Bury Foxes 17 Woodbridge Amazons 10
Top of the table clash saw the Foxes make it ten wins on the bounce
Bury Foxes 17 Woodbridge Amazons 10
This top of the table clash saw the Foxes make it ten wins on the bounce and all but secure second place in NC East 1. The ladies were boosted by the support of the clubs youth girls team, the Vixens, who acted as ball girls for the game. It was fantastic to see so many future Foxes turning out to support their team.
The first half began with a long period of pressure from Woodbridge, who went through a number of phases with their strong runners. The Foxes defence held firm with some determined tackles coming in to keep the away side at bay. When the Foxes finally got possession of the ball they unleashed their pace and handling skill out wide and made sixty meters to flip the pressure on its head. A short spell of possession saw the ball spread wide and the Amazons were on the back foot. The resulting ruck saw the ball come back the opposite way into the hands of Natalie Palmer who stormed over under the posts for the opening score of the game. A huge psychological blow to the away side who were looking dangerous.
Bury struggled to effectively deal with ball retention from kick offs, and soon gifted the ball back to the Amazons who continued to plug away at the Bury defence. Whilst the Foxes were making tackles, they allowed the opposition to take some key meters around the breakdown area and run hard. Fortunately this did not result in any scores or line breaks. Eventually a forced error allowed some more pressure to be built by the home side and after some line breaks and skilled handling, Lucy Kerr was able to go over and extend the lead. The half concluded with more of the same from the home side who began to string some longer periods of possession together and the stealthy efforts of Abigail Kegge were finally rewarded with a try that signalled the end of the first half. Half time score 17-0.
The away side showed their quality in the second half and refused to lie down, continuing to pepper the Bury line with some strong and quick running lines from a few key players who put pressure on the progressively more passive defence. Bury were constantly pegged back by a continuous stream of penalties at the breakdown and handling errors which created even more pressure by handing the ball back to Woodbridge. After a fifteen minute period of constant pressure and precious little ball, Woodbridge went over to open their account after capitalising on a handling error in open play. The Foxes were unable to escape from their own half and some indecisiveness and frustration at the lack of ball began to creep in, which allowed Woodbridge to spend near enough the entire half camped in the Foxes twenty two meter line. It took the Amazons until the final play of the game to get their final score, which is testament to the commitment shown by the Foxes to not let the game slip away.
This display was far from perfect for the Foxes who struggled to get out of second gear. The grit and determination of all of the players however cannot be denied, and if it was not for the tough and committed tackling by every player this game could have easily gone the other way.
The Foxes welcome table topping Harwich to the Harberden on Sunday 18th February. Hoping to avenge their opening day of the season defeat and close the gap at the top of the league. A massive thank you must go to the Vixens who were excellent ambassadors for women's rugby and showed how popular the game is at the club.
Ashley Cook ASCC