Rochdale Valkyries were back in action this weekend with a pre season friendly against Wrexham Ladies on the Saturday of Bamford Beer Festival. Without a game in over three months, the Valkyries approached the game in high spirits looking to enjoy the occasion and relish the challenge.
On a glorious hot day and with a big firm pitch, the day was set up for an open game of free-flowing rugby. Wrexham, a young and skilful side, started strongly using the pitch and their speed to cut through Valkyries down the channels. It took the first half for Rochdale to acclimatise to the conditions; but gave a better account of themselves in the second half.
Ruth Jakeman, a newbie to playing rugby, was outstanding working tirelessly in the heat. Ruth scored her first try for Rochdale after some brilliant yards were made by her fellow forwards on the Wrexham line. As was Beth Harris, who brought experience from playing both league and union.
Amy Brierley is another new player in the team that deserves all credit, never shirking a tackle and 100% committed to developing herself as a player within the Rochdale setup. Once again Sam O’Brien was incredible; her work rate in the conditions was extraordinary.
We saw brilliant running from Georgia Sunderland who’s performance and confidence is growing week upon week. The game finished 15-30. Rochdale ended the game – in spite of the result – relatively positive. With another 6 weeks until the beginning of the league competition, this gives the Valkyries enough time to tighten up on some defensive plays to cut down on opposition try’s.
Coach Isaac Butterworth commented: “It was a very impressive performance, we held our own against a very strong Wrexham side. There was a noticeable improvement by every player in the team. I’m looking forward to seeing the team grow as the season develops.”
Attention now turns to Sunday 11th September, another pre-season friendly away against Aldwinians. This game is a 2pm kick-off.