Woodbridge Amazons fall to league leaders Wymondham, but show heart

Libby Lockwood scores for Wymondham

Libby Lockwood scores for Wymondham - Credit: Archant

Women’s National Championships SE North 1 Wymondham Wasps 34 Woodbridge Amazons 5 Buoyed by a super performance in last week’s win over Chelmsford, the Suffolk side were determined to get closer than the 36-12 loss to the league leaders just a few weeks ago.

Claire Brickley stops Nic Kaclubskyj short of the line

Claire Brickley stops Nic Kaclubskyj short of the line - Credit: Archant

And despite battling throughout, again ramping things up in the latter stages, the Wasps showed their vastly more experienced squad are currently a cut above the rebuilding Amazons.

It was a highly entertaining contest from start to finish, the game ebbing and flowing constantly. The difference was in the finishing however, as the hosts capitalised on the pressure they created, while the travellers seemed to come up short when it mattered. Libby Lockwood, always the talisman for the Norfolk side, back at her favoured number 8 role, opened the scoring. She very nearly followed that opening try with another as she burst through a gap and ran 50 metres, but Beth Clapson at full-back wrestled her down just shy of scoring.

Kat Chaplin tackles a Wasps' runner

Kat Chaplin tackles a Wasps' runner - Credit: Archant

Charges from Melo Roisin, plus some nice running lines from Ash Hendrie showed determination and promise for Woodbridge, but it was Lockwood who scored again. Nicola Kaciubskj converted for a 12-0 scoreline.

Further tries from winger Harriett Rose and stand-off Kelsey Harpman before halftime padded the Wasps lead to 24 unanswered points, but the commanding score-line failed to reflect the game’s competitiveness.

Rhian Claydon contests the line-out

Rhian Claydon contests the line-out - Credit: Archant

The Amazons coaches stressed to the side they were giving their hosts far too much respect, and last week’s aggressive defending had been softened and replaced with a certain trepidation.

So, once again, the Amazons played their best rugby in the second half, more than matching the high flying Wasps.

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Pressure into the hosts 22 saw Anna Dewberry go close, and after a series of penalties against Wymondham, scrum half Morven McAlpine dived through a gap from close range for a well-deserved try.

That score boosted Woodbridge and they drove forward. Excellent scrummaging and neat handling kept the pressure on, but all too often phases ended with a knock on or turnover at the breakdown. One such turnover ended with Rose scoring her brace out wide, and just as it looked as though time would expire with a morale boosting 5-5 second half, Lockwood secured her hat trick right at the death.