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Rugby Lionesses 7 Keresley 10 Sun 26 Jan

Rugby Lionesses and Keresley fielded full squads on Sunday but Rugby were missing some experienced players.

 

However, what was most evident was how positive every member of the Lionesses squad was about playing a game after a long break whatever the weather and the conditions (or because of them in some cases).

 

The game was moved onto a 2nd team pitch already slippery in the tennis courts half before a pre-match downpour threatened to add standing water to the lying mud.

 

The Lionesses first had to defend the muddy half and unsurprisingly this is where almost all the play was. Keresley pressure inevitably brought a try early on and then a converted try towards the end of the half but the Lionesses otherwise defended with great spirit, flanker Sian Harrison one amongst several making outstanding tackles but everyone was throwing themselves into every aspect of the game.

 

This in fact may have been why the Lionesses were so often penalised for going off their feet at the breakdown and instructions from coach Barry Rees repeated by captain Gemma Booker were not heeded and it really hurt the Lionesses’ cause.

 

Between the Keresley scores, wing Emily Stafford was given the ball wide out on the left but she found the room and speed to evade her tacklers and in the end she ran half the length of the pitch to score a spectacular try very well converted by Kerry Jackson.

 

Unfortunately, Rugby lost their captain and on-pitch organiser Gemma Booker with concussion just before the interval and this not only lost Rugby their on-pitch organiser but it must have weighed on the players’ minds, especially with an ambulance with its flashing blue lights parked pitchside for almost the whole of the second half.

 

However, the Lionesses were still able to dominate territory for all but the last few minutes of the second half but they could not find a way through to the try line. Here again, although Keresley certainly tackled strongly, their first-half defensive tackling must have taken its toll on the Lionesses and just blunted their attacking potency.

 

A run of games now follow and if they can maintain their enthusiasm and be able to call on most of their most experienced players, the Rugby Lionesses can still look forward to a very successful end to their impressive season.

 

Rugby Lionesses: Jackson, Placket-Smith, Ponter, G Booker, Stafford, Adams, N Morris, Leighton, Noakes, Hibberd, Umney, B Morris, Maher, Harrison, Sadler. Reps: T Booker, Cawte, Moore, Boikovs

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