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UYWRUFC come back after first loss in two years

Women's rugby prove too strong for Glasgow 1s in their most recent fixture, as backline run riot

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Image Credit: Luke Snell

UPON SUFFERING THEIR first loss in two years against Loughborough, UYWRUFC have bounced back extremely well in two dominating performances against Birmingham and most recently Glasgow.

Glasgow seemed tentative from kick off, knocking on from the first play of the game. York immediately applied the pressure in their defensive effort, with aggressive line speed, forcing Glasgow into a clearing kick. Fullback Georgina Youlden fielded the kick and returned it with interest, an ominous warning for the latter stages of the match. Scrumhalf Amelia Evans got good quick ball fired out to inside centre Liv Almond who stepped the first defender and strolled to the line for the the first try.

Glasgow were struggling with early pressure failing to kick 10 metres from the restart. Strong carries in and around the ruck from forwards Fran Bannister and Emmy Fenner gave a strong foundation for the halves who combined well to find Almond who again stepped easily through the line to score. Coach Ian Thompson was still upset, despite the score line, with the discipline at the breakdown. His frustrations were continued just moments after the second try. A silly offside penalty was conceded in their own 22 by winger Georgia Briggs, being in front of the kicker. This gave Glasgow the field position they needed. And, still switched off following the decision, Glasgow’s open side flanker went near enough untouched under the posts to put them back within one unconverted try.

York re-established their two try lead from efficient work at the break down by Evans who then hit Deanna Stamp running from deep to put the opposition on the back-foot. Again, the beneficiary was Almond, bagging her hat-trick in 15 minutes. Stamp was then getting stuck in again, putting in a dominant tackle from a blindside scrum move which allowed captain Emma Lowe to steal the ball and proceed to run 50 metres down the touchline, stutter step the final defender, and score. York were running away with it now.

Almond finished the half with a mix of emotions, scoring twice more; once from a charge down in the 22 and the next from more carries in midfield by second row pair Iris Eskic and last year's president Jen Provan, giving her so much space to run and score. The forwards were putting in a real first half shift to narrow up the Glasgow defensive line. Almond however came off with a calf injury. Hopefully not a long- term injury given how she managed a 100 per cent success rate over the gainline from 8 carries, with 62.5 per cent of those carries resulting in tries.

Glasgow weren’t completely out of the game however, as Lowe accidentally gifted them possession inside York’s half, tapping and kicking out a penalty thinking it was the last play of the half. Glasgow capitalised on only their second real chance of the half as any premier side would. Their number eight peeled off the back of a scrum to score after York had initially done well to hold up the Scottish sides charge on their goal line.

The second half started in similar fashion, with added freshness off the bench, forcing Glasgow to kick to the mercurial Youlden who sprinted from her own 22, leaving Glasgow players in her path to the try line to make the score 43-14. Thompson’s changes had proved formidable, tidying up the early issues around the ruck led by Orlatih McCullagh and Eleanor Ostheim-Dzerowycz.

Lowe, who had proved instrumental in all areas, was at it again, from a solid scrum led by club president Julia Davies, she timed a pass to the incoming Bryony Hicksson who burst through the line to score off her first touch from the bench. York's backline were clearly the better of the two sides, with replacements off the bench not letting off any of the pressure applied by Almond and co in the first half.

Kick off gave winger Georgia Briggs a chance at redemption which she dutifully took, receiving a pop pass from McCullagh. She ran straight through the doglegged Glasgow kick chase and stepped the fullback for the ninth try.  The score was made 57-14 at this point after Lowe converted. The earlier penalty mistake was most definitely forgiven after Briggs didn't let her head drop.

The penultimate score for York came from one of the forwards, with the big effort Glasgow defenders had put in around the ruck (for little reward) tiring them out which Evans noticed, pushing continuous pick-and-go's from the tight five. Eleanor Ostheim-Dzerowycz found an empty backfield behind the ruck going in to score easily. This was a try coach Thompson seemed most impressed with given the amount of phases in the build up and the control from his Scrum Half.

Despite no threat being made to their lead, York’s discipline had really started to drop eventually conceding another try off the back of a lot of offside calls. This was possibly due to the fact their captain and vice-captain had both come off the field at this point. Lowe eventually came back on, willing to go on at literally any position eventually being allowed to replace Davies after a solid shift in the back row. Thompson expressed no concern for the fly half expressing that 'She's from Pontefract'. She was immediately met with a warning from the referee regarding the amount of off sides conceded.

Provan and Eames came off after a big 70-minute shift in the forwards, Thompson putting to use the whole matchday 21, most notably Kennedy Tonks who was winning every collision in the latter stages, be it attack or defence.

The brutal display was finished off from another spectacular run from Youlden who was foolishly given another chance to run in space, which she unsurprisingly accepted to end the match 69-21 after running past another poor kick chase. York had yet again put on a brutal display of another premier side.

Speaking to captain Lowe after the match, who put in a physical captain’s effort at fly half (topping the tackle count at 13), she was in good spirits and felt no mitigating effect was left on the team following their loss to Loughborough. As one of the players who had been involved in those two undefeated years, it was clear that fundamental to her and the whole team, was enjoyment, even against Loughborough a team with numerous England players. The club however have continued to dominate against all other teams, to their own surprise, simply being happy to be in the league. Their final fixture of term comes on the 27th of November away at Leeds Beckett, where they will be hoping for a repeat of their October fixture in which they won 43-29.

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