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Women up against Darlington Moben Sharks
5:10pm Thursday 27th September 2012 in Sport
WOMENS RUGBY: IN only the third match of their first Premiership campaign Thurrock T-Birds learnt an important lesson.
At the highest level of British womens club rugby you have to compete for the full 80 minutes – not just 60! Thurrock Ladies put in a dogged performance for much of this game, but shipping a total of 20 points in the last 10 minutes of each half. And defeat to Darlington Moben Sharks cost them dear.
Playing catch up from the third minute, T-Birds never managed to contain Katy McLean, the England stand-off, whose 15 points from the boot kicked Darlington Mobden Sharks to victory.
T-Birds were 15-0 down in less than 15 minutes but fought back and both Tanya Pinkham and Katie Fenn bagged their first Premiership trys. They swapped scores with Darlington, to reach 30 minutes at 20-10 down – but still in contention.
With Darlington pushing hard Ts concede two kickable penalties in the dying minutes which McLean duly converted to reach the break at 26-10.
After the restart T-Birds dragged themselves into contention with two quick scores, Rachael Burford chasing down a loose clearance kick and then the T-Bird pack completed their set piece dominance by pushing over from a five metre scrum to allow Francesca Jordan to touch down.
But, despite what looked like two knock-ons from the kickoff, the referee allowed play to continue and with Ts waiting for the whistle, McLean manufactured a Darlington overlap Rachael Lund touched down. T-Birds shaded the middle period in both territory and possession and were unlucky not to score. But in the last 10 minutes Darlington suddenly looked the stronger side and two converted tries put the game beyond any doubt and secured the five5 try bonus point for Darlington. Tanya Pinkham and Twin Frank (Francesca Jordan) were Thurrock’s players of the match with their first Premiership tries.
For more rugby and pictures see Friday's THURROCK GAZETTE