The ladies have been working hard on and off the field this summer. Many have been members of tag rugby teams which has developed individual fitness and ball handling skills, in addition to being a good recruitment ground. The coaching team have been busy formulating new structures to suit the side as they continue into the next phase of their development.
The first preseason game was against old local rivals Beckenham, who play in Championship 2 South (the league above Streatham who are in NC1). Inevitably for the first game of the year perhaps, the teams started a little disorganised and Streatham were immediately under pressure. They persisted with strong defence but weren’t able to exit and ultimately conceded an early try under the posts that was converted to make the score 7-0 to Beckenham.
Having lost centre Dani Reynolds in the warm up, new centre Shannon was bedding into her role at 12 and distributing well, bringing in Helena Solomon at 13, who having last season on the flank is returning to her Streatham roots at centre. Scrum half Ken Maynard was ferocious in putting pressure on the opposition 9 and 10, often helping to return the ball to Streatham hands. An excellent strike move off a line out featuring new winger Alicia combined whole team effort to get the ball down the pitch resulting in a try to Streats scored by full back Jenny Frost.
Streatham’s 2nd try should have been scored by the fearsome Coco Briden, playing her first game as winger to help out the backs and brushing off the defenders with ease. However, she generously passed the ball over the line to gift the try to Helena Solomon.
With both teams tiring Streatham were able to puncture the defence with excellent line breaks from the back row, with returning player Alayna making a huge impact and Fran Metcalfe demonstrating excellent ball carrying on her SCRFC debut. Unfortunately, the team were unable to turn these chances into points despite spending time camped in the opposition 22. The front row were demonstrating good capability in the scrum, making life very difficult for the opposition, including debut props Alice and Laura playing their first games of rugby.
With 3 minutes to go Beckenham worked their way back up the pitch and despite a prolonged period of Streatham defence, they finally went over in the corner bringing the score to 12-10.
It was an excellent first run out for Streatham and they look forward to their other preseason fixtures. There is a day of training at the club tomorrow (Saturday 17th August) where all are welcome no matter what experience.
Forward of the match: Alayna Hunte
Back of the match: Helena Solomon
Scorers: Helena Solomon (1T), Jenny Frost (1T)