Women’s match report vs Hampstead at The Utilita – 19thNovember 2023

Despite their formidable mauls and swift Fijian offloads, Blackheath Women missed victory at the Utilita. Strong gusts transformed the drizzle into piercing rain, making the lineouts even more challenging.

FT: 17-40

Merely a minute into the match, Hampstead earned a penalty within Blackheath’s twenty-two, swiftly adding the first three points to the scoreboard.

Hampstead pressed on with several impressive line breaks, yet Sophie Durman (7), halted their momentum with a superb tackle into touch.

The forwards from Blackheath exhibited commendable effort, overpowering Hampstead’s scrum and forcing a knock-on, thereby regaining possession. However, Blackheath struggled to maintain control of the ball. Despite executing some solid tackles, they conceded the first try ten minutes after kick-off.

Lucy Massie (14) exerted considerable pressure post-kick. The backs successfully intercepted Hampstead’s wing, but twenty minutes into the game, Blackheath was cautioned for a high tackle.

After twenty-five minutes of play, Hampstead opted to kick their penalty into touch within Blackheath’s twenty-two. Yet, it was Sophie Durman (7) who again showcased her prowess by intercepting the ball mid-air. This led to a dynamic Blackheath maul that drove the opposition back by twenty meters. Blackheath was then playing with an advantage due to a side entry in the maul, and a strategic penalty kick from Ruby Hughes (9), returned the play to the halfway line. Blackheath secured the lineout, and after impressive carries from Ella Brierley (8) and Chloe Williams (6), it was a Fijian lighting that struck Hampstead’s defence. Quick passes from Joka Tasau (12) and Akanisi Marama (13) culminated in an offload to Roseanne Rokobuli (15), who scored the first try for Blackheath.

Regrettably, Joka Tasau (12), received a yellow card seven minutes before half-time for a high tackle, following which Hampstead scored again.

Post-restart, Hampstead fumbled the ball, giving Blackheath a scrum within Hampstead’s twenty-two. Blackheath then demonstrated skilful offloads from the backs in midfield, reaching the opposition’s five-meter line. Experienced Lyndsay Whitley (20) saw the space on the right of the pitch. Her change of play enabled a great carry from Emily Rutter(3) who was centimeters short from line. Lyndsay Whitley(20) spotted the gap behind the ruck to touch the ball over the line for Blackheath’s second try. Whitley also secured the conversion.

Despite a forward pass blunder, Blackheath’s prop Rebecca Carter (1) tackled Hampstead’s attack into touch, concluding the first half at 12-25.

The second half commenced with a Blackheath knock-on, which was swiftly capitalised on by Hampstead, resulting in a try in the corner after formidable line breaks from their back row and Number 10.

Blackheath’s defence remained robust, yet another penalty permitted Hampstead to further their lead with three points.

Fifteen minutes into the second half, Blackheath displayed swift offloads from their backs, with Tasau, Marama, and Alicia Wyke moving the ball swiftly. However, a subsequent knock-on by Blackheath led to a Hampstead scrum and another try.

Later, a kicking duel between the fullbacks ensued. Blackheath, retreating to their twenty-two, then rallied with strong carries from their Fijian centres. A spectacular maul from Blackheath concluded with Lucy Massie (14), side-stepping the opposition’s wing, scoring Blackheath’s third try.

A penalty kick by Lyndsay Whitley (20) into touch showed promise, but a slippery ball lost in the lineout allowed Hampstead to score their final try ten minutes before the match’s conclusion.

The Blackheath Women departed with pride in their moments of offload ingenuity and a formidable display of power by their forwards. Nonetheless, attention to detail and execution will be crucial for their upcoming match against Hammersmith on the 3rd December.

FOTM: Sophie Durman

BOTM: Lucy Massie

Sharks: Joka Tasau, Akanisi Marama, Lucy Massie

Sponsored Players: Sophie Durman, Rebecca Carter