Broughton Park Away
One of the better games the Wasps have played but not ending the way they wanted
The Wasps haven’t had a game for a couple of weeks and so were ready for a run out this week Away to Broughton Park.
They made the journey to Manchester in good time and seemed relaxed about the upcoming 80 minutes.
The game started well with the Wasps dominating the breakdown and asking lots of questions in their attacking plays. It wasn’t long before Wasps forced the knock on and won themselves a scrum inside the Oppo’s 22. Amy Orrow picked up from the back of the scrum and made a run down the blindside, beating one player before being brought down. The ball was quickly recycled and Lauren Harkness at fly half saw a gap open up in front of her and darted through to score just right of the uprights. Tamar Benson kicked the conversion making the score 0-7 after just 6 minutes of play.
Broughton Park came back with some slick handling in the backs, orchestrated by their flyhalf. Their outside centre used her feet and speed well to break through the gaps in the Wasps defence. They managed to score a couple tries in the first half to take the lead. The second of those tries was hard fought due to the defence of the Wasps holding strong on the 5m line for a good few minutes, with Hayley Hodgson doing her trademark move of holding the ball up over the line on at least two occasions, forcing the opposition to play wide and score in the corner after their forwards were unable to break through.
The Wasps never give up in any match and this was no exception, just before half time, Kelly Friend broke a tackle and ran in a try from 40m out, closing the gap in the scoreline with half the game played.
At the start of the second half, one of Broughton Park’s backs was causing a bit of trouble for our midfield as she was a strong ball carrier and always looked to break the tackles. Tamar Benson showed her intent with her line press and put the pressure on the BP back line. On the occasion that gaps were left in the Wasps defence, the speedy 13 would capitalise on that and make a run for the try line, dodging and weaving her way through. The replacement 12, managed to break a tackle and looked to have an easy run in under the sticks when Wasps fullback Hayley Hodgson chased back and knocked the ball out of the oppositions hand Just before she was about to dot the ball down. The Freddie Burns nightmare springs to mind. Brilliant piece of individual defence to prevent the try.
Broughton Park managed to scored a further 4 tries in the second half, mainly coming from or at least being initiated by the number 13 who was just a quality individual and had a lot of skill that was very effective.
It was the Wasps who were to have the last laugh despite the score line being 32-12 with just a couple of minutes to play. Wasps were awarded 3 penalties in close succession as the Broughton Park discipline fell short in the dying stages of the match. The final penalty was taken quickly by Catherine Sewell who identifies the slow retreat of the defence, and passed to Amy Orrow who ran at the Broughton Park defence who didn’t look set. It looked as though She would bundle over the line for the try, but a loud shout came in off the left wing by Allysia May who took the flat pass from Amy Orrow around about the 5m line. She still had plenty to do with a defender in front of her but her momentum and strength got her over the line for her first ever try in her first full rugby match. The conversion was missed by Lauren Harkness leaving the score at 32-17 at the final Whistle.
Everybody put a shift in today, not forgetting to mention Anna Waite who aslways gives 100% in the front row, and along with Sarah Muncaster and Kennedy Newton, they held their own in the scrum today, which is looking to be a very strong forward pack indeed.
Amy Butler is proving to be a great ball carrier and is never afraid to take the ball into contact, causing the opposition to make the tackle and suck in players. She did this so well today and always plays a big role in the set pieces too, stealing the lineout ball on more than one occasion. It was great to have her back in the line up this week.
Laura Mason made an appearance in the second row today and seemingly enjoyed a change in position. She is happy to play anywhere on the park and fits in everywhere too. With great carries as always, and causing the opposition defence problems when she wanders into the back line to get the ball at pace as that’s where she is most dangerous!
Sarah Wilkinson and Amy Orrow always work well together and today was no exception, supporting each other in attack and defence, they just know where each other is going which is good because sometimes, the rest of the team doesn’t!! Rachael Smith pulled on the 6 shirt today for her first full game, and despite the lack of experience, she tackled and carried well and is becoming a very good player.
The backline of Lauren Harkness, Kate Birchall, Tamar Benson, Lorne Mellonie, Allysia May and Hayley Hodgson are a set up that can be changed up to suite the style of play that is being used from match to match. They worked well together this week to set up one of the tries with great handling and passing amongst themselves, using their pace coming from deep.
All in all, a great performance today by the Wasps who are really starting to become a squad that works hard together to produce some very good rugby. They are only a third of the way through the season with 4 games to go until the Xmas break.
The next match is in two weeks time on the 18th November at Home to Preston, ko 2pm.