Wasps Ladies were too hot to handle at a sodden Sixways Stadium as Warriors Women went down 22-7 in Round 3 of the Allianz Premier 15s.
A solitary try for Wales international Alex Callender gave Jo Yapp’s side something to cheer about in the closing stages of the contest, but scores from Heather Kerr, Hannah West and Ellie Kildunne gave the visitors their first victory of the campaign.
Wasps went over for the first of their three tries on four minutes when Heather Kerr burrowed over from a driving maul after a period of relentless pressure on Warriors’ try line. Megan Jones added the extras for a 7-0 lead, but her side were unable to increase their advantage until the early stages of the second half thanks to excellent work in defence from the Sixways outfit.
A ball and all tackle from Warriors centre Jade Shekells certainly set the tone for a spirited defensive effort, however Wasps starved Warriors of possession in key areas of the field with the likes of Lydia Thompson and Vicky Laflin foiled at source.
Jones slotted home a penalty on 38 minutes to make it 10-0, before hooker West crashed over for the visitors’ second try of the afternoon. Jones’ radar boot made it 17-0, her touchline conversion highlighting an impressive kicking display.
Warriors enjoyed their best passage of play just before the hour mark, patient build-up play getting the hosts into Wasps’ 22. Laura Keates was in fine fettle, making hard yards to get Warriors on the front foot, but a lack of execution in the final third proved their undoing.
Wasps made Warriors rue their missed opportunities on 61 minutes as full-back Kildunne sprinted in at the corner to extend their lead to 22-0. Warriors to their credit hit back moments later when Callender burrowed over from the base of a ruck after great build-up play involving Keates and Taz Bricknell, the duo putting in a shift in torrential rain. Vicky Foxwell converted to reduce the arrears to 22-7.
England wing Lydia Thompson had her first sniff of the try line with the final whistle looming, her lung-busting dash down the near side underlining her star quality to the Red Roses selectors who were in attendance. Despite a late attacking onslaught from Warriors, Wasps stood firm and sealed a well-earned 22-7 victory.
Warriors Women | 15 Abi Kershaw, 14 Lydia Thompson, 13 Vicky Foxwell, 12 Jade Shekells, 11 Vicky Laflin, 10 Sarah Nicholas, 9 Caity Mattinson, 1 Carmen Tremelling, 2 Carys Phillips, 3 Laura Keates, 4 Lyndsay O’Donnell (c), 5 Amelia Buckland-Hurry, 6 Taz Bricknell, 7 Alex Callender, 8 Alex Matthews
Replacements | 16 El Febrey, 17 Elizabeth Shermer, 18 Flo Long, 19 Cara Brincat, 20 Jo Brown, 21 Brooke Bradley, 22 Zoe Heeley, 23 Lowri Williams
4m | Kerr try 0-5
4m | Jones con 0-7
38m | Jones pen 0-10
43m | West try 0-15
43m | Jones con 0-17
61m | Kildunne try 0-22
67m | Callender try 5-22
67m | Foxwell con 7-22