Tries: Felicity Auer x 2, Genevieve Barr x 2, Sorrel Wood, Katie, Alex Bowtell, Anita Oliver, Kate Middleton, Lil Knight

Conv: Charley Miller x 3

In their second match Hackney Gladies continued where they left off against Millwall; playing expansive, quick rugby that their opponents couldn't match. It was a windy day in Essex, and the heavy pitch and Stanford's strong pack suggested this could have been a long afternoon. But wether it was the friendly nature of the fixture, Stanford's decision to try players in new positions or Hackney's great decision making - the game was fast and loose and there was only ever one side in it.



Stanford started strongly. Driving tight they worked the ball into Hackney's half. But a handling error handed possession to the Gladies, and several phases of play later debutant Katie marked her first ever game of rugby with a try. Realising they were quicker than their opponents, Hackney continued to recycle quickly, with second row Ice and captain Emma
Middleton frequently appearing on the runners shoulder to ensure moves stayed alive and the Stanford defence was unable to reset. Scrum half Charley Miller was brilliant at changing the point of attack, with the side attacking the blind as well as moving the ball open quickly. And fly half Kate Middleton exploited any space out wide, carrying and distributing brilliantly. As half time approached Hackney had a healthy lead, 3 other tries taking the score to 20 - 0. The Gladies didn't have it all their own way though, with Stanford's 7 a constant threat and their 13 making cover tackle after cover tackle to keep the score tight. And this hard work paid off, with Stanford scoring a try at the end of the half, as for the first time the home side found some space out wide with a few too many Hackney players taking a break and walking.

The second half followed the same pattern. Quick ball and strong running from Hackney was too much for the Stanford defence. And as the home side tired more tries came. Emma Middleton was unlucky not to score herself when she forced a turn over and twice kicked through as she beat the cover defence for pace. But the bounce of the ball gave the try to Anita Oliver, running hard in support. Great tries were also scored by Felicity Auer and Genevieve Barr, both of whom were playing only their second games of rugby and have only been playing for a few months. You'd have never known. Auer scored her second of the game with a solo run down the short side, showing too much pace for the defence. And Barr scored her second with a terrific show and go, fixing the defence with a dummy and accelerating into a half gap to touch down untouched. But again, Stanford had the last word in the half. Their fighting spirit resulting in another try, just as the game ended, bringing the score to 56 - 10.

There were some terrific performances on the day, Alex Bowtell was ferocious in the tackle, putting in hit after hit, Lil Knight was the strongest ball carrier on the field and constantly broke the first, and second and third, tackles... but WOTM was Ice. Her support play was phenomenal, every time Hackney broke the defence Ice was on a shoulder, she hit more rucks than any other player, and still got around the park enough to put in some great cover tackles out wide. You'd have thought she was playing in the second row AND back row.