2019 Motorplus Autumn Series
26 October 2019 • KO 12:30
6 v 30
The Gnoll, Neath
Referee : Ieuan Griffiths
Wales’ first ever Women’s international side scored an early try in their inaugural game, but eventually fell 30-6 to an experienced Great Britain Teachers side.
It was a tough start for Wales. Seven of their opponents played in the English Super League this season with many others in the RFL Championship. For all bar one of the Welsh side, it was only their second, third or fourth game of rugby league.
But these Welsh ladies were all experienced in the 15-man code and have spent weeks learning the rules of the rugby league. Sometimes, in the heat of the moment of this first ever international, that inexperience let them down, but they showed throughout that with more games under their belt, Wales Women can be a force to be reckoned with.
Wales took just three minutes to score their first ever try. Emily Hughes barged her way over and Kathryn Salter converted.
It took until the 24th minute for the Teachers to get on the board, following some good end to end rugby with both defences doing well in the soggy conditions. Katie Stephens forced her way through with Aimee Cleaver’s conversion attempt just short of the crossbar.
Wales nearly got a try back straight away but the ball was mishandled in a move 10 metres from goal.
And it was lack of rugby league experience that let Wales down three minutes from the interval. Savannah Ledsam did all the groundwork, running over 50 metres, but after being tackled, she chose to offload to Zoe Lewis rather than take the tackle and play the ball. It was a tough pass for Lewis to hold and the Teachers regained the ball. Wales went into half-time 6-4 up.
In an early second half midfield battle, Wales had the most ball-time, but couldn’t convert it into a realistic attack, Lewis making a darting run on 49 minutes before being pulled into touch.
After the Teachers were awarded a penalty, they worked their way upfield and eventually it was Anna Mary Davies who, after switching wings, scored in the corner to give them the lead. Cleaver converted again.
That sparked a try spree. Davies, normally a rugby union player for Bath and who only plays league for GB Teachers, soon got her second and Teachers’ third. Cleaver missed the kick but the visitors were 14-6 up.
Then from kick-off, Davies notched her hat-trick, all three scores in that same left corner. Cleaver again missed the kick.
GB were now on a roll as Wales’ heads went down. Sarah Lovejoy burst down the centre, offloading to Keira McCosh who scored. Cleaver converted give her side a 24-6 lead.
Lovejoy then went under the sticks for a try of her own which Cleaver improved.
After finally getting some ball time, Wales looked for a consolation score but the Teacher’s defence was too strong. Shaunni Davies attempted to create a late chance. Her grubber was mishandled and from the resulting scrum, Rafiuke Taylor was bundled into touch as she looked for the try-line.
Team Lists and Scoring Information
|3||Rebecca Llewellyn Ennis|
|13||Rafiuke Taylor (c)|
|3||4 - 0||Emily Hughes||Wales||Try|
|4||6 - 0||Kathryn Salter||Wales||Conversion|
|23||6 - 4||Katie Stephens||GB Teachers||Try|
|25||6 - 4||Aimee Cleaver||GB Teachers||Missed Conversion|
|56||6 - 8||Anna Davies||GB Teachers||Try|
|57||6 - 10||Aimee Cleaver||GB Teachers||Conversion|
|61||6 - 14||Anna Davies||GB Teachers||Try|
|62||6 - 14||Aimee Cleaver||GB Teachers||Missed Conversion|
|64||6 - 18||Anna Davies||GB Teachers||Try|
|66||6 - 18||Aimee Cleaver||GB Teachers||Missed Conversion|
|67||6 - 22||Keira McCosh||GB Teachers||Try|
|68||6 - 24||Aimee Cleaver||GB Teachers||Conversion|
|71||6 - 28||Sarah Lovejoy||GB Teachers||Try|
|71||6 - 30||Aimee Cleaver||GB Teachers||Conversion|