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  • Bishop Stortford LadiesvBiggleswade Ladies Rugby Club
     

    11-Nov 15:00

    Bishop Stortford

    Biggleswade Ladies Rugby ClubvDeepings Devils Ladies
     

    18-Nov 15:00

    Biggleswade Rugby Club

    St Neots LadiesvBiggleswade Ladies Rugby Club
     

    02-Dec 15:00

    St Neots

    Fullerians LadiesvBiggleswade Ladies Rugby Club
     

    06-Jan 15:00

    fullerians

    Esher LadiesvBiggleswade Ladies Rugby Club
     

    13-Jan 15:00

    Esher


    Welcome to Biggleswade Ladies Rugby Club

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    Fixtures

    Biggleswade Ladies Rugby Club V Bishops Stortford

    BIGGLESWADE LADIES NARROWLY MISS OUT ON WIN

    Bishops Stortford Ladies 12 Biggleswade Ladies 10

    Biggleswade Ladies’ latest away friendly saw the team put in a hugely competitive display against Bishops Stortford, in a match they were unlucky to lose.

    Newly-established side Biggy were determined to carry their hard work from recent training sessions onto the pitch, and the result was a far more disciplined team performance than in previous games.

    From the kick-off it was clear Biggy were here to give league side Stortford a proper contest, and the forwards led the charge, gaining ground with phase after phase of strong carries and battling rucks. 

    The early high-tempo charges gave Biggy’s confidence a boost, and players really stepped up their work rate and aggression.

    With big hits going in, and only one (slightly over-excited) sub on the bench, Biggy’s fitness levels needed to be good and the ladies kept the energy levels up for the entire match.

    Every element of Biggy’s game saw an improvement from previous matches. Their defensive line was far more organised, with the team pressing forward together and putting pressure on their opposition; scrums were solid and got stronger as the match went on; lineout ball was good, and flanker Emma Merrett was in fine jumping form.

    Influential Biggy player Amy Schiller was away watching the Six Nations in Paris, so Sarah Ashby pulled on the Number 8 shirt for the first time, putting in a really gutsy shift in an unfamiliar position.

    The commitment of the team was demonstrated when scrum-half Teri Taylor burst through the gain line on a storming run and, instead of finding herself isolated as in some of the team’s recent friendlies, was caught up by support runners helping to protect and retain the ball. 

    Two breakaway tries from Stortford’s speedy No 13 saw the scoreline go the wrong way. But, recognising the threat, and determined not to let the home side notch up any more points, Biggleswade stepped up their defence, making it difficult for the opposition to feed the ball out wide.

    Biggy’s pressure and possession deserved points, and they finally came when captain and fly-half Charlie Field scored a try from an alert pick and go after several phases of forward pod pressure.

    Biggy winger Ellie Reeve was unlucky not to get on the scoresheet after running two thirds of the length of the pitch before being caught just a metre from the try line.

    It looked like Biggy had scored again when Teri Taylor grounded the ball, only to realise the ref had already blown up for an earlier knock-on. (Teri later had to go off with a knee injury, which meant battling hooker Zaria Bettles, herself carrying a knock, filled in as centre in a reshuffled back line). 

    A long-awaited second try did come, this time from lock Claire Watson, who bulldozed over the line after more sustained Biggy pressure. She earned herself Forward Of The Match for a game that saw her relentlessly running at and through the Stortford forwards (on one notable occasion ending up with four opposition players hanging off her). 

    Back Of The Match was Anna Kolanczyk, playing at full back, who dealt calmly with some strong Stortford kicks, gathering high balls neatly, sidestepping tackles and turning defence into attack on several occasions.

    Special mention must also go to ninja ginge flanker Rachel Poulson, who put in a typically skilled and committed forward performance in what was her last match for the club as she is moving out of the area. She’ll be greatly missed. She was sent on her way with a bottle of Bulldog gin and her own verse in the now traditional Biggy Ladies after-match song.

    Final score: Bishops Stortford Ladies 12 Biggleswade Ladies 10



    Biggleswade Ladies Rugby Club V Cheshunt/Royston

    Cheshunt Ladies 0 – 27  Biggleswade Ladies

    Biggleswade’s first game was against Cheshunt (with some Royston players), and it was an encouraging performance from Biggy. Having previously only played friendlies against established league sides, they relished the rare opportunity to play a team with less experience than themselves, and looked well-organised and confident from the start.

    The first try came from centre Claire ‘Chuckle’ Huckle, making a quick, bursting run after sustained possession and forward pressure. Captain and fly half Charlie Field converted.

    An attacking kick from Charlie saw a great chase from winger Jo ‘Show’ Beard, putting pressure on the Cheshunt defence. 

    Lock Claire Watson and No 8 Amy Schiller made plenty of strong ball carries, with Cheshunt needing to team up to bring them down, which sucked players in and created gaps. Biggy possession was deservedly rewarded when the backs’ spread the ball out quickly to Ellie Reeve on the wing who raced in for a second Biggleswade try just before half time. (Any watching supporters, please be reassured that Ellie’s unforgivable try celebration – a shout of ‘GOAL!’ – will be punished with a suitable forfeit).

    After the break, Ellie made another gain line-busting run, but it was pressure from the pack that earned the next try, with Claire Watson carrying the ball over the Cheshunt line.

    Flanker Sarah Ashby had a typically strong game, gaining ground with some surging runs and textbook hand-offs.

    Captain Charlie Field scored the most spectacular try of the match, beginning her run from the halfway line, flirting with the sideline, dodging tackles, and stepping inside to get Biggy’s fourth try. 

    And, to the sideline supporters’ delight, Biggleswade still hadn’t finished: Amy Schiller picked and went from a ruck to score a fifth and final try, making the end score an impressive 27-0.

     

    Royston Ladies 10 – 12 Biggleswade Ladies (Friendly)

    The second match was against Royston (with some Cheshunt players). Biggleswade were beaten by Royston in their friendly at the end of last year, and had failed to score any points against them, so were keen to play to their full potential.

    One minute in and one missed tackle later Royston were five points ahead thanks to a breakaway try (unconverted), but Biggy didn’t panic and kept their shape and discipline, and continued the pattern in recent games of being more aggressive in the rucks and establishing a good defensive line. 

    Keeping possession and taking the ball forward through the middle of the pitch, Amy Schiller again had the vision to pick and go into space, almost making it over the line. Teri Taylor, with some sharp support play, saw another gap, and scored a great scrum-half’s try. Charlie Field converted to take Biggy two points ahead.

    Combative flanker Sarah Ashby upped her already high tackle count in the second half with a perfect demonstration of flattening technique(!) and fitness – taking out four opposition players one after the other as she ‘rolled right’ across the width of the pitch.

    And it was Biggleswade who scored again, after good backs’ interplay moved the ball out to the left wing. Biggleswade bundled over Royston’s line, with Jo Beard emerging from the meleé with a beaming smile that revealed she was the try-scorer.

    The clock was ticking down, and Royston battled back, scoring a second try but missing the conversion, which meant Biggy were leading 12-10 with only a couple of minutes to go.  Biggleswade kept their heads, retained possession, pressed forward, and kept their two point advantage until the final whistle, clocking up their second win of the day.

    The afternoon finished with a third match with the teams mixed up together.

    Centre Claire Goldsmith earned Back of the Day for some great support play, and a selection of the afternoon’s biggest tackles. 

    Loosehead Leigh Frost was awarded Forward of the Day for strength in the scrum and a series of determined ball carries.

    Fellow prop Drea Lee also merits a special mention in dispatches for a great performance at tight head, before she had to come off injured.

    Cheshunt Ladies deserve huge praise for the way they played in what was many players’ first ever match – Biggleswade Ladies know how daunting it is, after being in that position just a few short months ago. Huge thanks to hosts Cheshunt and fellow guests Royston for a fabulous afternoon of rugby played in a competitive but friendly spirit.

    Biggleswade Ladies hold training sessions on Mondays and Fridays between 7.15pm and 9pm at Biggleswade Rugby Club on Langford Road. It’s free to try – click on the link to find out more: http://biggleswadeladiesrugby.co.uk

    Photo Credit: pics by Carl Wolfenden



    Biggleswade Ladies Rugby Club V Bletchley



    Biggleswade Ladies Rugby Club V Fullerians/Royston



    Biggleswade Ladies Rugby Club V Fullerians



    Biggleswade Ladies Rugby Club V Royston

    Royston Ladies 36 – 0 Biggleswade Ladies

    After snow saw last week’s planned TASL-sponsored home match cancelled (although snowball fights still took place), Biggleswade Ladies were itching to get back into the fray on Sunday.

    An away friendly against Royston – opponents who currently top the NCE3 league and who have been notching up some big scores against established sides – was always going to be a tough challenge for the newly resurrected Biggleswade team.

    But if Biggy are to realise their ambitions of joining a league next season, this is exactly the kind of friendly they need to test their mettle: a physical battle against a highly organised, in-form team.

    It was a rain-lashed, bruising encounter in freezing cold conditions, played with great intensity.

    Royston started quickly out of the blocks, notching up an (unconverted) try after just five minutes. But Biggy massed ranks and withstood Royston pressure, putting in some big hits on their opponents at vital times, and holding up a try to keep the score 5-0 to the home side until the 20 minute mark – no mean feat with Royston notching up 64 points in one half in a recent league game.

    With a couple of front row players missing through injury and unavailability, Biggleswade’s pack was rearranged at the last minute with two guest players from Hitchin (Flo Oatgen and Rachel Bailey) in hooker and tight-head roles. Biggy centre Claire Watson – who’d been geared up to join the forwards with only a few minutes’ training in scrummaging as a lock, but instead found herself thrown in to flanker position – took on the new challenge with typical determination, and getting in some full-on shoves in the ruck. Despite the shake-up of personnel, Biggleswade’s scrums proved consistently strong, with Biggy more than holding their own, and taking the ball against the head three times – once on their own 5 metre line, easing the pressure at a vital moment with a kick away.

    Biggy forwards and backs showed courage and commitment in the tackle (often against bigger opposition players), with bruises being compared in the bar after the game.

    No 13 Claire Huckle had to leave the pitch after 20 minutes when she took a crunching hit from a Royston player, injuring both her head and ribs.

    This meant a switch around of positions, with replacement Claire Goldsmith – playing her first ever match – making a perfect debut tackle, the thump of which reverberated to the rain-sodden but enthusiastic Biggy supporters on the sideline.

    A standout highlight of Biggy’s play in the first half was winger Jo Beard, the smallest player on the pitch, putting in a series of superb tackles on her opposite number, two of which prevented a clear run down the line.

    Another highlight was captain and fly half Charlie Field – who competed tirelessly all afternoon – kicking and chasing her own ball and bulldozering the Royston player who had the bad luck to catch it.

    Wing Ellie Reeve and scrum half Holly Crawford made some good breaks, and Amy Schiller and Rachel Poulson did some strong ball-carrying, but aggressive rucking and good organisation from Royston meant they had the lion’s share of possession and territory.

    Despite Biggy’s brave efforts in soaking up a lot of pressure for much of the half, Royston’s greater game experience and attacking nous meant they broke through to score three more tries (two of which were converted) leaving the half-time score 24-0.

    After the break, Biggy had to make more changes, with centre Teri ‘tackle machine’ Taylor taking over the fly half role while Charlie Field had a few minutes to recover from some big collisions. Amy Schiller, Biggy’s influential No. 8, had to be replaced by flanker Rachel Poulson, who had yet another great game, earning her a thoroughly-deserved Forward Of The Match award. It was Rachel who reacted quickly and chased down a ball to ground it in Biggy’s in goal area to prevent an almost certain try from the chasing Royston players.

    Full back Anna Kolanczyk had to come off after a knock to the head, with Claire Huckle putting her body on the line yet again to return to the pitch for the last 20 minutes and cover the unfamiliar position.

    Biggleswade could have gained more ground were it not for a tendency to get sucked into overcommitting at the ruck, and also not pressing their defensive line forward quickly enough – all areas to work on and which will improve with more game time (this being only their third match).

    But the team did exceptionally well to limit Royston to 12 points (two tries and a conversion) in the second half, especially with several Biggy players out of their usual positions, and with Royston using their greater numbers to good effect by bringing on fresh legs.

    Final score: Royston Ladies 36 – 0 Biggleswade Ladies

    Captain Charlie Field said: “It hadn’t been an ideal build-up, with numbers light at training sessions due to Christmas commitments and injuries, and with uncertainty over the team sheet and last minute changes.

    “But I couldn’t be prouder of the team. This was a tough match in tough conditions, and the scoreline doesn’t tell the story of the massive efforts our team showed today. The smiles in team photo says it all – in the mud and cold we gave it our all and had a blast.”

    Coach Jimmy Caulfield said: “I like bacon.” (!)

    Forward of the Match: Rachel Poulson

    Back of the Match (joint): Jo Beard & Claire Huckle

    Biggleswade Ladies hold training sessions on Mondays and Fridays between 7.15pm and 9pm at Biggleswade Rugby Club on Langford Road. It’s free to try – click on the link to find out more: http://biggleswadeladiesrugby.co.uk



    Team Members

    About

    Biggleswade Ladies Rugby Team started training in 2015, with the main focus on touch tournaments, which is a non-contact form of rugby. In Summer 2017 we decided to venture into full contact rugby with the goal of entering a league in the new season of 2018. This involves playing at least 8 frien...

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