Plate Match Vs Crewe and Nantwich
Bitterly cold defeat in tough conditions
The Wasps travelled the long journey to Crewe and Nantwich on an icy cold morning but were ready to get back into it after the Christmas break. The squad was made up of mostly Wasps, but had been bolstered with a handful of borrowed players from Carlisle and Windermere. The squad was strong but there is always the worry of not playing together regularly which has been the downfall in the past. Despite this, the vibe was positive on the bus journey down.
The team headed out and completed a good warm up in the bitterly cold conditions, despite the sun being out, the temperatures didn't reflect this! The pitch conditions were far from ideal, soft, gritty and slow which meant the ball was going to be tricky to handle compared to the fast nature of the artificial back at Kendal, on which the Wasps have trained since Christmas.
The game started off well, Crewe applied some pressure and their big runners started to impose themselves and testing the Wasps defence which was holding off in a scrambled defence. The first score went to Crewe after being in the Wasps half for about 10 minutes. They worked the ball left and the winger touched down in the corner. This woke the Wasps up and they started to apply their own pressure and making their way into the opposition half. Crewe made lots of handliung errors and Wasps were dominant in the scrum getting clean ball for Chelsea Clarkson at scrum half. There were lots of positive forward running from the Wasps players such as Michelle Larkin, Eve Joseph, Kelly Friend and debutant Beth Shaw, but unfortunately the chances created were not taken and the ball was often turned over in the breakdown, or there was a lack of discipline on Crewe's behalf which killed the ball. No tries for the Wasps in the first half but they weren't going to give up.
The second half started better with a couple of substitutions bringing on some fresh legs and experience. Amy Orrow came on to play at her usual Number 8 position, Laura "Shoe" Cunningham came on at fly half and some other positions were shifted around. The Wasps continued to make great runs when they had the ball and defended well. The majority of Crewe's scores were from breakaway runs and so the Wasps were unlucky on that front. This however, did not defeat the team as around the 60 minute mark there was some excellent positive running from Kelly Friend down the right hand side of the pitch. Eve Joseph supported her run and as Kelly drew the defenders towards her, she offloaded the ball to Eve who still had a bit of work to do to get over the line and put the ball down without being tackled into touch. This was Eve's first try for the Wasps!!
Around the 70th Minute mark Tamar Benson came into the back line once again, made ground and got the offload away to Amy Orrow who found herself flat footed but with space on the right hand side, backed herself to get through the defence and easily over the try line for the Wasps second try. Unfortunately, there were no more scores from Kendal, but for the first time this season the team played a full 80 minutes without giving up performance wise. They always give it everything, but in the last few matches, the second half hasn't been very strong so it was nice to see this second half being the strongest with two scores coming from it.
Next game is Away to Sefton, and Kendal will be looking for that first win as they drew 22-22 against Sefton at Mint Bridge earlier in the season.