Cardiff Met Women’s Rugby made history yesterday as they collected the clubs 10th BUCS Championship in their 20-5 win against Northumbria University at Twickenham Stadium.
The 3pm kick-off saw a healthy crowd gather to watch the two teams battle it out; Cardiff Met were eager to improve on the disappointment of being last year’s runner-up but got off to a difficult start as after just 1:30min, number 7 Daisie Mayes had to leave the field following an injury to her ankle. It later become apparent that Mayes had broken her ankle and was replaced by number 18, Bronnie Jones.
The flow of the game began to settle with much of the scoring threats coming from Cardiff Met. After 13mins of play number 15, Elli Norkett, scored the opening points of the 2016 final with a dazzling try in the far left hand corner. Number 10, Joanne Jones was unable to convert, 5-0.
The supporters didn’t have to wait long for the second try as number 14, Olivia Archer sprinted through the Northumbria defence to score by the right hand corner flag taking it to 10-0 lead half way through the first half. The remainder of the half saw Cardiff Met having to defend their own try line for long spells as they absorbed Northumbria’s increased pressure. The defence was solid though and with Northumbria unable to breakthrough, the Cardiff Met team went into the dressing room at half time with a 10pt cushion.
The second half saw renewed energy and no hint of letting up as it took just two minutes for number 11, Cerys Ballett to head over the try line for the teams third try of the game. This was swiftly followed by a second impressive Norkett try four minutes later. With neither conversions making it through the posts, the score line sat at a much more comfortable 20-0 with 34mins to go.
The Cardiff Met saw an opportunity to make some personnel adjustments as Bronnie Jones and Sophie Waugh subbed out to allow Ffion Jones and Meg Daley to take the field with 25mins to play. An injury to number 6, Sam Morris, saw number 16, Georgia Bradley replace her along with Amberly Ruck replacing Jess Pritchard. The rotations ensured the standard of play was maintained as Cardiff Met were able to show off the squads depth.
A slight blip saw number 13 Jade Shekells sin binned for breaching the offside rule with 18mins to play and just 3mins later, Northumbria were rewarded for their first half pressure with their first and only try of the game. Unable to convert, the score was 20-5 with 15mins to go.
The last 11mins of play saw Sarah Foster and Emily Hull complete the substitutions for the game where all squad members saw playing time – a feat that was welcomed and enjoyed by players and supporters alike.
The Player of the Match was awarded to number 8, Olivia Freya Jones, who’s impressive performance throughout was clearly and well deservedly recognised.
The final whistle blew was met with celebrations throughout the Cardiff Met squad as they were crowned BUCS Champions of 2016. Lively supporters and parents watched on as a proud and emotional Captain, Emily Underwood, lifted the trophy high.