In a performance that left much to be desired, the Birmingham Women’s 1st XV were beaten by the heavy margin of 75-5.
Loughborough opened up the scoring immediately from the kick-off, when a break up the middle of the field put them in great field position, with the move finishing in the right hand corner. However, unlike previous fixtures, the Birmingham players did not let the game get out of hand before putting up points, as a knock on at a lineout gave them possession on the Loughborough 22 metre line. In the broken play that followed, the outside centre broke a couple of tackles and raced under the posts to level the score at 5 apiece.
After that, however, the game was entirely one-sided in favour of Loughborough. Three tries in a short amount of time put Loughborough 20-5 ahead. The first of these came after they stole a scrum five metres from the Birmingham line, and this was swiftly followed by another in open play. The third came after a period of sustained pressure. Minutes later this lead was extended again, as a series of Birmingham mistakes pinned them back deep in their own half, leading to another score.
The half time score was 37-5, with Loughborough leading at the interval. The two additional scores before half time came back to back, initially with a set piece move from the scrum, which created an overlap that allowed the left winger to score in the corner. From the restart, the outside centre broke up the left touchline, before cutting back inside to score under the posts, Loughborough’s sixth try of the half.
Very quickly into the second half, Loughborough’s lead was extended, through aggressive defending from the get go, and a turnover at the scrum. The outside centre then scored her second of the afternoon, as she finished off a good move that saw a stolen lineout and good handling in the back line. The centre then scored her third, as she was able to run to the corner following another turnover in Birmingham territory.
There were three more scores, as Loughborough padded the result. They scored between the uprights off a quickly taken penalty, and then again following a scrum in midfield. The final score of the game was credited to the outside centre again, scoring under the posts at the full time whistle.
Not the first time this season that Birmingham have suffered a heavy defeat, though there were promising signs in this one. It was a team that had bright ideas but lacked execution in all aspects of the game. Loughborough dominated the scrum from start to finish, and were on top of the line out for periods. There were again too many dropped passes from Birmingham, but there were no glaring errors.