Match Report from: Colin Warrick
Following the disappointment of Scotland’s 1st game in the Rugby World Cup the Warriors headed off once more on an away trip to play Heriots Blues Ladies at Goldenacre in Edinburgh. Although a new team this season, the team contained was filled with experience from former Murrayfield Wanderers players with current Scotland cap Annabel Sergeant, who heads to South Africa this weekend playing at 12.
With a tough task ahead, the Warriors were aware of the possibility of causing a shock so started the game with both anticipation & confidence.
The game kicked off with Annan securing the kick off & charging head long into the well drilled Heriots defence, ground wasn’t easily made & from a turnover the Blues spun into attack creating quick ball & attacking at pace. From a ruck on the 5m line tight to the touch line Heriots No 8 sneaked up the blindside to score the opening try.
From the kick off Heriots secured the kick off and broke the Annan line to burst into attack with only full back Kim Taylor to beat, a copybook Tripwire Taylor tackle stemmed the attack allowing the Warriors to scramble back only for the Heriots player to recycle the ball quickly move it wide to the winger to score the 2nd try.
With heads still high the Annan Ladies went forward pushing hard but struggling to retain the ball, but still defending with tenacity, the game went back & forth with both teams working hard, once again from a turnover Heriots broke away & moved the ball wide to score there 3rd try.
After this 3 try burst in the 1st twenty minutes Annan managed to get a foothold in the game & pressed forward recycling the ball to build phases & gain territory, with forwards Kayleigh, Lily, Nadine & Ashley carrying hard into the Heriots defence aligned with good work in the backs from midfield trio of Mally, Chelsea & Allana but unfortunately they couldn’t turn the pressure into points and unfortunately were dealt a killer blow on the stroke of half time when Heriots broke away from just inside the Annan half to score their bonus point try.
Half time score: Heriots Blues Ladies 20 v Annan Warriors 0
With the Warriors refreshed & still positive they took back to the field determined to continue the effort across all areas.
The 2nd half took on a similar trend to the end of the 1st half with both teams going at it hammer n tongs with no quarter given. The Warriors pushing forward time after time, and finally gained their award when the broke the Heriots defence with winger Kirsty Barlow racing clear to score.
With the ladies buoyed by the well earned score they pushed for the 2nd score the game continued from end to end with Heriots coping with the pressure slightly better than the Warriors and retaining the ball for longer periods, getting their rewards with their 5th try with around 15 minutes to go.
Going into the last 10 minutes the Warriors began to tire mainly due to only having 16 players in the squad, but to their credit they didn’t give up & tackled to the end. Unfortunately conceding a further try with the last play of the game.
Final score: Heriots Blues Ladies 30 v Annan Warriors 5
Lots of credit must go to the 16 Warriors who played, all of whom never gave up and put in a big shift against a very good team who will be tough to beat in the wide expanses of Goldenacre. Going forward increased numbers at training will allow the Warriors to further improve in the key areas of the scrum & transition from defence into attack.
Best in the forwards were Ashley Clark, Megan Muir, Kayleigh Warrick with forward of the match going to Nadine Barnes.
Best in the backs were Allana McWilliam, Chelsea Barnes, Kim Taylor with back of the match going to Ciara O’Connell.
Annan now head into a 3-game spell of home games hoping to pick up some valuable points starting this Sunday when Garioch Ladies make the long trip to Violetbank with a 1pm kick off.
Annan Team: Ashley Clark, M Alexander, J Dalgliesh, N Barnes, M Muir, L Moffat, L Glendinning, K Warrick, N Barlow ©, M McGeoch, C O’Connell, C Barnes, A McWilliam, K Barlow, K Taylor
Sub: R Peacock