Friday, 28 November 2014

BUCS: Swansea WRFC 22-31 Nottingham Trent WRFC

Swansea University Women's RFC suffered late heartbreak in the BUCS Trophy as they fell at the first hurdle to Nottingham Trent University at Sketty Lane.
Swansea Coach Siwan Lillicrap will be wondering how her team lost as they dominated all facets of the game, but it was the visitors that were ultimately far more clinical when it really mattered.
Trent’s flying winger Carys Williams and hooker Becky Noone both bagged braces with Noone particularly standing out for the visitors.
For Swansea it was a case of what might have been with their indiscipline at the end proving costly, while losing influential captain Rhian Perry didn’t help their cause either. There were many positives for the Welsh outfit who have improved vastly under Lillicrap’s direction since September - fly-half Meg Griffiths was excellent in both attack and defence while flanker Kate Jones and No. 8 Lydia Shelton worked tirelessly all afternoon.
Despite both sides having chances early on, it was the visitors that found themselves with a 12-0 advantage - Williams helped herself to a quick fire brace, the first of which was a scintillating display of pace. Scrum-half Hannah Priest added the extras to one.
The shock of going two tries down kicked Swansea into life and their defensive play improved, Rebecca Pratchett, Jones and Shelton making the hard yard around the fringes.
It didn’t take long before they had closed the deficit with a superb driving maul from the hosts illegally brought down yards from the line. From the resultant penalty the ball was spread wide - a pre-planned move saw Griffiths offload to Nicola Jones with her centre partner Becca Cottam hitting a lovely line to crash over.
The Green and Whites were soon celebrating another try as another penalty close to the whitewash saw Perry cut inside for Shelton to bulldoze over.
A mistake by Cottam in midfield gifted Trent one last chance before the break with Williams and Noone both being denied by some superb last ditch defending by Griffiths.
The second 40 minutes was a tale of two halves with Swansea comfortably on top for the first 20, only to fall away in the closing stages of the game.
Swansea were quick out of the blocks with Kate Jones and full back Charmaine Cooke touching down and Griffiths converting Cooke’s, but when Perry was forced off with a dislocated finger the hosts looked a little lost.
Trent sensed their opportunity and it was their forwards that were now dictating play with props Jess Parayitou and Holly Hazel causing all sorts of problems in the loose. A tired Swansea, meanwhile, began to give away penalty after penalty, surrendering territory and possession.
Noone was popping up all over the park and she deservedly crossed for her double, showing great speed and a nice step to send her team back into the lead.
And with seven minutes to go, Trent’s Sophie Slade sealed the win with a well-taken touchdown.
Swansea return to league action on Wednesday when they travel to Plymouth for their last clash before Christmas.