Sunday saw all our Girls in the under 13's, 15's and 18's in action. Fun was had by all and below please find some pictures and match reports of the day.
DORKING v FARNHAM
The Dorking U13 Girls travelled to Farnham for their first Waterfall Cup match on Sunday 16 January 2022.
Having played in the tournament style Values Festivals through the autumn with mixed results, the girls were daunted by the prospect of a full 40-minute game. However, a short, focussed warm-up and a rousing pep talk from captain Zoe saw them running onto the pitch with determined faces.
The Farnham team appeared to predominantly consist of older players and contained a number of very tall, strong girls whose mission it was to charge down the middle of the pitch to score tries. Having seen that happen in previous matches, the Dorking coaches’ heads dropped, only to raise them again to see the Dorking girls fighting back.
Numerous ball-carrying, crash-through runs were made by Sophie, Zoe & Amalie who broke through tackles and made ground until they were dragged down by 3 or 4 opposition players. Unlike previous games, the Dorking girls retained possession by some strong rucking from the likes of Scarlett, Sophie, Lili-Ann and Amelia and there were some lovely off-loads during tackles to fast-moving support runners. Our side-step queens, Ella and Livvy also made good inroads through the Farnham defence, skipping past umpteen players before being brought to ground.
Despite the considerable size difference between our players and theirs, heroic tackles were made in defence, particularly by Millie, Livvy, Sophie, Zoe, Amalie and our guest Old Cats players, Frankie and Antonia. The return of our tenacious hooker Florence ensured we secured good ball from the scrums and great courage was shown by her, Siena, Evie, Amelia and Sienna (Old Cats) by picking up loose balls when they knew they were about to get clattered and by having a go at stopping some of the larger opponents.
The score line of 7 - 1 to Farnham does not reflect the nature or content of the game. The majority of Farnham’s tries were scored by the same 2 or 3 players, whereas the Dorking girls worked hard together and played as a team, supporting each other and creating some lovely passages of play to get close to the Farnham try line on numerous occasions. Our pitch positioning and on-field communication was vastly improved from previous games and the Ref complimented the girls on their well-worked match play. When the final whistle blew, the Dorking girls came off the pitch with their heads held high, knowing that they had made played better than they ever had before, with grit and determination, with courage and commitment, and with a vastly improved skill set that can only get better and better.
Congratulations to Sophie, chosen by the Farnham girls, and Scarlett, the coaches’ choice.
UNDER 15's Dorking/Cobham vs Wimbledon/Battersea Ironsides - Waterfall Cup Pool Game Sunday 16th January
Waterfall Cup rugby returned for the first time in 18 months for the U15 Girls team, in what was also the first 15 a side game the team had ever played given the challenges of last season. Dorking have combined with Cobham to ensure we have a big enough match day squad, with Wimbledon & Battersea doing likewise. We travelled to Wimbledon, a team we have historically never beaten, and having had just one joint training session with Cobham, but we had a squad of 26 enthusiastic players and so were hopeful of a good game.
The first half was a close contest with both teams looking to run the ball - lots of great breaks but a combination of some good tackling from both teams and last passes not going to hand meant that tries were not coming. In the scrum Dorking definitely had the upper hand, with some big drives seeing the Wimbledon team going backwards. In the lineout Wimbledon had the upper hand with some excellent catch and drives that made them 10-15 metres before running the ball again. As the half wore on Wimbledon discipline at the ruck started to cause them an issue - and a penalty against them on their 5-metre line for killing the ball resulted in a quick tap from Sofia Schifano who drove over and scored. Conversion missed and so the score at half time was 5-0.
With a large squad we were able to bring on plenty of fresh legs in the second half - the opposition did the same including a completely new scum who were significantly larger than the Dorking scrum. However, a faster more mobile set of Dorking forwards compensated for this, and Wimbledon were also unable to get any ascendency in the scrum where Dorking locked out a much bigger pack. The first half started well for Dorking - with Izzy May (Cobham fly half) getting clean ball from a scrum 30 metres out and managed beat 4 defenders with lightening pace and stepping off both feet. 10-0 to Dorking.
The game continued with lots of end-to-end rugby, but last passes still not sticking. Wimbledon managed to get to the Dorking 5 metre line and this time Dorking indiscipline was an issue with penalty for hands in the ruck/off feet followed by a second for not retreating allowing Wimbledon a similar short-range drive over try. A superb conversion meant the score was now 10-7.
Dorking continued to pressure, and Wimbledon ruck discipline become an ongoing issue with half a dozen penalties going against them. Dorking turned the pressure into points from a lineout 10 metres from the Wimbledon line, which whilst they won a fast up back row Dorking pressure defence meant the Wimbledon 10 could only kick as far as the 22 where the ball was collected by Bethan Richards, who went right and evaded the defence to score in the corner. 15-7.
With ten minutes to go Wimbledon were not done and put together an excellent move, starting on their own 10 metre they went wide and some good interplay between their centres and wings beat our defence for a great try in the corner. 15-12
With only a few minutes remaining Dorking put together a series of drives - our scrum half then used quick ball to make a break and was supported by number 8 Immy Sellings who drove over from short distance for a try - meaning a final score of 20-12 to the Dorking and Cobham team.
Overall, a really positive game with a win deserved for all the effort from a team that included a number of new players who have never played a competitive game of rugby before. Team nominated player of the match - Lilly Puttick. Some lessons to learn ahead of next week when we take on another very strong team in our second pool game, when we travel to Sutton & Epsom.
U18 Girls’ Waterfall Cup Round 1
Dorking/Old Ruts v Chobham
The Dorking U18s have linked with the Old Ruts U18s for the Waterfall Cup this season and had their first full match on Sunday 16th January.
The girls were excited to play their first 15 aside game together, but unfortunately Chobham were short of players, and we settled on playing 13 aside. From the very beginning, the game was a battle with breaks from Amy Poppy and Maddie and countless turnovers from our props Roisin and Roisin. Our scrums were dominant over Chobham’s, and the girls won every scrum with Lucia being the driving force from the back and Chobham’s coach complimenting their strength. Our lineouts were also exceptional with Daisy and Maddie winning the majority of them.
Both teams had scored several tries, ours from breaks from Amina, and Amy being supported by Rosie and as we didn’t have our usual kicker, Maya stepped up. Our rucking was letting us down in the first half and we conceded some unfortunate points that we shouldn’t have. The second half was much improved with two consecutive 8 pick-ups from Lucia out the back of the scrum allowing her to make a lot of ground which led to Poppy’s first try and a conversion by Maya.
Amy made a fantastic line break which allowed her to score a birthday try (as let slip by her dad!) and Esme and Poppy also went over to score two more. The Chobham girls charged down Maya’s conversion kick and the touch off one of the opposition’s hands made the ball ricochet over the posts! The final whistle blew after a tough and evenly matched game which has set the bar very high for the next round!
Special mentions go to the forward of the match, Lucia, and the back of the match, Poppy, with Chobham’s players choice being Ellie. An extra special congratulations to Mel who played her first ever game. She did brilliantly despite her admitting afterwards she didn’t know you had to run forwards and pass backwards! A happy 16th birthday to Amy too.
Well done girls and it’s only going to improve from here!