In the Women’s Cuppers final, Worcester/St Catz emerged victorious over last year’s champions Corpus/LMH/Trinity/St Hilda’s.
Right from the start, Worcester demonstrated excellent structure in their play and displayed pace and ambition in their backline. The Worcester backs wasted no time in making an impact as Rachel Hewitt crossed the try line early in the game, putting the team ahead with a score of 5-0. A try by Maria Watt’s further solidified Worcester’s advantage, leaving the game at 10-5 at halftime.
The second half presented a challenge for both teams, with the heat taking its toll on the players. The defensive efforts from both sides intensified, slowing down the pace of the game. A well-placed kick from scrum-half Florence Baker Masters and the skilful play of Tabs Preston and Maria Watt resulted in another try for Worcester, with Watt successfully grounding the ball directly under the posts. Maddy Kawalenko’s conversion extended their lead to 17-10, but two yellow cards shown to Worcester players in succession put them on the back foot, leaving them to fight until the final whistle.
Corpus captain Lauren Webb proved to be a formidable force on the field. Her sheer pace and fierce handoff led to her scoring two tries for her team in the 2nd half, keeping Corpus in contention until the very end. However, a missed conversion in the 80th minute left Corpus behind, and Worcester/Catz lifted the Emma Bidiscombe trophy. Both teams deserve credit for the exceptional display of rugby– a testament to the growth of Women’s rugby in Oxford, with the majority of players involved having never played before university.
Player of the Match award: Fly-half Maria Watt (Catz) for her two tries and fine defensive efforts.
Image Credit: Tabs Preston