Llandaff North Ladies travelled to Brecon to face Gwernyfed Ladies for the third round of the Women’s Super Cup. The journey up was a difficult one with everyone driving through feet of snow to reach the ground. There’s one thing the ladies knew for sure and that was that the weather would play a big part in the day’s match.
We went into today’s match with a point to prove after having narrowly lost here before Christmas. With several players playing out of position (Beth Kenure, Caryl James, Elin Huxtable and Amy Thomas) and the unpredictable weather conditions this game had all the makings of an interesting one.
Both teams took to the field of play wearing odd socks to raise awareness of the ‘Sock it to eating disorders’ campaign. The North started the game aggressively from the kick off with a good chase and it wasn’t long until they managed to turn over the ball and regain possession. The extremely muddy conditions meant it was a massively forwards orientated game, with much of the ball going to the forwards off Caryl James at 9. North had an intense passage of attack and after being stopped short of the line had an attacking scrum 5 metres out. No.8 Caitlin Ebbehoj was brought down short of the line after a good pick up from the base, but a quickly recycled ball saw flanker Beth Kenure power over the line to put the first points on the North account.
From the restart both teams kept the ball in close quarters, Lily Snape carrying well for Gwernyfed and Caitlin Ebbehoj being a key jackler for the North. It wasn’t long before the away side crossed the white wash again, hard carrying from the forwards pulling in the Gwernyfed defence and creating the space for winger Sarah Barrett to cross in the corner. 10-0 to the visitors.
The remainder of the half saw the ball move between both teams with the mud and the cold playing a large part in the game. Following some fantastic carrying by the Gwernyfed centre and some superb handling, Lily Snape almost crossed for the home team’s first score but was kept out by the North defence. Half time saw the visitors keep their slender 10-0 lead.
The second half started much like the end of the first with both teams carrying hard. The dominant North scrum helped them win a lot of set piece ball, in turn allowing them to attack the try line once again. A fantastic turn over by scrum half Caryl James, followed by some strong running by the forwards, saw Hooker Debbie Harper touch down for her first try for Llandaff North.
Following an injury to Second row Shantell Hearn at 55minutes, Llandaff North brought on new Australian signing, Elleanor O’Connell, who made an immediate impact with ball in hand. After a short period in the Gwernyfed 22, the ball was shipped wide and fly half Elin Huxtable crashed over for the bonus point try. Huxtable added the extras making the score 22-0. At 60minutes, the deteriorating weather conditions meant both teams agreed with the ref’s suggestion to bring a premature end to the game.
The North will be at home next when they face Bargoed on 1 March.