Sidmouth RFC girls’ U15 squad enjoys tour to North Devon
PUBLISHED: 13:12 14 March 2019 | UPDATED: 13:12 14 March 2019
Sidmouth RFC took a tour party to North Devon for the club’s inaugural girls’ rugby tour.
Some 30 girls from the club’s U13s and U15s, together with parents and siblings, who boosted numbers to 80 plus, took part in a weekend that was organised under the banner of ‘The Greatest Showman’ and everyone put a great deal of effort into dressing up for fear of facing the wrath of judge Phil Grove and prosecutors John Hurson and Lou Turley.
Saturday was spent playing games on the beach, surfing and using the facilities at the holiday park.
The U13s’ game was against girls from Ilfracombe, Barnstaple and Okehampton, who will hopefully each have a girls’ team next year.
The ‘Barbarian’ team faced an experienced, hungry and very tired Sidmouth girls’ team.
In a powerful start to the game, Abi Alner, Ellie Monro Higgs and Maisie Herbert all powered over for early tries.
To ‘level things up’ in terms of the game’s flow, Sidmouth took two players off to make it a 10 versus 12 encounter in favour of the hosts and the contest was more even, though Sidmouth did score two more first-half tries from Gracie Hurson and Mia White.
Team coaches Joe Reed and John Hurson got their message across during the interval and, in the second half, TT Maloney and Amber Spence scored tries while Bella Giles and Immy Bagwell impressed with their tenacity when in the thick of the action. For the final quarter, Lotti Reed and Ellie Monro Higgs switched sides with instructions to score - or they couldn’t get back into the Sidmouth side!
The contest hotted up with both Lottie Reed and Ellie Monro Higgs in the thick of the tackling, but the Sidmouth team also stepped up a gear with Tilly Wain and Amber Spence taking great delight in bringing down their teammates!
Tries were scored at both ends of the pitch and, for the final few minutes, the Sidmouth team were reunited to a full complement and further tries were scored by Ellis Ensell and Rosie Moore. Post match, Lottie Reed was picked by the opposition as Sidmouth’s Player of the match.
To finish off a fun-filled tour, the U15s took on a Barbarian side – and Storm Freya – which made for wet and muddy conditions!
However, the elements could not stop the Sidmouth girls showing some excellent skills as they controlled the match from first whistle to last.
There were notable individual performances from across the pitch, none more so than those from: Lucy Moore, who displayed some quality ball stripping; Annabelle Bird, still in fancy dress from the night before, taking on the opponents with focus and determination; Araminta May for her skilful drop kick conversions and ability to mentor the success of the attacking phase; Charlotte Starr, who made a highly promising debut for the team; Lauren Provis the team captain on the day, who led by example in the front row; Abbie French at hooker, winning the ball many times when it was the opponents’ put-in and sniper-like attack and tackling; Lucy Tanner, for ensuring good co-ordination between the forwards and the backs; Bella Breen, for amazing tackles and her extreme acceleration on the wing; Cleo Turley, Esme Bagwell and Hatty Tremlett for their all-round contributions in both attack and defence; Maddy Johnson, seeking out and exposing the opponents’ weakness to score one of the more notable tries; Maddie Richardson and Amber Coombes, who both used great speed and agility in the centre berth and, last, but not least; Daisy Grove, Ellie Wood and Holly Hales, who all played pivotal roles in the forwards, being quick off the mark to tackle, support and launch the next phase, whatever is thrown their way.
At the end of the match, skipper-for-the-day Lauren Provis presented two awards to very deserving players from the Ilfracombe Barbarians side followed by the Ilfracombe Barbarians captain presenting the player of the match award to Sidmouth’s Lucy Tanner.
Sidmouth RFC girls’ section provides rugby for girls from the age of seven upwards, leading to mixed rugby from the U12 age group and then full girls’ rugby at U13, U15 and U18. The club are always delighted to welcome new girls to the sport of rugby. Maybe you already play, or perhaps you would like to give rugby a go? Get in touch with them at firstname.lastname@example.org