OA Saints fall to well-drilled Blackheath side
PUBLISHED: 12:45 24 September 2015 | UPDATED: 12:45 24 September 2015
After their first win of the season last week against newcomers Chesham WRFC, the Saints welcomed the arrival of Blackheath to Woollams.
In a week, hugely disrupted by injuries and unavailability, the Saints put out a very different side to the previous week with many players playing out of position and only one substitute available.
Blackheath dominated the game in terms of possession and this gave them an early lead with two-well worked tries.
The first, after a break from their hooker in midfield, used good strength to power over the line.
The second followed by a well executed boxkick that put pressure on the Saints backline forcing the turnover for the visitors.
Quick hands meant the ball was worked out to their full back to score. Both tries were converted and after 15 minutes, Blackheath were 14-0 ahead.
The Saints rallied and showed some good phases of play, particularly from their line out where prop Emma Cramphorn and second row Holly Watson combined well to allow the forwards to build a solid platform for the backs.
Some strong running from new look centre combination Kate Barnes and Charlie Fredrickson gave the Saints some much needed go-forward.
The Blackheath defence held strong and ill discipline from the Saints gave the Blackheath scrum half opportunity to clear and relieve the pressure.
From the Saints 22m, the Blackheath forwards used pick-and-go options around the ruck to create space for their prop forward to crash over from 5m out.
The conversion was missed leaving the score 19-0.
After a couple of injuries for the Saints, which meant the backline was rejigged again, the Saints struggled to get a foothold in the last period of the first half.
Blackheath took advantage of the extra player and created the overlap out wide for their full back to get her 2nd score of the day. The conversion was missed leaving the half time score 24-0.
After the restart, the Saints produced a much more determined display with excellent work-rate from all players despite being down to 13 players for the majority of the second half.
Stand in fly-half Katie Robertson carried well, taking the ball to the line in an attempt to release the backs.
New Saint Lauren Battersby and prop Ros Wiggins made some particularly big hits around the fringe to keep Blackheath at bay.
The lack of possession and amount of defending the Saints had to do eventually took its toll halfway through the second half with a try made by their quick thinking number eight.
Seeing space on the blind side, she switched the run of play showing good power and control to eventually ground the ball over the line. The conversion followed.
Blackheath scored two more tries in the final period, both unconverted, to end the game 41-0.
A very physical contest from both sides, with Blackheath more clinical when finishing off try scoring opportunities.
Saints will take some positives from a game where it was always going to be difficult against a quality side such as Blackheath who put in an excellent performance on the day.
Back of the Match was Alice Finn, for excellent cover tackling and communication at full back.
The Forward of the Match was Katie Allcock. It was an excellent game at number eight in only her second game for the Saints and she showed great determination and worked hard throughout.
Saints next league fixture is away to Romford and Gidea Park this Sunday.