Quins v Wasps The Stoop 4 November 2018
Yet another London derby, and you could sense what it meant to the teams. Once the solemn minute of silence had been observed, cudgels were picked up again. A total of four yellow cards by the end tells its own story.
Both the opening scores were penalty goals (first Ellie Green, then Liz Goulden), a sure sign that the captains wanted to take every opportunity to get ahead of the opposition. (3-3).
It took Quins a good twenty minutes to assert their authority; the pack started getting on top and Shaunagh Brown made her first damaging burst through midfield. Sure enough, it was they who drove the ball over the line for Davinia Catlin to score. Green converted. (10-3) She had to be watched carefully: if she wasn’t punting sizeable distances, she was threatening the Wasps’ defensive line. Quins’ second score was a carbon copy of the first (Catlin, then Green)
If there was a disappointment in the home side’s performance, it was the lack of fluent movement down the line. Perhaps this was the day’s strategy. While the pack was in the ascendancy, no need to let the backs in on the fun. Eight minutes after the restart, it was Fi Fletcher’s turn to get on the score-sheet after more forward domination. Green converted. (24-3) The heat of battle was demonstrated when two players indulged in a personal battle on the ground a distance from the ball. These were handbags of a different order. 2 yellows.
Lucy Packer, on for Leanne Riley, made a dangerous run down the right wing from a ruck, but was thrillingly hauled down just short of the line.
It was hugely to Wasps’ credit that they took the battle to the enemy for large parts of the second half. But despite their best efforts it wasn’t till the closing moments that they finally managed to get their backs moving dangerously over enemy territory. Amy Wilson Hardy hurtled right to left on a diagonal and the Amber-and-Blacks smelt the line. On 79 minutes some risky passes found their way out to Garnet Mackinder on the left. She showed real pace and determination to round the defence and touch down.
But this remained Wasps only major success. They will have to review why their talented back-line wasn’t able to reap more rewards.
Final Score: 24-8
The other results from Round 8:
Bristol 15 Saracens 32
Waterloo 22 DMP 14
Glos-Pury 34 Richmond 15
Lightning 64 Worcester 12
So Loughborough continue unbeaten. Waterloo triumph a second time, to take a 1-point lead over DMP, thanks to an additional bonus point. Glos-Pury climb above the Bears and Richmond sink to ninth.
We now have a 20-day break to allow for the Autumn internationals.