Rugby Union: Womens Blues 15 Lichfield 0
Cambridge were taken closer than usual by an efficient Lichfield side, although the strength of the side showed through despite some suspect refereeing.
After getting off to a bit of a slow start, the Cambridge girls spent the first 20 minutes of the match coping with a bigger, more aggressive, and more experienced side than they were used to. Lichfield did not hesitate in the contact and used their size advantage both in the scrums and around the rucks, putting Cambridge largely on the back foot.
However, when Lichfield gave away a penalty within striking distance of the posts, full back Kate Robson capitalized on this and put 3 points on the board for the light Blues.
As the match went on, momentum picked up and the backs strung together some excellent passes and supporting play to create the first try of the match, putting outside centre Laura Britton over the line.
Several try-saving tackles were made on the wing by Sarah Binning and, in general, the tackling from Cambridge was hard and relentless, effectively defending their line and preventing any Lichfield scores.
The physicality was consistent from Lichfield for the entire duration of the match, making it difficult for the forwards to turn over rucks, but they managed to secure enough good ball, sucking in defenders with some effective picking-and-going around the ruck.
This released the backs, providing them with the space they needed to run some moves.
Pace and fitness were definitely on the Cambridge side; unfortunately, the ref was not. A dubious call by the ref in the second half sent inside-centre Lauren Iredale to the sin bin for 10 minutes, for handling in a ruck, whilst constant penalties pinned the Blues back.
Nevertheless, they persisted and even picked up the intensity during those 10 minutes, with another try coming from Laura Britton towards the end of the second half.
By the end of the match, the girls had found their stride and were playing to the level they were capable of, although the score remained 15-0. Deserved man of the match was fly half Anne Venner.
Talia Gershon – Sports Reporter