Photo Credit: Canterbury Varsity Facebook
The University of Kent Women’s Rugby team won their first Varsity match in six years as they ran out 38-15 victors against Canterbury Christ Church in a tightly contested match at the Canterbury Rugby Club.
Currently placed two leagues above Kent in their full season campaigns, Christ Church dominated in previous years. However, this year, Kent have reached a cup final and promotion in the league appears probable. A close game was expected on a beautiful sunny afternoon in front of a large crowd.
It was Christ Church who started the better of the two sides pushing across the twenty-two-metre line, getting closer and closer to a try. They got the early try within the first ten minutes and took an early 5-0 lead.
Kent fought back from their slow start fantastically. They quickly grew into the game and in the last twenty minutes of the first half they hit Christ Church with a barrage of four tries. Kent drew level with CCCU as Number 15 Molly Howe got through the Christ Church defence. Kent followed this up with a quick second try with Number 8 Lizzie Archibald giving Kent the lead. The second conversion was dispatched to give Kent a 12-5 lead.
Kent came into their own after this. Two tries in quick succession came from number 12 Precious Ampontuah. Both times bursting down the right-hand side confidently securing tries as Christ Church struggled to keep up with Kent’s pace and power. In a similar manner to the first two tries, one conversion was dispatched whilst one was missed leaving the score at 31-5 at the break.
After the match Kent captain Kaylea Mavromatis said that their game plan was to “focus on the rugby” and “get those big rucks in, gets those big hits in and smash them”. This was certainly the case in a more physical second half with Christ Church attempting to get a way back into the game.
It was the perfect start to the second half for Kent. They got an early try with Lizzie Archibald powering over the line for her second of the match. Kent took the conversion for what looked like an insurmountable 38-5 lead.
Yet, Christ Church managed to turn around the possession statistics in the last thirty minutes with Kent perhaps suffering from a bit of fatigue. Christ Church’s number 15 was able to optimise on this scoring a try which was closely followed by another a few minutes later to make it 38-15.
Despite this resurgence Christ Church ran out of time. Kent won 38-15 and on the balance of play it was probably a fair result.
After the match Kent captain Kaylea Mavromatis was delighted and said, “The girls have put in so much work, we’ve literally been at training three times a week smashing it up and it’s all paid off”.