Wasps 22 v 32 Crewe & Nantwich Ladies
By Mark Hodgkiss
A strong Wasps team came up against a well organised opponent and having come back from 0v15 down to tie the game, were caught out by two quick late tries.
After often struggling within injury and unavailability of a number of their senior players last season, this was a strong line up for a first game at the return to this level. The team however found themselves up against very good opposition, who appeared better organised than many of the teams encountered at a higher level last season.
The game was played on the 3G pitch, due to work going on, on the main pitch.
The first half hour was all played at the Kendal end, with the Wasps rarely getting out of their half, with Crewe keeping the ball well The Wasps defence did well to keep the score to three unconverted tries. 0v15
Then in what was possibly their first visit to the Crewe twenty two, the Wasps pulled a try back. No.8 Amy Orrow, made ground then passed to No.5 Samara Tomlinson (?). She almost got to the line herself, but when stopped did well to get a pass away to Hayley Hodgson, playing on the right wing, who managed to get over. Fullback Tamar Benson made a good attempt at the difficult conversion from near the touchline. 5v15.
Three minutes later the Wasps were back in the game. Amy Orrow gathered a loose ball after a Crewe mistake just inside their half. She passed to Hayley Hodgson, but there seemed to be limited options as she was very close to the touchline, and had a number of Crewe players in front of her, but somehow she managed to get around them, whilst staying in field, and whilst stopped some distance from the line, she managed to drag the tacklers on, to get close enough to the line to reach out and touchdown. 10v15.
This remained the score at half time.
The Wasps had the better of the opening play of the second half, which was mainly played in the Crewe half.
After ten minutes the Wasps were level, with Crewe turnover ball moved to Hayley Hodgson for her third try.
Kendal continued to have the better of play, but Crewe slowly came more into the game, and started to return to their good ball handling of the opening half hour.
Finally with ten minutes to play, after a period of pressure in the Kendal twenty two, Crewe went over for a try from short range to re-establish a lead. 15v20.
From the kick off it appeared the contest was over. The ball was gathered by a Crewe player who broke through for a solo try, which was also converted 15v27.
The Wasps were however not finished, and in injury time pulled back to within a single score with a fourth Hayley Hodgson try, as she finished off a cross field move. Fullback Tamar Benson then added the conversion 22v27.
The Wasps needed to attack from the kick off, and some over eagerness led to handling errors, and it was Crewe who finished with a further try. 22v32.
Despite the scoreline, the Wasps will probably play worse this season and win, but Crewe & Nantwich were a very well organised team.
Whilst Hayley Hodgson got all the tries, many benefitted from the good work done outside her, even if few others would have the power to have scored some of them. There was also plenty of good work by the team in defence to keep Crewe out, with scrum half Catherine Sewell pulling off a number of crunching tackles.