Results

Stafford Ladies 19 Rugby Lionesses 14Sun 08 Dec

On Sunday at Stafford, the highly impressive Rugby Lionesses finally suffered their first loss this season.

 

In a very tough encounter, a Lionesses side already depleted by missing injured players had to contend with their best runner suffering an ankle injury in the opening minutes and their other quickest try-scoring runner still suffering after several days’ illness. But somehow both Hollie Adams and Emily Stafford stayed on the pitch in a show of commitment that characterises the entire squad with Hollie limping away from every breakdown to get into position for the next one and Emily tackling superbly.

 

Stafford Ladies, apparently with a couple of additional players drafted in for this fixture, played the entire first 33 minutes in the Rugby half but their strong-running forwards could only achieve one converted try from all that territorial advantage thanks to Rugby’s fully committed attitude and non-stop tackling with skip Gemma Booker prominent in much of the team’s best work.

 

Once the Lionesses did venture into Stafford’s half, they made it count with a fine try in added time from Vicky Boikovs well converted by Kerry Jackson for 7-7 at the break.

 

Between regular injury stoppages, both sides soldiered on with the augmented Stafford squad not only having more replacements to bring on in a game repeatedly held up by injury stoppages but also having a level of strength and fluency that stretched the Lionesses most of the game.

 

But it was only in the last quarter of a match very intelligently refereed by Eric Hardisty that Stafford finally started to find ways to penetrate the Rugby defence, scoring twice to lead 19-7 going into added time.

 

Even then, Rugby Lionesses had enough spirit to take the game to Stafford, hitting back with their second try from Fezz Hibberd. Kerry Jackson converted again to make the score a fairer reflection of the play and at 19-14 the Lionesses were within a converted try of a famous victory.

 

It wasn’t to be but the Rugby Lionesses can look back on the first half of their season with a great deal of well-deserved pride and go into 2014 knowing they have not lost to any of the teams they will meet in the second half of the season.

 

Rugby Lionesses: K Jackson, V Boikovs, M Ponter, G Booker, E Stafford, H Adams, B Morris, F Hibberd, L Noakes, L Kowlakowski-Fry, E Moore, N Morris, S Harrison, S Kowlakowski-Fry, R Sadler. Reps: K Umney, J Maher

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