Match Report by Ian Girling
Having not entered Cup rugby for 5 years, it may be another 5 for the Amazons as today’s visitors from Olney dished out a lesson in free flowing, expansive play that culminated in a 7 try to none mauling.
Starting without several influential players, the hosts, including Coach Jane Stokes, fielded a youthful, inexperienced side that came up against a powerhouse outfit from Midlands 1, just two divisions down from Premiership rugby.
Two tries from centre Kelly Robertson, and another from winger Steph Lyne, all converted by fly half Jen Miles, before Woodbridge had really had their hands on the ball showed the weapons the visitors possessed – and what a tough afternoon it would be for the Amazons!
It was as though that early onslaught brought a shell shocked host team into life, and the Amazons regrouped. A pair of penalties were hastily tapped by scrum half Morven McAlpine, releasing runners Leonie Mahon and Carmel Roisin into Olney territory, but errors and attacks against superior numbers led to turnovers.
A lost ball at a line out led to a first half hattrick for Robertson, whose direct north and south style sliced through a static Woodbridge defence. Halftime couldn’t come soon enough with the score at 0-26.
A reshuffle in midfield looked to strengthen Woodbridges defence but another passage of excellent handling and offloading led to Lyne grabbing her brace. Miles converted again.
The hosts dug in and even began to offer some offence, as strong play by Jess Delaney and Rhian Claydon frustrated the confident visitors.
All too often however, a promising move resulted in failure and a handling error, that Olney swiftly took advantage of, stand off Miles capitalising on one such event to grab a long range score to extend the visitors lead to 36 points.
Unable to grab any kind of a handle in the match, the resultant kick off went straight to the dangerous Robertson, whose pace again saw her brush through defenders for her fourth, converted again by Miles for a 0-43 lead.
With the game long since lost, and Stokes and front row forward Toni Bell out injured, the Amazons denied any further scoring in the final twenty minutes, defending like banshees, despite the losing cause.
Olney possessed a side of large, strong forwards and slick, quick backs, a sure recipe for success, especially when well coached and organised the way this team are.
This was a painful return to Cup rugby for Woodbridge, but again highlights more positives than negatives. It was a lesson for sure, and one that will certainly help the squad prepare for the league fixtures ahead, starting on Sunday against Lakenham
Woodbridge Amazons 0 v Olney 43