Ladies’ first game

Paul Charles reports on the first LIARFC Ladies’ adult touch game

December 10th saw a very special and monumental day which will go down in the history section of LIARFC. It was the day an adult Ladies Contact game was played for the first time. Their opponents were Barnes RFC, an experienced league team with some seriously good County level players.

The ladies prepared well each and every Thursday in the weeks running up to the game at Hazelwood and grew their skills, knowledge and developed into what we saw at Hazelwood on this day . The attitude was simply phenomenal as we saw tackle after tackle, ruck after ruck, superb scrummaging, teamwork and dedication by each and every player. Some of these ladies had never held a rugby ball before joining LIARFC Ladies never mind played Rugby. The tackles were low, fierce, aggressive and strong.

As a first game the management team were looking for application of skills directly from the training field. What they got was this plus much more than expected as London Irish Ladies scored first with a penalty from Lauren Head followed very quickly by a try from Vicky MacKenzie. The team would go on to be winning at half time 8-5. The second half came and although the scoreline would suggest that it was easier for Barnes than Irish, the work rate and tackles from Irish simply didn’t stop. They continued to throw themselves into tackles, rucks and mauls. Indeed the head coach from Barnes stated after the game that his Ladies were certainly shown how to play in the first half and that some of our players didn’t look like it was their first game. Injuries took their toll too as we saw Loose head Prop and Players’ Player of the Day retire with a shoulder and head injury in the second half. Laying herself on the line and Forward of the Day was our captain Georgia Read. Vicky was also Back of the Day and left the game with suspected concussion such was the ferocity of tackle and attitude of our players. The final score was 8-25 however the London Irish Ladies deserved a closer one as experience and fitness came through for Barnes.

A massive amount of Work has gone on in the background to produce the Adult Ladies team by coaches John Gilligan, Paul Fyfe, Rocky Hudson and Seb Rodwell, alongside team Manager and Chair of Ladies Rugby Mary Fyfe. Congratulations to this team who after one game looked like a great experienced team.

As a supporter I cannot wait until the next game.