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Rugby - 25. February 2011.

Cardiff Blues Girls U18's win in style and Crowned National Rugby Champions.

Cardiff Blues Girls U18's win in style and Crowned National Rugby Champions.

The sun and the gods shone brightly upon Cardiff Blues Girls Under 18’s this Sunday afternoon in Caernarfon and the confirmation of what they knew already, that hard work on the training field would pay dividends, with a display that entertained and stunned the expectant crowd. The conclusion of this year’s league had the Blues playing North Wales where a win would make the Blues this year’s Welsh regional champions. From the kick off the Blues took charge and attacked the North Wales line with slick back play releasing the mercurial Joanne Jones, sprinting clear through a broken defence and offloading to inside runners, initially unable to break the final line of defence a more traditional route to Right wing Bethany Johns, showing a clean pair of heals she sprinted to the line twice grounding in the corner.

Not to be out done Charli Gower on the opposite wing also scored a brace, her first try started when excellent support play at the breakdown by forwards Mel Osborne and Leah Price allowed the ball to be recycled and centre Gaby French darted close to the line feeding Gower to score.
North Wales began to regroup and place pressure upon the Blues line, but inner strength and stout tackling kept the visitors at bay, notable tackles from the front five and especially Steph Cooper and Brynony Greenam stemmed the tide. Feverish burrowing in Mauls akin to a demented mole by Prop Snape allowed ball to be ripped from potential North attacks.  Coaches Smith and Snape during a stoppage of play reiterated the need to maintain “team rugby” rather than individual play. Now, once subdued the new half back partnership of Amberley Ruck and No. 10 Brogan Jones began to run the show, often setting up centre Rebecca Wrigley whose dynamic running split the North Wales defence on several occasions, making ground and ably supported by Chloe Smith allowed the centre and full back to draw the defence and finally off load to the ever present No.8 who cantered over for her first try. Two of these tries where converted by B. Jones taking the half time score to 29 – 0.

The commencement of the second half and as all coaches know seeing training ground preparation being executed correctly is satisfying so when props Lily Snape and Greenam, picked up and drove through a substantial North  defence coaches Smith and Snape nodded with contentment. Maintaining the pressure with forward play and dominate scrummaging from the front five, allowed stand in flanker Cerys Ballet to disrupted opposition ball allowing hard running Bronnie Jones to break through the defensive line, loose ball allowed scrum half Ruck to sprint clear for the seventh and eighth try of the day leaving all in their wake including stand in linesman Ian Johns.

The ninth try came to the unselfish centre Wriglrey, who could have scored previously, but this time stepped inside and scored under the posts. The next 10 minutes of the second half were a blur of Blues runners which included substitute wing Laura Orgill her linking with centre French who was a handful throughout the day returned a loose ball with a mazy run up the inside channel, that dissected a floundering defence that allowed supporting backs to show dazzling hands that had scrum half Ruck in for her third try of the day.

In the last gasps of the game, the Blues drove from a line out allowing hooker Hannah Thomas to ground the ball. The 12th and final try was a team affair that was fittingly scored by scrum half Ruck resulting in a grand total of 12 tries and a further 5 conversions from either Jones or Ruck resulted in the final score of 72 – 0. Coach Smith and Manager Alan Roberts praised the girls for their silky skills; even the cantankerous Gordon Snape muttered words of encouragement, praise indeed for all concerned.


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