Lydia Thompson’s try five minutes from time secured Warriors Women a memorable bonus point win against Richmond Women in the Tyrrells Premier 15s.
The England wing showed her class as she raced clear of a series of Richmond defenders to touchdown in the corner and send the vocal Sixways crowd into raptures.
A brace of tries from Tyrrells Player of the Match Sioned Harries and a try from Lucy Lockhart in the opening stages of the second half proved decisive as Jo Yapp’s side made it three home wins on the bounce to begin 2020 in style.
Streamed live online, this fixture was a great advert for women’s rugby and was a treat for those supporters who stayed behind for the second part of the double-header.
It was Richmond, who opened the scoring on five minutes through second-row Fiona McIntosh, who underlined her strength to shrug off a series of would-be tacklers to cross under the posts. Abi Chamberlain added the extras to give the visitors the advantage at 7-0.
Warriors hit back 10 minutes later, the impressive Harries bagging the first of her two scores as she crashed over following excellent build-up play from the likes of Jade Shekells and Cara Brincat. Sarah Nicholas clipped the outside of the near post with the conversion out wide and Warriors trailed 7-5.
On 28 minutes Harries doubled her try tally for the evening, this time showing neat footwork to evade her marker before sprinting in for the score. Nicholas got herself up and running with the conversion to put Warriors 12-7 ahead.
Richmond to their credit looked threatening in the lead up to half-time, their counter-attacking ability keeping the hosts on their toes. However, a resilient Warriors defence ensured the Sixways outfit went into the break leading 12-7.
Warriors began the second period in emphatic fashion, with Lockhart’s outrageous show and go bamboozling the Richmond rearguard to give her a clear run to the line 20 metres out. Lockhart along with the rest of the pack set the platform for the win, and Nicholas’ conversion extended Warriors’ lead to 19-7.
Not deterred by the margin of the scoreline, Richmond registered their second score of the contest on 51 minutes thanks to wing Sophie Pascal, who squeezed in at the corner despite a suspicion of a knock-on over the line.
19-12 up, Warriors’ defence was tested to the limit as Richmond threw everything they had at trying to upset the home side’s winning streak at Sixways. However, Thompson relieved much of the pressure when she finished off arguably the try of the evening, with the lethal flyer racing in on the back of a scintillating backline move involving Shekells and Goddard.
Lindsay Mayo crossed for the visitors in the closing stages, but it was too little too late as Warriors march on after securing their third home win on the bounce.
Warriors Women | 15 Carys Cox, 14 Lydia Thompson, 13 Jade Shekells, 12 Meg Varley, 11 Vicky Laflin, 10 Sarah Nicholas, 9 Taz Bricknell, 1 Akina Gondwe, 2 Carys Phillips, 3 Laura Keates (c), 4 Elizabeth Shermer, 5 Cara Brincat, 6 Sara Moreira, 7 Lucy Lockhart, 8 Sioned Harries
Replacements | 16 El Febrey, 17 Lauren Leatherland, 18 Carmen Tremelling, 19 Jess Wiesheu, 20 Vicky Foxwell, 21 Megan Goddard, 22 Zoe Heeley
5m | McIntosh try 0-5
6m | Chamberlain con 0-7
16m | Harries try 5-7
27m | Harries try 10-7
28m | Nicholas con 12-7
45m | Lockhart try 17-7
46m | Nicholas con 19-7
51m | Pascal try 19-12
75m | Thompson try 24-12
78m | Mayo try 24-17