A disappointing result but morale stays high among the Wasps!
This game had been rearranged due to low numbers of available players, but the team that was fielded was bolstered with borrowed players from fellow Cumbria teams Creighton and Carlisle.
We knew Darlington played a certain way, utilising the strength of their forwards in a one up crash ball tactic, we had trained for this and we were expecting it. As promised, Darlington came at us with that exact tactic and we met them with hard tackles to bring them down and forcing them to reset, and if they did move the ball down the line, our ever improving defensive press forced the Darlington backs to move sideways and go wide, often ending in superb tackles into touch by our borrowed outside centre Hannah Farrell (Carlisle Cougars) our wingers Lorne Mellonie and Sophie Little and also Tamar Benson at fullback, who usually plays on the wing, stepping into the fullback shoes because of the absent Hayley Hodgson who was unavailable for the match this week.
Darlington managed to open the scoring with the first try which was unconverted, pushing the Wasps team to really put the foot on the gas and get a try for themselves. Some fantastic work by the forwards to gain ground into the oppositions half was displayed, and we used our backs well to move the ball quickly out wide and really put pressure on the Darlington defensive line. An error by Darlington meant there was a Wasps scrum close to the Darlington 22' and we used a well worked and perfected blindside move where Amy Orrow collected the ball from the base of the scrum and made ground up the right hand side of the pitch. She drew in the defender and passed right to the supporting scrum half Chelsea Clarkson who took on the winger and managed to offload the ball back inside to Amy Orrow who backed herself with two tacklers attempting to tackle her. Despite the Darlington tacklers, Amy used momentum and strength to make the last couple of metres towards the try line, and scored the try with an outstretched one handed put down. This brought the scores level 5-5 as the conversion was unfortunately missed.
The remainder of the first half was closely fought between the two sides and both teams making ground but equally defending well enough to keep the scores at 5-5, not to forget to mention a try saving tackle by Lauren Harkness right at the half time whistle.
The second half has proved to be the time where the Wasps have lost their previous matches due to a number of factors but what remains throughout is the amount of effort each player puts in right to the final whistle. Some great defensive tackles were being put in by each player and the amount of scrums that took place really took its toll on the forwards. They tried their best against a very strong pack who were much more experienced compared to the wasps forwards. Darlington managed to get over the line hoping to score another try but it was held up by two of our players showing them we wouldn't give up easily. It wasn't until towards the end of the half that Darlington managed to get 2 more try's which really sealed the deal for their home win against us.
Next match is Home to Barnsley on the 10th December at Mint Bridge.