Wednesday 18th March saw the AASE Women’s team venture off to Horsham RFC to compete in the Association of College’s South Regional Qualifier against Colchester, Brockenhurst AASE, and guests Bicton AASE who looking to get some game time in before their respective Regional Qualifier.

First game of the day saw Worthing College win 37-0 against a travelling Colchester. The game started with a bang with a try in the first few seconds from Alice Hagan after a good turnover from Ashleigh Smith. Second try for Alice came seconds later from her good work from the resulting kick-off, where she tapped it back to Ashleigh, who kept the ball alive invading the on coming defenders to release Katie Phillips, who offloaded back to Alice to score under the posts. Caroline Hodgson was next to take over the scoring duties, where her first came from some good team defence where Colchester knocked on, which was scooped up by Caroline to score under the posts. Her next saw her put on the afterburners to skin her opposite defender on the outside, after some pressurising defence. Chanel Jackmanhills continued her rugby development, to score a great team try which saw some neat handling from the team to score under the posts.

The second match saw the two South Coast AASE rivals go head to head for bragging rights for the South East. Before this match, the match up for the teams were Worthing with two wins and Brockenhurst one. The first half started off well for Worthing, with a solid defence line which made some strong and crunching tackles which set the set the tone. Worthing were then able to gain possession which led to a try from Caroline followed by a successful conversion. Another strong couple of minutes from Worthing saw Gabie Archer making putting in some strong ball carries, which eventually led to an offload to put Caroline in for her second try, which again was followed by a conversion. 14-0 at half time. The 2nd half was not as entertaining as the 1st with a few opportunities missed early on by both teams. However nearer the end of the match, Alice and Maddy Burnage put in some great solo runs to make the final score 24-5.

The last game saw Worthing go up against fellow AASE centre Bicton College, the first of the season between the two teams. Both teams before this game were undefeated in the mini tournament, which meant we were in for a great game, and both teams did not disappoint. Worthing were the first to take the lead after a couple of minutes of both teams finding their feet. From a well worked loop between Maddy and Caroline to put Alice over the gain line, the ball was kept alive with some great handling from Gabie, putting Chanel Jackmanhills who in turn put Caroline in for the first score with a great offload. The resulting kick off from Worthing was subsequently dropped by Bicton which meant Worthing had a scrum on the 22 just in front of the post. A scrum infringe by Bicton, meant Worthing earned a penalty with Ashleigh tapping early putting the back line in motion with another neat loop exchange from Caroline and Maddy to put Caroline in under the posts. 12-0 up with Bicton still looking to get their hands on the ball. However it was Worthing again who took the initiative, with a simple speed lesson from Alice to beat her opposite number to score making it 17-0 at half time. Bicton took the kickoff where they won it back, only to knock it on in the process, advantage was played which was dually taken by Worthing, where Gabie released Maddy to look like a certain score, only for Maddy to pass it back to Gabie who got tackled. However she kept the ball alive, with some neat play between Katie, who put Maddy back in the corner 22-0. Bicton finally had an opportunity to attack which result in a 2 on 1 down the left wing, for the pass to be judged as forward. The resulting scrum from Worthing, put more misery on Bicton, as Alice used her pace to score again to make it 27-0. Her attempt at a drop kick, is worth a watch! The last minute finally showed the potential of Bicton, where their centre side stepped two or three whoafull tackles from Worthing to score an easy 7 pointer. This was definitely one of Worthing’s best performances, which shows the progression of the team and a number of individuals.

The results from today, mean that Worthing College have qualified to defend their AoC National Cup at the home of Saracens Rugby Club, Allianz Park on the 5th May. Friends of Worthing College are more than welcome to join us, which could be a special day in the AASE Women’s Rugby Calendar.

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