Report | Warriors Women 43-5 Sale Sharks

Akina Gondwe’s 50th appearance could not have gone any better as Warriors Women ran in seven tries to keep their Allianz Cup semi-final hopes alive.

Gondwe, who led her side out as captain, played 60 minutes of a match which saw Jade Shekells score a hat-trick on her return to the starting XV.

Her first try came 22 minutes into the contest, the opening score of the match, as she powered her way to the line from 30-metres out. Warrior of the Match Charlotte Wright Haley laid the platform with an aggressive ball-carry, before the ball was moved infield for centre Shekells to hit the ball at speed and sprint in for a 5-0 lead.

Shekells doubled her tally moments later, with Vicky Laflin’s outrageous offload in the build-up giving the lightning-quick back room to manoeuvre and do her stuff with ball in hand.

Sale cut the gap ten minutes before the break through Vicky E Irwin, who crashed over from close range following barrage of pressure from the visitors.

Undeterred by Sale’s score, Jo Yapp’s side stepped up a gear and extended their lead on the stroke of half-time courtesy of England wing Lydia Thompson.

Thompson, who was released by the Red Roses ahead of this weekend’s fixtures as they look at new combinations on the opening weekend of the Six Nations, showed her world-class instincts to sprint home to make it 17-5 at half-time.

The second half began in stop-start fashion, however experienced campaigner Laura Keates settled any edginess when she muscled her way to the whitewash from close in on 56 minutes, before Shekells sealed her hat-trick just past the hour. Again, her blistering pace came to the fore yet again as she went in for a converted try.

Shaven-headed Flo Long crossed for Warriors’ sixth try of the contest, emerging from a heap of bodies in celebration and then Carys Cox rounded off a comprehensive victory when she darted in following excellent interplay with Meg Varley.


22m | Shekells try 5-0

33m | Shekells try 10-0

34m | Murphy con 12-0

36m | Vicky E Irwin 12-5

39m | Thompson try 17-5

56m | Keates try 22-5

57m | Murphy con 24-5

65m | Shekells try 29-5

66m | Foxwell con 31-5

74m | Long try 36-5

75m | Foxwell con 38-5

78m | Cox try 43-5

Warriors Women | 15 Cays Cox, 14 Lydia Thompson, 13 Jade Shekells, 12 Minori Yamamoto, 11 Vicky Laflin, 10 Ellen Murphy, 9 Jess Kershaw, 1 Akina Gondwe (c), 2 El Febrey, 3 Laura Keates, 4 Elizabeth Shermer, 5 Amelia Buckland Hurry, 6 Cara Brincat, 7 Charlotte Wright Haley, 8 Jo Brown

Replacements | 16 Carmen Tremelling, 17 Stef Evans, 18 Flo Long, 19 Alycia Washington, 20 Sara Moreira, 21 Meg Varley, 22 Vicky Foxwell, 23 Paige Farries

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