Cougars go top of the league

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Story sponsored, Carlisle Cougars travelled to Newcastle to wrest top league position from the hands of the previously unbeaten Novocastrians.

Buoyed up by their win 2 weeks ago against Sheffield, the Cougars still expected a hard fight.  Novos didn’t disappoint and for the opening minutes bombarded the Cougar’s line, looking dangerous in attack.  A knock on and strong scrum steadied Carlisle nerves and saw the Cougar’s first attack.

A kicking tournament arose, with both sides eager to gain ground and tackling hard in defence.  At 15 minutes captain Lucy Meadley exploited a gap and set up clean ball, off loaded to winger Steph Musgrove who cut a scything run through the defence and touched down under the posts for the Cougars first try.

The conversion unhappily bounced off the sticks, Novos having successfully disrupted fly half Lisa Richie’s concentration.  However 8 minutes later, centre Julie Hope side stepped through the Novo’s back line with ease giving Richie a second chance, who this time slotted it cleanly through the uprights.

A cleanly taken high ball by full back Simone Board saw another off load to Hope who celebrated only her 2nd game for the Cougars (and 2nd ever game) with her 2nd try, winning ‘player’s player’as a result. Half time score: 0 – 17.
From kick off the Cougars exerted pressure and patient play eventually set up centre Katie Wigham for a strong sprint, stopped just short of the line by a scrambled defence.  Richie was there quickly in support to take the off load and score the Cougar’s forth try, though hurting her ankle in the process and missing another conversion.

Novos replied aggressively and the game began to favour the opposition as Carlisle’s lighter pack lost scrums against the head.  However Novo’s kicking game was no answer to the Cougars strong defensive line; led by coach’s player Arrianne Harkness and good positioning by Board meant each ball was secured.

A powerful run from Richie and a successful back move sent Wigham sprinting from the half way line to score and the tide was turned.  Ill discipline from a frustrated Novos gave Carlisle a penalty on the 5m.  Meadley took it quickly and forged over the line for the last try of the match.  Coach Jonny Taylor said:  “This was a most professional performance from the Cougars.  Everyone did their job.”

Final score: Novocastrians 0 v Carlisle Cougars 36

The Cougars are holding a taster session at Carlise Rugby Club, Warwick road on Wednesday 10th March 7pm – 9pm.  All women welcome who would like to try rugby.  Please register your interest or get more information by texting or phoning 07912 110785 or emailing