Cougars 27-10 Fleetwood Grasshoppers

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4th October 2009

Carlisle Cougars hosted Fleetwood Grasshoppers on Sunday at their Warwick Road home. It was the first league game these two teams had played against each other so both teams started eagerly wanting to get the first points on the board.

After a frantic 10 minutes it was the Carlisle outfit who took the lead. The Cougars forward pack powered through the Grasshoppers scrum winning the ball against the head, quick ball out to the backs saw centre Holly Freestone power through several tackles to score left of the sticks.

This try seemed to calm the Cougars nerves but a few handling errors and some good last ditch tackling from the ‘hoppers held the Cougars at bay for the next period of play. But after sustained pressure a scrum n the 5 metre line again allowed the Cougars pack to regain possession and quick hands from scrum half Phil Bell put Freestone in for her second try.

From the restart the Grasshoppers seemed to switch up a gear, clever kicking from their number 9 (Julia Clapp) gained them territory and following a penalty given away by the Cougars on their 22m line the Fleetwood outfit put some phases together and crossed the line for their first try. With 5 minutes to go until half time the Cougars gained turnover ball and prop Lucy Meadley powered through a broken defence to score the last points of the half. Half time score 17-5.

The second half started and Fleetwood had obviously been given a shake up, the Cougars defence was tested on several occasions as Fleetwood camped in the home teams 22. Some strong defence around the ruck by the Cougars flankers, Belinda Lloyd (coaches player) and newly converted back Ruth Watt kept out relentless pressure. Eventually this pressure paid off and the Grasshoppers got over the line for their 2nd and final try of the game.

From the restart the Cougars regained possession and calmed play down. Good forwards phases lead to a line out in a great field position. Off the top ball lead to quick hands from the backs and outside centre Sarah Gardner used her strength to power over the try line to score in the corner. The final points of the game were added by Freestone claiming her hat-trick and earning herself players player of the match.

The Cougars would like to thank match sponsors The Grange Hotel Loweswater and Blackmore Occupational Health for their support.

If anyone would like more information about playing (senior or girl’s rugby), volunteering or sponsoring the Cougars please contact Katie Wilson on 07912110785 or email carlislecougars@hotmail.co.uk.