Round 15 of Tyrrell’s Premier 15s saw Wasps Ladies back on home turf in a close encounter against Bristol Ladies.
If their last meeting was anything to go by, the two sides were well aware of the fight that awaited them. With the score board left untouched at the half time whistle, it was nail-biting second half – Bristol Ladies scoring two tries and Wasps FC Ladies four to secure the win.
The game kicked off to a fast-paced start, Bristol Ladies turning over ball and taking back possession in the first minute. The first five minutes saw a series of scrums as both teams set the defensive bench mark high and put each other under pressure in attack. Wasps FC Ladies’ Tova Derk setting tackling standards on the wing and denying Bristol of any attacking space.
Wasps FC Ladies made an early attempt to cross the white wash and looked threatening as Tina Veale threw a beautiful 15m pass out to Danielle Waterman who searched for a hole. However, 2 phases on and Bristol forced a knock on and their work off a scrum took play back to the half way.
Attacking ball in hand, Bristol Ladies looked intimidating, but with both teams’ defence turned on full power, play was left at gridlock and the scoreboard level at the half time whistle.
Minutes into the second half, Wasps FC Ladies earnt a penalty off a scrum and opted to kick for posts. The kick narrowly missed and Bristol reacted quickly to pick up the ball and run it out, but flying defence from Kate Alder saw Bristol take the ball over their own try line and award a Scrum to Wasps on the 5m. In prime position, Wasps pulled out all the stops to secure the first try of the game – a whole team effort, Liz Crake making a huge carry to take us forward and Rocky Clarke finishing the job. With a successful conversion from Hannah Edwards, Wasps were 7-0 up.
The next two came in quick succession. Wasps Ladies’ forwards won a scrum in the midfield creating beautiful ball for their backs. Making its way out wide, the ball found the hands of Abby Dow who sprinted it down from the half way line to take the score to 12-0. Minutes later, Wasps Ladies strung together beautiful phase play and took play into the 22. Bristol were penalised at the break down and Wasps opted to kick for touch and earnt a line out on the 5m. Eager to ensure their hard work paid off, they secured ball from the line out and Wasps Ladies forwards edged the ball towards the try line – Anna Glyn Davies making that all important pick for glory over the white wash and Hannah Edwards securing the conversion to leave Wasps 19 points up.
Wasps Ladies knocked on the ball from the restart and Bristol, looking to capitalise off of their opponent’s errors, moved the ball off a scrum in search of Wasps try line. Fighting on their 5m, Wasps played all to dangerously in defence and were penalised, which saw Bristol awarded a penalty try and left Wasps a man down in the sin bin! Taking advantage of this, Bristol Ladies searched for a second opportunity and found it minutes later. The opponents made a break off a scrum and their number 6 found a hole in Wasps’ defence, crossing the white wash to take the score board to 19-12.
The final points of the game came in minute 70. Wasps Ladies, now with 15 men on the field, found themselves back in Bristol’s half. Bristol Ladies were awarded a penalty and opted to kick- the ball didn’t quite make touch but instead fell into the hands of Abby Dow and was passed out to Danielle Waterman. Waterman, receiving the ball on the half way, proceeded to dodge her way through Bristol’s defence in true style to take it over the line. And, with another beautiful boot, Hannah Edwards sealed the deal to take the scoreboard and full-time score to 26-12.
At half time, the game was there for the taking but a whole team effort and sheer determination from Wasps Ladies saw them victorious.
Giselle Mather, Director of Rugby Wasps FC: “Hugely attritional 1st half with defence winning the day for both teams. Finding space was a real challenge. However, the second half saw us protect and create space a lot better, which we were able to exploit. A massive work day at the office for the forwards and a moment of genius from Danielle Waterman made the difference and secured us the bonus point win.”
Report courtesy of Wasps FC Ladies