THURROCK’S T-Birds fought their hearts out but came up depressingly short against a Lichfield side packed with England players.
With seven of the Lichfield team named in the England squad to play in the forthcoming series against New Zealand, this was always going to be a tough task.
Once again the T-Birds failed to contain the opposition early in the game. And any hope of a win evaporated with Lichfield scoring four quick tries in 20 minutes to bring the score to 24-0.
The T-Birds then competed in all areas of the game for the next 20 minutes. Scrum and lineout were solid with plenty of good work in both defence and attack.
But as the seconds ticked down to half time, T’s lost a lineout on their own throw. And Lichfield took advantage and launched wave after wave of attack until they finally manufactured a three on one and put the game beyond doubt with the last play of the half to bring the score to 31-0.
With players lost to injuries from an already thin squad at half time, Georgie Tricker and Claire Brickley Moore stepped up from the second team. And they helped to restrict a rampant Lichfield side to just three scores in the second half.
Despite much good work, particularly from the pack and actually getting the ball over the line, lack of accuracy in the final third kept the Ts off the scoreboard.
Yet again, T-Birds shipped a last minute try to deny any respectability to the final score line of 50-0. But it would have been a lot worse without the constant tackling of Kat Emerson, Frenchie Marcassus and Katie Fenn. Ronnie Ely was forward of the match for her aggressive carries and the ability to move a whole ruck when she hit it. Katie Fenn was back of the match, likewise for her carries and huge tackles in midfield.
The T-Birds now have a short rest to regroup and hopefully get some players back from injury and are next at home to Darlington Mowden Sharks on December 9.
This is a huge game for Thurrock and the club is appealing to locals to come put and support the team at Oakfield.
lTHURROCK U16s returned to competetive action on Sunday when they successfully hosted first division Chelmsford in the second round of the Essex cup. Tees now await the draw for the third round in December knowing that they can compete with higher level teams.