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Team Sunderland Women’s Rugby record back-to-back wins

Team Sunderland Women’s Rugby made it two wins on the spin with six different try scorers capping off an impressive team performance.

After kick-off was delayed by half an hour, a physical game ensued at Ashbrooke Sports Club with Sunderland getting off to a positive start scoring the first two tries over Leeds Women’s 2nds.

The final score of 32-10 ensures Sunderland solidified their grasp on second place, and while first may be somewhat out of reach due to factors outside of their control, the sides’ fullback Molly Gardener maintained post-match that the team will continue to strive to finish as high as possible.

Molly Gardener (left) and Clodagh Flynn (right) in Team Sunderland action on Wednesday.

“I’m really, really happy with our performance,” said Team Sunderland Elite Athlete Gardener. “We’ve made so much progress even from last week and the scores are defining that. We had a bit of a struggle on the way to the game with a delayed kick-off, we had warmed up for such a long time but everyone worked so hard and stuck in so it was really well deserved in the end.

“I think we’re probably looking at finishing second or third. Some fixtures unfortunately haven’t gone our way with other teams having been given walkovers and additional points, we can’t compete with that which is a bit unfortunate but we’re still going to strive to finish as high as possible.

“It makes such a difference when the girls are tight-knit and together because you get used to where people play, how people play rugby and how people feel so you know when you have to pick somebody up or when somebody’s doing really well and to boost them and it makes such a difference to the team as a whole when you do that.”

Team Sunderland Rugby coach Keshia Hilton leads a warmup.

For coach Keshia Hilton, she recognised the physicality that Leeds were likely to bring and devised a plan to work around this which she believes paid off.

“That was tough. It was a good game, a good win for us. We got plenty of points on the board, 32 to 10. That score did not reflect the game. They had us battered in the first half, but really positive – we came out strong.  It took us a little while to get warmed up, but happy to get the second win. Another very good result.

“Leeds notoriously has a very strong, physical side. That may be where we’re lacking a little bit, so that’s why I did want to get it out to the wings a little bit more and expose those to get it out to our faster runners to hopefully exploit the edges a little bit as opposed to going into their stronger and more physical forwards – and it seemed to pay off. We had six different try scorers on the board today, very happy about that.”