Woodbridge Amazons prove too strong for Harlow

Claire Brickley hands off for Woodbridge Amazons

Claire Brickley hands off for Woodbridge Amazons - Credit: Archant

After beginning the season with three away fixtures, the Amazons finally enjoyed their home opener after respecting a minute’s silence on Remembrance Sunday.

Woodbridge Amazons v Harlow

Woodbridge Amazons v Harlow - Credit: Archant

The visiting team from Harlow however found very little to enjoy as a rash of injuries has depleted their squad and they began without substitutes.

Their cruel luck continued as Jennifer Miller took a blow to the head in the opening moments, she would play no further part in the contest.

The Amazons, on the other hand, are positively buoyant right now, with skipper Claire Brickley and new coach Jane Stokes having to decide which players to leave out.

There was a hint of nerves in the early exchanges, with the first try-scoring opportunity juggled away by a Woodbridge back out wide.

Zyanya Brooks on the run for Woodbridge Amazons

Zyanya Brooks on the run for Woodbridge Amazons - Credit: Archant

Strong running from centre Leonie Mahon up the middle, and Beth Clapson out wide led to an opening try from Paula Ireland, a welcome return having missed the first three matches. Stacy Robinson converted and the hosts were seven points up.

The Amazons’ rucking was considerably better than it has been, with back row forwards Julie Thatcher and Vicky Watts quickest to the breakdowns.

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Because of the quick ball, the hosts were able to use the power running of Victoria Felstein and Sarah Simms to great affect around the fringes.

A penalty right in front of the posts presented the chance for Robinson to extend the lead to 10 and after some elusive sprinting from skipper Brickley, Anna Dewberry touched down from close range before half-time.

Sara Simms hands off for Woodbridge Amazons

Sara Simms hands off for Woodbridge Amazons - Credit: Archant

In the second half the hosts continued to use all their replacements, a constant supply of fresh legs wearing down the tiring Harlow defence.

Harlow lost another player when Jess Costanza had to be carried off with a suspected broken ankle, and from the resultant scrum a number 8 pick-up from Watts resulted in a third try.

Some great runs by Carmel Roisin created opportunities and the tireless work by hooker Maggie Kelly was finally rewarded as she popped up on the shoulder of Toni Bell to cap a wonderful score that involved both backs and forwards.

Robinson converted that try and there was just enough time for Roisin to get on the scoresheet after another terrific run, Robinson converting to end the game.

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