A great team performace both in attack and defence gave the Wasps a well deserved victory.
After a few weeks break from matches, the Wasps were ready to take on Darlington, who in the away match, came away the winners 15-5. The Wasps had a clear game plan which they have been working on in training and were determined to carry out as they knew Darlington rarely play any other way other then using their forwards in a one up style of play. The Wasps defence has evidently been strong in the last few matches which has meant the scores against them have stayed low, but sadly still hadn't seen their first win of the season. That was today's mission on home turf (or 4G)!
They started enthusiastically, with Amy Orrow scoring in the 4th minute after some great handling, selfless and supporting play by a number of Wasps players. This try was converted by Fullback, Tamar Benson, score 7-0. Darlington came back with what was to be their only score of the match, working their way into the wasps half and using a good set of hands and quick passes to enable their outside centre to crash the ball over the line for a try. Conversion missed, scoreline 7-5.
This week saw a change to the lineout jumper as some players were not available, Beth Shaw stepped up to the mark. From inside the Wasps half, Beth Shaw (later being awarded Forward of the match for her efforts) gathered a lineout ball from Aimee Sharp and despite a slight fumble, the ball got to Cath Sewell at scrum half via returning second row Samara Tomlinson. Sewell quickly shipped the ball to fly half Rowan Boardley who held two defenders, putting inside centre Michelle Larkin into space who burst through the defence and ran up towards the Darlington 22'. Larkin made a flat pass left to Orrow who then took the ball on further before offloading the ball to supporting runner Chelsea Clarkson who ran in the last 10m to score the teams second try and her first try of the season! The conversion was missed by Orrow, stepping in for Benson who was receiving treatment for a bash to the nose just minutes before. The score now 12-5.
No more scores in the first half but the Wasps continued to show how strong their defence has become as there was no way through for the Darlington players, no matter what they tried. The Wasps knew how Darlington liked to play, and so they were not allowing them to have an inch anywhere on the pitch.
The second half saw five more tries from the Wasps, two being converted by Tamar Benson. Again The Wasps started strongly and piled the pressure on early doors, continuing on from the first half. The Wasps try to play between the two 22's much like a touch team, where everyone gets all over the pitch because everybody has the ability to pass and carry alike. Wasps captain Kerry Stevens worked hard to turn the ball over near the half way line and with quick reactions, the Wasps were back on the attack. |Stevens popped the ball to Orrow who drew a defender and passed to left winger Lorne Mellonie who steps and straightens returning the ball back to Orrow with a superbly timed switch. Two players are drawn but Orrow offloaded before the contact to fly half Boardley who found herself on the left wing and put her foot on the gas to run in her try. Unfortunately this try was unconverted by Benson. Score 17-5.
Michelle Larkin got her first try of the match following another great lineout and a well timed flat pass from Boardley allowing Larkin to break the line, evading two tackles and running in a 35m try under the posts to make the score 22-5. One notable highlight here was that when Larkin dotted the ball down, there was a number of Wasps shirts around her showing the work rate of each player to support each run made. Conversion kick was successful by Benson, score 24-5.
From here there was still around 25 minutes left to play but the Wasps kept the work rate high and the pressure on to really put Darlington to bed on their visit to Mint Bridge. Try number 5 came from an individual effort as a result from a menacing defence off the Wasps own try line. Darlington had made their way up to within 1m of the try line but after several phases of being knocked back by tackles around the breakdown by Sharp, Mellonie, Orrow, Nelmes and Friend to name a few, Darlington decide to give the ball to their backs. An ambitious pass to the centres was beautifully anticipated by Larkin who was quick off the defensive line, intercepted the pass and was away to run in a 90 odd metre try, again supported by a number of Wasps players to celebrate with her at the other end! Conversion was successful by Benson making the score 31-5.
Kate Birchall got her name on the score sheet for the first time in her senior career and deservedly so after making some excellent carries on the right wing in the first half and as always, defending the wings superbly with crunching covering tackles despite her small stature. The ball was worked from right to left by the Wasps, with the breakdown areas being secured by the forwards, allowing Sewell to get the ball out quickly. Great handling and straight running gave Birchall the opportunity to get close enough to the line to dive over for her try, despite having Darlington defenders making an effort to tackle her. Kick unsuccessful, 36-5 to the Wasps.
Throughout the last few weeks at training, the Wasps have been able to try some new moves out as the skill sets of the players are improving. One such move comes off their attacking lineout which was carried out perfectly. Sharp threw a short line out throw to front row substitute Sarah Muncaster who passed the ball to Orrow running down the 5m channel. The Darlington winger stood still allowing Orrow to step inside and run in the try from the 22m line for her 2nd and the teams 7th try of the match. The whole of Mint Bridge erupted at this move as it was straight off the training ground and was the first time it had been tried in a match! Again the kick was unsuccessful so the score remained 41-5 going into the last 7 minutes of the match.
As always the Wasps defence was a major highlight of the match stopping the Darlington attack time and time again, with tireless efforts from every player in a Wasps shirt. More impressive was the team work in attack. Often in the past seasons a few star players have run in the tries, after the hard work has been done by the bulk of the team, but this time there were fifteen stars (plus substitutes), with good handling, backup play and powerful running resulting in the tries.
The only downside was an injury at the end of the game to Rowan Boardley which required a stretcher, however she is already recovering and thankfully not as bad of an injury as first thought. With 6 minutes to go, the referee decided that would be the end of the match resulting in tears of joy from Stevens and Orrow as the whole of the Wasps team celebrated their first win of the season which they had worked so hard to get after playing 14 tough matches in the run up to todays match.
|Try||Kendal||8||Amy Orrow||4||5||0||A quickly taken penalty afetr a high tackled ended a good build up |
|Con||Kendal||15||Tamar Benson (?)||5||7||0||Good kick from left of the posts|
|Try||Kendal||13||Chelsea Clarkson||12||12||0||Good run from Amy Porrow, with Chelsea Clarkson doing well to be in support to take the scoring pass|
| = = =|| = = =|| = = =||HALF TIME||12||5|
|Try||Kendal||12||Michelle Larkin (?)||10||22||5||Good run from near halfway|
|Try||Kendal||12||Michelle Larkin (?)||18||29||5||Interception in the Kendal twenty two, after a long period of Darlington pressure and long run to score|
|Con||Kendal||15||Tamar Benson (?)||19||31||5|
|Try||Kendal||14||Kate Birchall||27||36||5||Good run down the left hand touchline|
|Try||Kendal||8||Amy Orrow||31||41||5||Finishing off good Kendal work in the twenty two|
| = = =|| = = =|| = = =||FULL TIME||41||5|