Women’s Rugby on top form this BUCS Wednesday

UCLU Women’s Rugby bag a 10-5 win against Portsmouth University, the team that beat them 26-0 earlier this season.

bucs portsmouth sport UCLU win women's rugby

After a patchy performance against Imperial last week, an 8am rugby fitness session in Regent’s Park on Friday (yeah, we’re that keen), and a whirlwind weekend of strawpedos and fabulous karaoke performances in Brighton, UCLU Women’s Rugby were geared up to face Portsmouth Uni for the second time this season.

President Nosheen Kiyani training for the game in a dinosaur onesie on Social Tour.

We flew through warm-up, practising all our moves and stepping up the aggression with the tackle pads (imagine the stereotypical butch rugby girl, muscles ripping through shirts and fire blazing in her eyes – we try our best to embody this spirit). With coach Jack’s encouraging, bordering on cheesy, words ringing in our ears, we step on to the pitch. Kick-off is ours, and we’re playing with the sun to our backs. Ideal.

Bri Siracuse kicks off, and the game is on. We moved as a unit with quick line speed, pressuring their attack, putting in nice and low tackles, and forcing them to make mistakes.

With possession turned over, we progress towards their try line. Their forwards were obviously very experienced and strong, but our forwards stepped up to the challenge without fault.

From a scrum, we worked our magic pod system. Nosheen crashed the ball in, living up to the incredibly apt title ‘Nosheen the Machine’. A well-timed pop to Vice-Captain Cecilia Isven gave us the perfect opportunity for try-time.

Cecilia sidestepped a Portsmouth girl, and the try line was hers. Hoping to get closer to the posts, Cecilia teased us by getting tackled behind the try line. Thankfully, the tackler was half the height of Cecilia – she managed to place the ball down, and the first 5 points was ours.

Portsmouth came back stronger and even more physical. They knew that their power lay with their forwards, and so the game quickly became a forwards game.

With the ball in their hands, Portsmouth crashed their way down the pitch. It was ruck after ruck, maul after maul. We had never played such a forwards-orientated game, and with a big push from their maul, Portsmouth was able to place the ball right on the try line.

Soon after, Vice-President and star #8 Eleanor Trezise picked the ball up from a scrum and charged down the pitch, handing off several Portsmouth girls (a signature Trezise move) and scoring the ball in the corner.

Eleanor sprinting down the pitch during International Tour to Amsterdam.

The score stood at 10-5 to UC when we entered the second half, an uncomfortably close margin which challenged us to keep up our intensity.

The second half saw some bloody noses, cut lips, heavy impacts to the head, and a broken finger. In the final minutes of the half, Portsmouth threatened our try line over and over, always inches from scoring.

However, with some excellent defensive lines and a fantastic tackle from Keli Adiele that prevented a Portsmouth try being scored under the posts, we were able to keep the score at 10-5 at full time.

Winning on our beautiful home turf, Shenley (for the non-sportspeople, you only need to know that this is really, really far away).

The highlight of our post-match talk was Jack’s ecstatic jumping up and down at our win – he just can’t contain his excitement!

Man of the Match went to Eleanor for being especially amazing against Portsmouth, and Wanker went to Nosheen for her rejection of the rules of feminism, ‘chicks over dicks’ and ‘hoes over bros’.