MATCH REPORT: WRU Development XV v The Thistles

MATCH REPORT: WRU Development XV v The Thistles

The Thistles secured their first win in the Celtic Challenge competition after recording a comprehensive 21-7 win against the WRU Development XV at Cardiff Arms Park.

A strong start from the Scottish side saw them set up camp in the Welsh half but a resilient defensive effort from the hosts kept them just outside the 22.

Still in possession, The Thistles’ Eilidh Sinclair made the clean break to edge her side forward, but the Welsh defence held firm to win the hosts the penalty and clear back up field.

Taking the line-out, a huge drive from the Welsh pack won the side the penalty to take play into their opponents half but the Scottish side secured the turnover to take back hold of possession.

A dominant first half from the visitors kept Wales locked in their half but a huge effort from the Welsh pack denied their visitors a shot at the line.

Eventually the Scottish side spotted the gap to send Elis Martin over for the opening score, with captain Meryl Smith converting to give the side the lead ahead at the break.

HALF-TIME: WRU Development XV 0-7 The Thistles

WRU Development XV came out of the blocks firing at the start of the second-half, conjuring up the attack in the Thistle’s 22. Taking their chances and playing their way through the phases put the forwards over the whitewash only to be called back for a penalty to deny them their first score.

Going again, Wales looked for the charge once more but a loose pass was nicely spied by The Thistles lock, Eva Donaldson, who made the break to race from her own 22 into the Welsh half. Good support from her winger Holly McIntyre sent over the line for their second try. Smith converting to keep the scoreboard in their favour [0-14].

With momentum in their favour, The Thistles went again and a powerful carry in the Welsh 22 put them in for their third try though the hands of Emma Orr. Smith slotting the extras to extend their lead [0-21].

The Welsh side were dealt a blow with a yellow card for Jenna DeVera putting them down to 14.

Despite being on the back foot the Welsh side kept digging in deep and almost looked to be in for the try only to be held up over the line.

But the development side kept in the fight and went again, this time making no mistake to put Abbie Fleming in for the try. Niamh Terry converting to put the scores at 7-21 at the final whistle.

FULL-TIME: WRU Development XV 7-21 The Thistles

Welsh Development XV: Leanne Burnell (Pontyclun Falcons); Lisa Neumann (Gloucester-Hartpury), Molly Philpott (Llandaff North / Cardiff), Jenna De Vera (Scarlets U18s/ Burry Port), Caitlin Lewis (Gloucester-Hartpury); Niamh Terry (Exeter Chiefs), Meg Davies (Bristol Bears); Rosie Carr (Pontyclun Falcons/ Cardiff Met), Kat Evans (Saracens), Dani Dinapoli (Cheltenham Tigers), Charlie Mundy (Pontyclun Falcons), Abbie Fleming (Exeter Chiefs), Katie Jenkins (Pontyclun Falcons), Kira Philpott (Llandaff North), Kate Williams (Unattached) 

Replacements: Tara Finnegan (Pontyclun Falcons), Dali Hopkins (Ospreys U18s/ Greyhounds), Abbey Constable (Gloucester-Hartpury / Cheltenham Tigers), Mel Gnojek (Seven Sisters), Molly Reardon (Dragons), Beth Jones (Gloucester-Hartpury), Anwen Owen (Nelson Belles / Bristol Bears)

The Thistles: Roma Fraser (Cartha Queens Park); Holly McIntyre (University of Edinburgh), Emma Orr (Heriot’s), Evie Wills (Hillhead Jordanhill), Eilidh Sinclair (Exeter Chiefs); Meryl Smith CAPTAIN (University of Edinburgh), Rhea Clarke (University of Edinburgh); Panashe Muzambe (Exeter Chiefs), Elis Martin (DMP Sharks), Elliann Clarke (University of Edinburgh), Eva Donaldson (University of Edinburgh), Natasha Logan (University of Edinburgh), Erinn Foley (Hillhead Jordanhill), Emma Turner (Corstorphine Cougars).

Replacements: Nikki Simpson (Garioch), Poppy Flectcher (Heriot’s), Kaylee Fraser (Corstorphine Cougars), Freya Walker (Watsonians), Kiera McDonald (Stirling County), Mairi McDonald (Exeter Chiefs), Ceitidh Ainsworth (Stirling County), Sky Phimister (Stirling County).

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