Worthing come up short in first quest for National Silverware.
Worthing College repeated last years achievements by getting to the semi-final of the Rosslyn Park National Schools 7s tournament, losing to eventual winners Loughborough College.
First up for Worthing College was against a strong Coleg Sir Gar side, with a rich pedigree of rugby. Worthing College started the game with a deep kick, and were the first to strike with a great turnover from Martina Giampaglia and some neat handling to put Aimee Porter in the corner. Worthing scored again straight from the resulting kick off, with a neat show and go from Izzy Mayhew to score the first of a hat-trick. Worthing’s dominance continued with another try from Roberta Haywood just before half time to make the score 15-0. Worthing dominated the start of the 2nd half, with Isobel scoring again to go under the posts, missing the resulting conversion to make it 20-0. Worthing rung the changes, which gave Coleg Sir Gar more dominance of the game, with them scoring down the wing. However, in the last play of the game Isobel side stepped the full back to make the final score 27-7.
Worthing faced a powerful team next, in Neve Port Talbot. Despite an early score from the Welsh team, Worthing picked their heads up and showed their dominance through a series of well worked team tries. A switch from Nadia Bral and Emily Hird, gave Tatum Gabriel the space to run around the outside and score Worthing’s first try. Another perfectly placed deep kick from Martina Giampaglia, put their defence under pressure, leading to a Worthing scrum on the 5 metre line. Emily Hird took this opportunity to run through the defence and score under the posts which helped Martina to convert the try. Momentum of the opposition was restricted due to Teya Ashworth’s superb rucking. Tries from Destiny Jordon-Field, and Aimee Porter, meant Worthing comfortably won the game 27-7.
The third and final group game, saw Worthing face historic rivals SGS Filton. Nerves were high amongst the team, as Worthing have fallen short of beating Filton previously. Roberta Haywood made a tremendous run, stepping past the Filton defence to score first, making the score 7-0, the additional points added by Martina’s kick. A blinding intercept from Ella Pinkney, on her come back, helped Worthing to assert dominance in the first half. Filton showed determination and that they were a threat, with a try from a pick and go. In the second half, Tatum Gabriel made another one of her classic breaks and was supported by Beatrice Mora, who showed a great work rate to increase Worthing’s score. Filton scored again, making the final minutes of the game very tense. Emotions were running high and Isobel Mayhew saw a yellow card in the final 10 seconds of the game. Worthing down to 6 managed to keep a strong Filton attack away from the try line and kick the ball out to see Worthing beat SGS Filton for the first time in two years. Final score, 19-14, meaning Worthing finished top of their pool.
In the semi-final Worthing faced Loughborough. The game was well fought by Worthing, with clear passion and desire to reach the final, and the opportunity to play at Twickenham. Worthing had recently faced Loughborough in a 15’s fixture, so Worthing knew they were in for a tough match. Loughborough were first on the score sheet but Worthing were quick to respond with a try from Roberta Haywood and a conversion yet again from Martina Giampaglia. Worthing continued to fight hard, showing a clear development in their 7’s skills which put Loughborough under pressure; strong tackles from Aimee Porter and Isobel Mayhew. In the pool stage, Loughborough played one less game than Worthing which showed in the final stages of the game as Worthing started to tire. The opposition worked a series of impressive tries. In the final minutes of the game, Roberta showed her pace yet again scoring down the wing to set the final score as 27-12.
“The girls showed great spirit at Rosslyn Park, and it shows how far the girls have come when they are all absolutely devastated that they couldn’t beat eventual winners Loughborough College” said Mark Rugman Women’s Rugby Sporting Excellence Academy Manager. “The 2nd years really stepped up throughout the day, and it was so encouraging to see the journey they have been on whilst at the College”.
This was the 1st of 3 major competitions for the girls this year next up is the AoC National Championships on 20th-22nd April and AoC Women’s Cup on the 9th May.