Preston Cup game
By Amy Orrow
Despite the recent run of defeats, this win had been coming, as when the Wasps clicked someone was going to be well beaten
The Hoppers were that someone, despite scoring a good try of their own, they found a Wasps team in inspired form in both attack and defence, to turn around a heavy defeat earlier in the season The Wasps started well despite being disrupted by an early injury to their left wing.
The scoring was opened with a Tamar Benson penalty, after a high tackle 3v0.
The first try came from replacement wing Allysia May (?). Under pressure near their own line, there was a loose kick from the Hoppers, which she cleanly gathered, then rode a few tackles, to get the touchdown. 8v0
The next try came after half an hour. The Wasps were awarded a number of penalties in the twenty two, but the Hoppers defence re-grouped to hold out. Flanker Amiee Sharp, then took one quickly, to catch the Hoppers defence, and power over 13v0.
The Wasps looked to have added a further try, when the ball was stolen from the Hoppers, and Amy Orrow broke away, dummying a pass to her wing, but instead going for the line herself, only for the referee to call play back for a Hoppers penalty, for a mystery offence.
The Hoppers finished the half strongly, having their best period of pressure of the game, and it took some good Wasps defence to hold them out.
Four minutes into the second half the Hoppers reduced the lead, with try out of defence, which came through a number of good runs, and when players were stopped the ball was moved quickly to stretch the Wasps defence. 5v13.
Whilst the Wasps had the better of play, the Hoppers backs always looked dangerous, but there were an number of good tackles from the Wasps centre partnership of Tamar Benson and Kate Birchall, to drive them backwards and disrupted attacks.
The lead was extended after twenty minutes. After a penalty for a high tackle, Amy Orrow’s kick to touch failed to make the distance, but led to a Hopper’s error, with the ball being knocked on. Fullback Rowan Boardley had chased the kick, and instead of trying to pick the ball up, twice kicked the ball on to the line, for the touchline. 5v18.
The fourth try came after a sustained period of pressure on the Hoppers line, where they did well to hold out a number of short range attacks from Kendal forwards, then managed to steal the ball, but the attempted clearance kick was charged down by Sarah Wilkinson (?) for the try. 5v23
The fifth try followed almost immediately. Amiee Sharp took the restart and made ground, passing to Amy Orrow, who timed her pass perfectly to wing Hayley Hodgson coming at speed, who then brushed off a number of attempted tackles, to power through for the score. 5v28.
The final try again came from more sustained pressure on Hoppers line. A pass went loose, and the Wasps lost ground, as they were unable to control the ball, but scrum half Fleur Stanton dropped on it, and when the ball was re-cycled, Amy Orrow burst away down the touchline to score. 5v33
An impressive team performance by the Wasps, to end the year in style. The Hoppers did little wrong and played well in attack and defence, but came up against a Wasps team at the top of their game. There were few spilled balls or forced passes, and outside half Lauren Harkness often had the confidence to keep the ball in hand, and take the defence on, when the options outside her were cut off. Both backs and forwards looked confident with ball in hand, which increased the attacking opportunities.