On a sunny Saturday the MIRFC women’s section opened thier season with 2 wins.
The seconds who were scheduled to kick off at noon against Beaconsfield won,(unfortunately), by default, when Beaconfield withdrew late on Friday afternoon.
I am positive those ladies will be even keener to taste battle next weekend in Hull, an unknown quantity as they played in the EORU 2nd tier last season.
At 1.30pm the 1st XV trotted out onto the hallowed turf of St Julie to face RCM a club that had given us 2 tough games the previous season,(5pt and 12 pt wins for MIRFC).
Despite both teams showing a little rustiness after 8 months without competitive rugby, MIRFC started the stronger. After just 5 minutes, some sustained pressure on the RCM line say a penalty awarded for repeat infringements, Sue Magwood stepped up and popped the kick over for a 3 – 0 lead.
The next few minutes saw the play generally between the 40m lines, followed by a brief spell of pressure by RCM, but determined defence lead to a turnover and pressure releaving kick by MIRFC.
On the 13 minute mark some good phase play and continuity ended with right wing Caroline Fitzpatrick crashing over in the corner from short range. Conversion unsuccesful. MIRFC 8 -0
Around the 20 minute mark Mirfc were forced to shuffle it’s front row as Erin Ryan came on for Alyssia Caughy, with skipper Cristyn Edwards moving from Hooker to Loose Head.
The next few minutes saw some excellent line breaks close to the breakdown and fantastic retention culminating in a powerful run by Caro, great support from Vicky Horne and Erin B. The former popping to the latter for the 2nd Irish try which was converted by Sue. Irish 15-0.
Once again the score was followed by a period of play between the 22’s, with the Irish letting a couple of opportunities slip with poor execution, another front row substitution was required, with Joanne Auger replacing Taylor Baruchel.
Right on half time a break by scrum half Erin B down the blindside of a ruck,(following a turnover in a maul), was rewarded with good support play from flanker Ali Olshefski who outpaced the cover defence to score under the posts, this was duely converted by Sue.
Half Time MIRFC 22 – 0 RCM
The second half started with a prolongued period of sloppy play from both sides. Multiple penalties and poor handling forcing numerous scrums between the 22’s. After 10 minutes a midfield break by veteran prop Joanne Auger,(the final pass knocked to ground by a retreating RCM player as a score looked likely), led to a brief period of Irish defensive pressure which caused a sliced clearing kick from RCM. This was returned to within inches of the RCM line by multiple rucks. Alas a knock on gave the opposition the feed to a scrum 5m from thier own line. However, a good wheel by the Irish caused confusion and debutant 2nd row Sammy Ewing ripped the ball from an RCM player and plunged over for her first try with the Irish. MIRFC 27-0. Feeling the game was beyond thier opponents the MIRFC coaches used the opportunity to introduce all of thier subs, gaining valuable insight into how new players perform and making sure every sub got at least 20 minutes of game time.The next 10 minutes were much of the same average fayre until RCM overthrew a linout inside thier 40 and LeeAnna Coates pounced on the ball and charged upfield, 2 swift backline attacks saw Caroline run over her opposite winger and score in the right corner. 32-0 for the Irish.
Within three minutes the lead was stretched to 37points when Vicky Horne scored after a quickly tapped penalty.
At this point the Irish’s fitness started to tell and they dominated the majority of the play, only poor handling robbing then of at least 3 more tries.
Finally stringing the phases together saw them run in a 7th try with Number 8 Larissa scoring in the left hand corner. MIRFC 42-0
With just a minute to play RCM had a scrum inside thier own half, some tired looking tackling by green and lack of defensive communication allowed the 8 to pop to 9 to 10 who broke the line and outpaced the cover to score in the left hand corner.
Final Score MIRFC 42-5 RCM
Players Player: Erin Benzakein