Penryn Ladies battled the weather, and a very physical visiting side, to gain their first win of the season in front of a home crowd.

Playing on a Saturday before the senior men’s first XV, as part of a celebration day for the club’s 150th year, the Ladies were keen to showcase the high standard of women’s rugby they are capable of. They got off to a strong start with some impressive individual carries from prop Zeta Penrose and number 8 Frankie Rickard, which created space for the backs to move the ball along the line getting close to scoring several times. Captain Lauren Chenoweth eventually broke through the visitors defence to score under the posts making the conversion easy for Frankie Rickard.

Topsham had come down to Cornwall with a fighting attitude however and were determined to deny the home team an easy ride. Topsham forwards were very strong in the scrums and in the rucks, turning the ball over on several occasions. Unfortunately they were unable to convert into points, due to some solid tackling from the Penryn players and a superb cover tackle from fullback Lydia Hawkins.

A series of forced changes to Penryn pack allowed Topsham to dominate the scrums for a period while the home forwards found their feet. This, along with the wet conditions, led to an unsettled passage of play with many handling errors on both sides. However, Penryn dug deep, found their groove in set piece and finished the first half without conceding a point.

Penryn used the break to calm and refocus and came out strong I the second half. Excellent individual carries from forward Katie Pascoe, moving out of position to cover second row, gave Penryn the momentum they needed and the captain was able to go over again under the posts for Penryn’s first try of the second half (converted by Frankie Rickard).

The try was the confidence boost the home team needed to up their game. This along with the pack gelling together to match Topsham’s physicality in the scrums, led to some excellent passages of play that kept Penryn in the visitors half for the remainder of the match. Zeta Penrose was denied a try after a superb pick and drive right on the line. This was followed up with immense pressure in the scrum forcing Topsham fumbling the ball over their line where Penryn narrowly missed out on touching down for a try. Penryn attacked again from the drop out and this time they were able to use the space on the outside for Lydia Hawkins to score.

Not long after the restart this try was mirrored on the opposite side when quick hands gave centre Sarah Baggs the space to dance through the defence to score. The final score came from one of the many brilliant individual runs from winger Lorraine-Smith making her debut for Penryn, who used her pace to run round several defenders before touching down under the post, with Frankie Rickard getting her third conversion.

Penryn still have a lot to work on for their next league fixture, away to Plymstock Oaks on Sunday October 17 but this win and bonus point is a great boost to their league campaign in this higher National Challenge 1 league. If you want to join these ladies and help them build on this positive start come along to training at 6:30pm on Thursday nights at Penryn Rugby Club.

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