Saturday saw Hackney Gladies take to the field for their first fixture - but you'd have never known it. From the moment the first whistle blew the side more than matched their inaugural opponents from Millwall.

In fact, the first score came straight from the kick off, Natalie Francis gathering and finding space down the touchline after beating the first tackler. With no full back in place Francis was too quick for the chasing defenders and scored under the posts. The girls were in high spirits when they arrived, and there was a feeling of excitement rather than nervousness before kick off. But with so many players having never played before (and with several only having four or five training sessions under their belts) this was the perfect start. The confidence was high, and the side.s willingness to have a go and try things never dipped.

Millwall were a physical side, and made life difficult for Hackney at the contact. They also had the day's most effective runner of the ball, their number 7 was big and quick and obviously experienced. She scored five tries, all individual efforts, all strong runs through at least one would-be tackler (she didn't have it all her own way though, with one resounding tackle from scrum half Charley Miller in particular showing how it should be done). But the positivity from Captain Emma Middleton was infectious. The hooker tackled and rucked brilliantly all day. And when quick ball came Hackney's way a score always looked likely. The half backs Miller and Sophie Campbell moved the ball wide at pace, and all the outside backs carried strongly.

On a day when most would simply have been happy to see the players hang on to the ball, the brand new Gladies showed the potential this side has and carried brilliantly, Genevieve Barr and Felicity Auer in particular making inroads. Millwall weren't the type of side to miss first up tackles, but Hackney's support play was far too good. The final try a good example of what had come before. Quick ball gave fly half Sophie Cambell space to attack. Her delayed pass put Centre Lydia Meeson into a half gap, and strong running made that half a hole. With her head up, Meeson showed great hands to offload out of contact to Francis who arrived at pace and touched down.

Francis, playing out of position in the forwards, put in a brilliant display of support running and showed terrific pace to score five times. And on any other day she'd have been named WoTM. But on Saturday that honour went to Letitia Clark. The second row was imperious in the line out; making most of them appear as unopposed as the scrums. And her tackle count was huge. Scoring 40 points is great. But on a day full of brilliant running rugby Clark's defence ensured Millwall never got close to stealing it.