Match Report – Wales vs Ireland

A sunny day at Cross Keys Pandy Park saw Wales women take on Ireland in their penultimate game of the 6 nations.

Although they secured a victory, the game was anything but easy for the Welsh side. Ireland were the first to draw blood, as hooker Gillian Bourke crossed the line putting Ireland on the board. A swift conversion saw them leading the match 7-0.

Wales seemed undeterred by the early score, and proceeded to dominate in terms of territory for the second half, notching up two tries, and a penalty. The first try came right under the posts, after a fantastic break from centre Elen Evans. The conversion was simple for Aimee Young, who went on to claim another 3 points for Wales with a penalty. The second try came from centre Adi Taviner, and although Young just missed the conversion, Wales went into half time with 15 points to Irelands 7.

Ireland found their feet in the second half, whatever was said in the half time talk clearly worked! They kept Wales pinned back in their own half, but to their credit, the Welsh defence held strong. A series of penalties from both teams kept possession reasonably even, but with just over 10 minutes to go, Bourke headed over the line once more, and there was just one point in it, with the scores at Wales 15, Ireland 14.

The final 10 minutes was a tense affair, with Wales striking back, and making good ground in the Irish half. A series of infringements from the Irish team looked like it was going to hand Wales a more substantial lead, but the match ended with the score unchanged.

Check out photos from the match here.

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Women’s Rugby Feature from Exposure Radio

In preparation for tomorrow’s game, why not have a listen to our women’s rugby feature which aired on Glamorgan University’s Exposure Radio last month, with interviews from Kris De Scossa, and Catrin Edwards.

Women’s Rugby Feature from Exposure Radio from Meg Rule on Vimeo.

Pre-match chat with De Scossa and Edwards

This Sunday at Cross Keys, Wales women kick off their 6 nations campaign, taking on competitions favourites England, who are currently ranked 2nd in the world.

We spoke to Head Coach Kris De Scossa and skipper Catrin Edwards, to find out their thoughts on the tournament, and how the relatively new side is progressing.

For De Scossa, the key issue is performance and progression ‘A realistic target would be having started against England this Sunday, and finishing against France in our very last game, and being able to look ourselves in the mirror and say we did everything we could, we did everything we were asked to do, and we’ve achieved all our measures of success.’

‘If that ends up with 3 or 4 wins, excellent. If it doesn’t, and we’ve achieved in our performance, then we’re on the road to where we want to go. We’re not really looking at individual games, we’re looking at the whole tournament, and the whole process’.

England have selected a strong squad, featuring many of their stars from the world cup. Edwards highlights that it is important for the team not to focus purely on their opponents, but to concentrate on their own performance.

‘As I’ve said to the team, we can’t concentrate on them, we must look at our performance, and go into the game just thinking about us. We’ve got to be realistic about our expectations, they are the second best team in the world, but anything is possible on the day’.

Wales women v England women takes place at Pandy Park, Cross Keys this Sunday. Kick off is at 2.30, and tickets are available on the gate, priced at £5 for the stands, £3 for the field.

Match Report – Blues v Dragons/Ospreys v Scarlets

Blues v Dragons

Despite the pouring rain, the final day of regional games in the women’s tournament kicked of with the undefeated Blues taking on the Dragons.

Dragon were the first to score, at 19 minutes, driving over the line to score their first try. A good conversion made the score Blues 0, Dragons 7.

The weather made it difficult for either team to gain momentum – at 31 minutes, the Blues won their line out in the Dragons 22, and a penalty led to to a Blues scrum, and a break from no. 15 looked like Blues were going to strike back, but a knock on left the score unchanged.

The second score of the match went to the Dragons, in injury time of the first half. Scrappy play led to a penalty for the Dragons, and the half ended Blues 0, Dragons 10.

Dragons continued with their dominance of the score board in the second half, gaining a second try 14 minutes in, after they stole the ball from the Blues, putting the Dragons ahead by 17 point to 0.

Despite numerous attempts, the Blues weren’t able to get on the score board until the final minutes of the match. A penalties for the Blues saw their scrum half make a quick tap-and-go, before the forwards drove on towards the line. After a few phases, earning penalties, Blues gained the advantage after Dragons no. 8 was sin binned, and managed to score their first points of the match, bringing the final score to Blues 5, Dragons 17.

Ospreys v Scarlets

The rain continued as the second match of the afternoon kicked off, with Ospreys looking to earn their first win of the tournament, over the Scarlets.

Ospreys showed their intentions straight away, with a commanding passage of play, stealing a Scarlets line out, and the forwards driving the Scarlets back towards their try line. Some quick passing saw Ospreys no.15 looking for the overlap, and almost making it to the try line, but the ball was held up. Minutes later though, the Ospreys earned a penalty, making the first score of the game Ospreys 3, Scarlets 0.

14 minutes into the first half, and the Scarlets struck back to claim the first try of the match. The Scarlets made it into the Ospreys 22, and despite a knock on giving Ospreys the scrum, they were penalised for holding on, and the Scarlets were able to drive over the line from the scrum, giving them the lead over the Ospreys. A missed conversion put the score at Ospreys 3, Scarlets 5.

Less than 10 minutes later, the Ospreys regained their 3 point lead over the Scarlets, after sending the ball wide, and no. 14 securing the try in the corner. Though they missed the conversion, Ospreys were ahead, 8 points to 5, and the score remained unchanged at the end of the half.

The second half was a slow affair, with both teams tired and plagued with injuries. 6 minutes into the second half, Ospreys looked like they were about to increase their lead, after winning a scrum in the Scarlets 22, but an unlucky chip from the Ospreys bounced straight into the hands of the Scarlets.

At 43 minutes, into injury time in the last minutes of the game, a great break from Scarlets no. 15 looked like they were going to earn a win over the Ospreys, but a chip too far put possession back into the hands of the Ospreys. For the last minutes of the match, Scarlets camped out in the Ospreys 22, but in the end, were unable to secure a try. They game ended Ospreys 8, Scarlets 5, giving the Ospreys their only win of the tournament.

Check out our photos from the matches here.

Match Report – Pontyclun vs UWIC

A bright Sunday afternoon saw the women’s premiership get back on track after the Christmas break, with UWIC travelling to Pontyclun to take on the Falcons.

An early knock on earned UWIC a scrum on the half-way line, rapidly followed by a forward pass from the Pontyclun Falcons, giving UWIC a chance to get into the Falcons half. After a series of scrums, a missed UWIC kick for touch gave the Falcons a chance to dive back, getting themselves a line out in UWIC’s half.

15 minutes in, it looked like the Falcons were about to score first, when a loose pass and lucky break from Falcons’ number 14 saw the ball kicked towards the try line. Unfortunately, the Falcons were unable to gather, and knock on handed a scrum to UWIC. Undeterred, the Falcons stole the ball, leading to a kick and chase. UWIC defence got there first though, just managing to shepherd the ball into touch.

In the 19th minute, UWIC saw an opportunity to attempt to gain the first score, after winning a line out in the Falcons half, and a superb break by the UWIC no 23. The Falcons defence rallied, and UWIC were denied after a knock on.

The Falcons threatened the UWIC try line twice more in the first half (in the 36th and 39th minute), but were penalised in the scrum, and then for holding on. The half ended in injury time with the Falcons once again halted at the try line, after being penalised for holding on.

UWIC were first to strike in the second half, after gaining a penalty in the Falcons 22 in the 4th minute, making the score Falcons 0, UWIC 3. UWIC seemed to gain confidence with their lead, and less than 10 minutes later scored the first try of the match, after a break from no. 23 and some quick passing. Although they missed the conversion, UWIC extended their lead to Falcons 0, UWIC 8.

The Falcon’s fought back however, and at the 17 minute mark, breaks by no. 13 and 9, as well as some strong drives by the forwards, earned their first try of the match, bring the score to Falcons 5, UWIC 8.

Having missed the conversion, Falcons were keen to make up the points difference. After winning a line out in the UWIC 22, and the Falcons were then awarded a penalty. However, just missing the posts left the score unchanged.

At 27 minutes, the Falcons managed to draw level with UWIC. After a strong scrum in the UWIC 22, Falcons no 10 was perfectly positioned for a great drop goal, bring the score to Falcons 8, UWIC 8.

The final 10 minutes of the match saw both teams scoring almost consecutively. UWIC were first to strike, gaining a penalty, and another 3 points at 29 minutes. They followed this 2 minutes later with a try and conversion, taking the ball wide to avoid defenders, and some good footwork. Having extended their lead by 10 points, the score stood at Falcons 8, UWIC 18.

Falcons did their best to come back, getting 3 points after UWIC were penalised for being offside at the ruck, bringing the score to Falcons 11, UWIC 18. However, with the match in it’s final minutes, UWIC struck again, with a try for no 8 and a successful conversion putting the final score at Falcons 8, UWIC 25.

Check out our photos from the match here.

WRU announce new women’s coaching team

Last night the WRU revealed the new coaching team behind this years 6 nations squad.

Kris De Scossa, who has a long history with the elite game, working with sides such as Canada, England and Italy, was named Head Coach.

He will be assisted by Liza Burgess and Rhys Edwards.

Click here to see the new coaching team in action, and here what De Scossa has to say about his new role.

Women’s Regional Rugby – Matches Rescheduled

The two matches post-poned before Christmas will now take place on Sunday 16th January, with both taking place at the Cardiff Quins ground.

Blues v Dragons will kick-off at 1pm, followed by Ospreys v Scarlets at 2:30. Entrance is free, so well worth going – should be a good afternoon of rugby!