Welwyn ladies enjoy taste of international rugby as USA visitors entertain home faithful

PUBLISHED: 10:56 25 March 2019 | UPDATED: 10:56 25 March 2019

Welwyn hosted a touring side from the University of Connecticut.

Welwyn hosted a touring side from the University of Connecticut.

Cirks Photography

They are used to producing international players at Welwyn Rugby Club but their newest batch of talented female players got their first taste of it when they hosted a touring side from the USA.

The University of Connecticut were the visitors to Hobbs Way with the hosts using their senior and U18 sides as well as guests from Old Albanian and Harpenden.

And the teams turned in a thrilling and entertaining clash under the floodlights, with the Americans finally clinching a 36-20 success.

Welwyn had just finished their league season with a bruising encounter with Fullerians, hence the need to draft in players to make the squad size comparable to UCONN.

And from the very first kick-off they were introduced to the speed and intensity needed as the US side showed their speed at the breakdown, bringing a number of penalties against Welwyn.

But once they got to grips with it the home side played pretty well and by half time they were 15-0 to the good thanks to three tries.

The first of them came after plenty of pressure inside the visitors’ 22, with Heather Addison-Prout crossing the whitewash.

And although Welwyn continued to leak penalties at the breakdown, their strong scrum and penetrating runs brought two further scores, Sarah Baughan and Daisy-Mae Parker the two scorers.

Wholesale changes from both sides at the break changed the momentum though with UCONN able to break through tackles and into space, a situation that brought their first points of the evening with a converted try.

And from there the speed to the ruck and work around the tackle area brought even more success and with 10 minutes to go they had completely turned things around, leading 22-15.

Welwyn did spark back into life and were held up as they looked to level but an interception try finally took victory away from them.

They did get a deserved fourth score thanks to Abbie Picking but a late penalty try for UCONN finished the day off.

A spokeswoman said: “While disappointed by the result a great game was had by all with the celebrations heading indoors after the match, UCONN giving a fine singing display in the clubhouse.

“We would like to thank OA’s juniors and Harpenden for their support, Hertfordshire referees society and most importantly the UCONN players and coaches for the opportunity to host their tour game.”

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