocious, but our Girls played smart rugby and our execution was brilliant. Charlotte made way for Ashley at Scrumhalf after a decent run out in the first half and Ashley added some crisp passing and pace in the 2nd half. We attacked in their 22 and moved the ball to the left where our inside centre (aka backrower Ottilie) ran a great line to break through the line and then step the full back to score.
From the next kick off, Ruby collected in our 22 and put in another aggressive run, all the way to the halfway line.
We recycled quickly off the ruck and a combination of our backs and backrowers put in some great passes to get the ball out wide to twinkle toes Rhianwen who sprinted around and stepped two defenders to score under the posts.
We continued to pile on the pressure and Chloe made a good decision to switch the direction of play and when Abbie was stopped just short of the line after another powerful carry, Becca cleverly picked up at the ruck and dived over the line to score her 2nd of the day.
Wimbledon did not give up and kept on attacking when the opportunity came their way, but our defence was strong and in particularly Patricia and Pia who were chopping them down time after time. Wimbledon drove into our 22 where they took a quick tap penalty, moved the ball wide and then scored from the ruck, but unfortunately two of their players were injured in the process after some further ferocious Guildfordians tackling.
We won another lineout in their 22 and the forwards executed a move straight from the training ground to perfection. The Wimbledon team had no choice but to collapse our midfield maul just short of the line after we drove from the 22. Unfortunately, another Wimbledon player got injured in the process. We opted for a scrum instead of the penalty and put another training ground move into play, resulting in Grace G diving over in the right-hand corner for an excellent try.
Lauren soon after spotted some space on the left and sprinted from our halfway line to beat several defenders to score a well-deserved try. It was not long after that we were on the attack again. The ball was moved to the left wing where Sara once again outpaced the defence to score the 2nd of the day.
Wimbledon refused to give up and powered up the field. They piled on the pressure on our line, but Abbie executed an excellent chop tackle to momentarily stop the attack dead in its tracks. Ruby, Pia and Cassy put in a number of massive tackles to drive them back, but eventually a quick-thinking Wimbledon player spotted the tiniest of gaps to dive over for their 3rd try of the day.
The last play of the match was when Wimbledon attempted to kick for touch from the halfway line from a penalty.
Becca covered the touchline well to collect the kick not finding touch, stepped to beat two defenders and then popped the ball to Ruby who came running like a bulldozer. At this point, no-one fancied tackling her anymore and she sprinted though to score our 11th try of the day. Final score 65 – 18 to be crowned Surrey Champions!
A huge thank you to Ffion, Livy and Nicole, who are injured, who came to support the team. Ruby and Lauren were voted as players of the match. The coaches awarded Ruby as our Player of the Tournament for four unbelievable performances; however, each Guildfordians player excelled and improved game after game.
The tackling technique and aggression, breakdown work and other basic skills have really improved this year and culminated in a top performance today in the final where our training ground moves were also executed well. A huge thank you to our guest coaches and 1st team players/coaches (Noel, Shaggy, Randall, Strutt, Mavies and Sam H-W) who complimented our regular coaching team during the season to provide their expert knowledge and improve our squad’s technical skills. We really are so lucky to have all this talent and strength in depth and it is great to see other club players getting involved to boost our performances.
This was also a fitting send off to our older year group who are leaving us at the end of this season. Thank you so much Abbie, Ashley, Bryony, Cassy, Jemima, Megan D and Pia for your commitment and excellence during the last few years.
This concluded a totally dominant display by the Guildfordians U18 Girls in the Surrey Cup.
We played four games during the Surrey Cup:
Points for: 250 (41 tries)
Points against: 52 (10 tries)
Points difference: 198 (31 tries) Hannes Black
U18 Girls Coach