Confidence was high in the Woodbridge Amazons camp on Sunday. The visit of Hampstead Heath to Hatchley Barn was viewed as an ideal warm up ahead of the top of the table clash with Southwold next weekend.
What transpired however, particularly in the latter stages, resembled a training ground run through as the hosts demolished Hampstead in fine style.
From the outset the Amazons dominated proceedings. Possession was secured as the scrummaging was solid, the line outs slick and handling, despite the cold, adept.
Within minutes of receiving the opening kickoff, the hosts were on the board. Winger Julie Tyler outpaced the Hampstead cover and sprinted 50 metres for her first try of the day, quickly followed by her skipper, Claire Brickley, who went over from even further out!
Stacy Robinson converted one of the two for an early 12 point lead and the writing was on the wall.
Jess Delaney ran through several “tacklers” for the next score, and after great rucking by the pack, Aska Zareba scored her first ever try.
The Polish Zareba’s score was a fine example of the match thus far; Hampstead attempting to run straight at the Woodbridge defence with their large forwards, but losing possession at the breakdown as the Amazon pack quickly turned up to steal the ball away.
After half an hour, the visitors regrouped and enjoyed their best spell. Stoic defending kept them from scoring and fullback Robinson was forced into making a try saving tackle down the sideline as Zelda Dura opened her legs and looked destined to halt the landslide.
Woodbridge were galvanised again and a further two tries before halftime left the score line in no doubt.
Number eight Vicky Watts picked up at the base of a scrum at Hampsteads 22 and forced her way over in the corner, and Tyler scored her second from distance after great work by Brickley. 39-0 at the break.
In the second half tries from the busy Jennifer Ray, and Delaney getting her brace kept the scoreboard ticking over as Coach Jane Stokes continued introducing fresh legs.
Zanya Brooks came close to scoring but appeared to lose her footing as the whitewash drew closer, but another score from Tyler (for the hattrick) and Brickley (for her hattrick!) took the demolition past the 60 point mark.
Hampstead were struggling to cope by now but continued to play with a great spirit.
With each kickoff however, it appeared the hosts got stronger and stronger. Ray returned a kick deep into Hampstead territory, setting up Brickley for her fourth, before Carmel Roisin went one better by returning the next kick all the way into the in goal area.
Shoving the visitors pack backwards at their own put in proved how dominant the Amazons pack were, with standout performances from the unsung heroines of the front row Victoria Felstein and Paula Ireland.
One such steal saw Brickley scoring her fifth and the coup de gras came when Roisin and Ray combined again from the ensuing kick off, Ray touching down to cap a massive win.
It finished at 87 unanswered points, a terrific performance ahead of the big game next week.
As if the top of the table clash with the local rivals wasn’t enough of a draw, Southwold were beaten for the first time this season on Sunday. Revenge could be on the cards next week as the Amazons line up against the only team to beat them in the league this season – it looks like being a cracker!
Woodbridge Amazons 87 v Hampstead 0