THE girls of Crediton RFC travelled far and wide last Sunday and did the Kirton club proud with their performances, and, above all, rugby values.

From lending players so that games could go ahead, contributing numbers to a fantastic festival turnout, working with other clubs for the benefit of all players and producing some scintillating play, the girls in black and amber can hold their heads high in the weekend that England’s Women started their effort to bring home the women’s rugby World Cup.

U12s - Festival at Newton Abbot

The ever growing band of Crediton’s newest girls team added their numbers to the 100+ girls at the latest mini festival for the age group, held this week in Newton Abbot, and as numbers, skills and confidence increased they got their first taste of competitive action.

After the warm ups and skills stations the girls played in contact games against; Okehampton, Bideford, Ilfracombe and Newton Abbot with the vociferous cheers of supporters ringing in their ears. A fantastic experience for them.

The girls had a great time and thoroughly enjoyed the next learning steps in their rugby journeys

Team Manager, Anna Yeandle said: “These festivals are proving invaluable for the girls in gaining the experience, skills and rugby spirit at the start of their rugby playing days.

“The festivals are well organised, well attended and just what the girls need.”

U14s - Cullompton (A)

Crediton under 14s girls embarked on the short hop over to close rivals Cullompton on Sunday.

To make the numbers even, a couple of Crediton girls volunteered to play for the opposition and the game commenced with Crediton straight into the attack.

The Crediton Girls had the more experienced squad and this showed as they dominated the play, overcoming the determination and a gritty display from their counterparts in red and black.

As the game progressed, Crediton swapped in some different players for Cully to work with and this addition of experience, matched with the hard work that Cullompton had shown throughout, put the home side on the scoreboard on more than one occasion in a much more even game that tested everyone on the pitch.

Towards the end of the game, the Kirton girls produced a final flourish and flurry of tries to end up as worthy winners, a result made comprehensive with the outstanding conversion kicking for which Charlotte, Megan and Erin must take the credit.

Team Manager, Patrick Pellens was delighted with every aspect of his squad’s efforts and enthused: “I’m so proud of my squad for they way that they conducted themselves today.

“For the volunteers that not only played for our opponents but gave their all when they did, to the fantastic camaraderie within the squad, to the way we played the game.

“Our off-loading out of tackles was a joy to watch.”

U16s - Exmouth (A)

The U16s continued in their unbeaten start to the season on the south coast against Exmouth, a tough side that required the girls in black and amber to show their best.

The Kirton battlers started incredibly well with sustained pressure and soon scored and converted their first try. 
The attack from Exmouth was always powerful, their ruck and maul work was outstanding and led to many turnovers, the Kirton girls having to dig deep to regain possession.

However, this strong defence kept most of the action in the opposition half, and this soon led to further opportunities which allowed the girls to score again, but without making the conversion. With their tails up and after a great passage of forward play the girls got the ball moved swiftly to the right wing and, with space to run into, another converted try followed.
The second half showed how hard Exmouth had made our forwards work and, as they flagged a little letting Exmouth back into the game.

With a couple of poorly defended rucks and some excellent sniper work by the Exmouth flankers Crediton gave up the ball and were scrabbling to defend. Exmouth scored twice and Crediton were looking worried.

However some positive leadership raised the defence and put us back on the attack, with constant pressure. then Kirton’s scrum-half exploited a huge gap and flew over under the posts.

The final period saw the Crediton attack keep the action in Exmouth’s “22” and, whilst it looked like they may score again, an unfortunate injury led to the game being called early with Crediton securing a hard fought 26-12 victory.

Lead Coach, Chris Eaton who was impressed with the all round display by his girls, said: “We discussed the level of performance that would be required to overcome a hard working and talented Exmouth side and I’m so proud of the girls for the way everyone contributed to the result, defending solidly when required and controlling our attacks to get the scores that we needed.”

U18s - Exeter Saracens/Exmouth (A)

The U18s Age Group, across the county, is the group that has suffered from the overwhelmingly successful age grade changes this season.

With no influx of girls from younger age groups as the adjustments are made, this age bracket has only seen girls leave as they became too old to participate and numbers have dropped accordingly.

This has led to challenges for all clubs and coaches to give girls as much rugby as possible with creative solutions, co-operation and communication needed from everyone.

With low numbers anticipated early in the week, the coaches got together to agree that, rather than a ineffectual game that wouldn’t benefit anyone, the clubs would provide an extended training session with the opportunity for forwards to do some live scrummaging and line out work that isn’t possible during club training nights.

The coaches from Sarries and Exmouth put together a plan and the girls from all clubs mixed together in the sunny Sunday afternoon, with a variety of skills and game situations being worked on.

Lead Coach Andrew Drayton saw the benefits of the day, stating: “It was great to do some work that we just haven’t been able to do so far this year, for our girls to hear a different voice, ideas and play with different players.

“A big ‘thank you’ to the coaches from Saracens and Exmouth for providing a well thought out, varied and interesting afternoon that was well delivered.

“In challenging times for our age group, this kind of co-operation is both valued and welcomed.”