The VRC Women’s side earned a decisive victory over Langley Saturday, winning their first road game of the year by a score of 46-12.
Starting eighth man Jocelyn Wallace opened the scoring in the second minute with a try in the corner that developed from phase play off of strong support, staking her team to an early 5 – 0 lead.
New Rower and standout winger Kirsty Auckland followed up with her first, second, and third tries as a Rower in the tenth, sixteenth, and twentieth minutes. The first was an exploitation of a hole in the hosts’ defense around midfield that gave her the space to use her speed to break out. The second and third both developed following Rowers pouncing on loose balls. 22-0 to the Rowers after Auckland’s third try in the 20th minute, Wallace having slotted one conversion.
The Rowers played well on the defensive side of the ball all day, much to the delight of the coaching staff, dropping the Langley attack behind the gain line consistently. Defensive pressure created a turnover in the 23rd minute, allowing centre Samantha Quigao to score another breakaway try, and put the Rowers up 29-0, following another successful conversion by Wallace.
New Rower Riah Lyttle, who provided a strong foundation in the font row all day, found herself with the ball in space around her own 30, and was able to carry it inside her opponent’s ten yard line, breaking tackles as she went. Strong support won the ball at the breakdown, and put the VRC ahead of the hosts defense, and in a position to pass the ball out and exploit an overlap. Winger Robyn MacDonald finished the job. 34-0 Rowers in the 27th minute.
Langley put themselves on the board in the 32nd minute, exploiting a missed Rowers tackle, but missed the conversion making the score 34-5.
Captain and Fly half Meghan Buchanan was able to answer in the 39th minute, as a strong Rowers scrum won a clean ball just outside the 22, allowing for a quick feed to the young fly half coming hard from depth. Buchanan used her momentum and intelligent running to find a line that put her in the end goal with minimal resistance. Fullback Jessica Deagle slotted the conversion, making it 41-5 VRC.
Langley added a try in the 47th minute, with the convert, to make it 41-12, but didn’t manage any more points, despite some strong individual efforts on the attack.
The Rowers’ exclamation point came in the final minute, as substitute 8th man Sophie Gannon took a 30 yard carry up the far sideline and offloaded to second row forward Leah Kicks off the deck around the 10. Kicks was dropped just short of the goal line but her fellow lock, Saoirsa Hogan, running a strong support line, was able to pick it off the deck and find paydirt – her first try for the VRC.
The Rowers coaching staff was elated with the performance. Backs coach Cyril Burgen told the Ruck Muck that, “The women put their foot on the gas and never let up.”
The Rowers Women are looking forward to continuing this exciting brand of attack-heavy rugby with hard defense November 13th, when they host Richmond at Brockton.
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