Derby Vipers keep a clean sheet in their first league game of the season.
Derby Vipers Women’s Rugby team took a running start into their season, beating Hartlepool Rovers Ladies 73-0 on Sunday.
The Vipers began the game with kick off, allowing Carmel Teager a well-executed ball turnover, giving the Vipers early possession. Some quick passes to Megan Stephens followed by some excellent footwork on her behalf led to a 5-0 lead in the opening minutes of the game.
Hartlepool had possession for the first line out of the game, following an excellent run from Rebecca Luke, however this was quickly turned over by another steal by Teager, again Stephens finished it off for her second try.
A knock on from the restart for the Vipers gave the Rovers possession for a scrum, to which Derby drove forward like clockwork to turn over the ball.
Some great team play led to a penalty from an opposition high tackle, which is kicked to the touch line for a Derby line out. A great effort from Derby allowed Alicia Jakeman to win the line out, and show some instrumental attacking play from the forwards. Hartlepool fought back to turn over and gain possession, making strides towards their try line, however a penalty awarded to the Vipers for holding on switched it up again.
With Derby’s scum improving continually, some quick passes from the back of the scrum with a breakthrough in the Rovers defence and a try for Idiil Abdi increasing the lead for Derby.
From the restart, the Rovers worked hard in defence, allowing them to gain possession once again. However, with constant pressure from the Vipers, Hartlepool opt to kick the ball out. Some quick thinking from Jenna Bierton taking a quick line out and some speedy passes amongst the backs allows the ball to find Harriet Furness. A couple of side steps and excellent footwork from Furness saw Derby with another try.
Vipers stealing possession from a lineout once again and a great pass from fly half Katie Peggs allowed Stephens to weave around the opposition for her hat trick of trys.
The first half of the game continues with some hard work from the forwards as they pick and go, making an overlap for the backs and Jenna Bierton having light work to score her first try of the match.
Another scrum just before half time, with the Vipers driving forward once again. Quick passes along the backs with the ball finding Bierton on the wing for her second try of the half.
The trys kept coming after half time, firstly from kick off quick hands to Bierton down the wing, followed by Sian Atton winning the turn over and the try being finished off with a dash to the line from Megan Stephens once again.
A great team run towards the line finds the hands of Eleanor Summerfield who was centimetres away from the line before an opposition player spear tackled her, awarding the Vipers with a penalty try.
Some excellent pod work from the forwards allows the ball to find Carmel Teager once again, who smashed her way through to the try line.
Chira Roberts, Captain of the Vipers said “We played as a team and played to our strengths.
“This allowed us to take the first steps towards achieving this season’s goals”.
Derby Vipers’ next fixture is a Cup match against Halifax on their home pitch (Haslams Lane) on the 30th September.
Match Report by Jenna Bierton