The Army RL Women’s Development side were defeated in the Semi-Final of the Betfred Women’s Super League South by Cardiff Demons.
The game was played in scorching heat at the Army Rugby Stadium in Aldershot, with very sensible water breaks halfway through each half.
The Army side could not have had a worse start to the game, allowing the kick off to bounce in field and then go dead, handing possession and territory straight to the Demons. Only some brutal defence kept the Demons out on the subsequent set, but for the next 9 mins or so the Army seldom got out of their half, while the Demons hammered at the Army line repeatedly. All that pressure eventually told when Molly Reardon crossed for the Demons.
The pattern of the game was continued. The Demons continued to batter the Army defence, moving the ball well and with great shape. The Army side already looked tired and, when they did get hold of the ball, their one out carries (with very little “push”) were easy for the Demons to deal with. On the rare occasion the Army got some field position and territory, through some Demons’ indiscipline, Jenna Greening found a way through to score. Kaiya Glynn added the extras and the Army were ahead, against the run of play it has to be said.
The Army side held on to the lead for around 10 mins, before a 3 try blitz from the Demons appeared to put the game “out of sight”. At least one Army handling error contributed to tries from Brittony Price, Byronie King and Rosie Carr, with Charlie Munday adding an extra 4 points with the boot. Half time 6-20 and the Army side had a huge mountain to climb.
What was said in the Army dressing room is unknown, but they came out firing. Bethan Dainton led from the front, with a superb break down the middle to score 3 mins in. Not long later she backed up a great break from Kaiya Glynn to score again. Kaiya added the extras and the Army were within a try of the Demons.
There followed a sustained period of Army pressure on the Demon’s line. Time and again the Army fought their way down field to give themselves a chance of drawing level, but were unable to find a way through a solid Demons’ defence. Wiser heads may have prevailed, as the Army side created a number of overlaps and mis-matches, but were just unable to see and exploit them.
As the clock wound down all that defence by the Army in the 1st half started to take its toll and the Demons were able to break out of their half and score 2 late tries from Eleri Mitchell and Charlie Munday, the latter adding the extras to her own try. Final score 16-30. The Army RL Women’s Development players will have learnt much from this game against a well trained and “connected” Demons’ side.
There were no sin bins or serious injuries.
All the interchange players were used.
Army conceded 4.
Demons conceded 4.