Thanet’s away match at Deal & Betteshanger (DB) could not have been more different from the cup festival played the week before, when Thanet lost all three games in freezing conditions. The conditions were spring like, warm, sunny with a gentle breeze; however, the visitors could still only raise eight fit players. DB loaned Thanet a couple of players to enable a reasonable 10 a side match to take place.
The home side elected uncontested scrums. Thanet opened the scoring immediately with good off loads and excellent running by Lauren Marsh. Poppy Langman was always busy around the breakdowns and was voted coaches player of the day. She moved the ball quickly from the scrums and the loose, enabling the three quarters to do their job.
Kirsty Burns had her eye on the ball all day and made some incisive runs into opposition territory and kicked intelligently, especially from defence.
Cara Payne and Phoebe Ellcock worked hard all match, especially at the rucks and mauls and stole plenty of ball for the team. Phoebe was rewarded with a try towards the end of the match. The two wingers, Grace Ward and Katie Perkins made ground every time they got the ball and made significant tackles.
Voted players player, Jo Steinvorth was active all over the field, her penetrating runs put Thanet on the front foot and her crunching tackles prevented the hosts from progressing.
The coaches agreed, although this was a positive win for Thanet, the girls need to work on their defensive organisation when they come up against a stronger team. They allowed DB over their line three times, so the final score was 19-70.
Thanet U18 Girls: Jo Steinvorth, Phoebe Ellcock, Cara Payne, Poppy Langman, Kirsty Burns, Lauren Marsh, Grace Ward, Katie Perkins
Meanwhile on the other pitches Thanet’s U15 and U13 girls were playing with style. The match was well contested, with lots of effort and commitment put in by all the players. The coach was really pleased that all Thanet girls played well, and Gabby and Mayen both made some telling and intelligent runs, with Mayen also scoring a try. Maddy used the ball well even when under pressure, and special mention for Stevie who in her very first festival was strong in running and made some crunching tackles. We discussed some opportunities in communication, spatial awareness and supporting team mates when the play breaks down. overall it was a great performance by all the girls involved and a well hosted event They all thoroughly enjoyed their rugby and learned a lot from playing with and against other girls of their ability.