By Art de Roche
Australia international lock Bec Clough is impressed with her new surroundings despite suffering the disappointment of a one point defeat on her Valkyries debut against Firwood Waterloo.
Clough, 30, has joined Valkyries until the end of the season and impressed on her Tyrrells Premier 15s debut as she won the Player of the Match Award in Valkyries 23-22 defeat.
“Firstly, what a sensational pitch to play on. The grounds and facilities here at Sixways are unbelievable, I’ve been really impressed,” Clough said.
“Personally, the match was tough. That was my first 80 minutes since August, but I felt like I did well and impacted the game positively. However, there is still a lot to work to do going forward.”
Clough has arrived at Valkyries from Perth-based Western Force and her early impressions of top flight women’s rugby in England are favourable.
“Northern and Southern Hemisphere rugby is pretty comparative. The aggression in the game is probably a little less here in England as is the reliance on skill execution but I really enjoyed it and can’t wait for the next game,” she said.
Valkyries put the Waterloo defence under great pressure late on in Saturday’s game and scored two converted tries which should lift confidence ahead of this Saturday’s home match against Saracens.
“I loved the physical side of the game. Putting in hits, making tackles and turning the ball over, I think lifted everybody, especially in the second-half,” Clough said.
“The momentum that brought had us pumped. Everybody wanted to win and the girls worked extremely hard to try and get that win, but we just couldn’t get over the line in the end.
“That performance was huge going forward. I’ve only been here a short amount of time but I could feel the confidence in the group lift.
“They’re very young but their confidence is growing and I think that’ll show in the coming weeks and months.”