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Preseason, Freshers, and Leeds Away

After a long summer apart we couldn’t wait to get back together for some intense, but fun, training during preseason. With Grace Clarke putting together a selection of activities for us to take part in throughout the week alongside our own training schedule it was looking to be good. Training for an hour and a half each day we came up with new plays and ensured our fitness was still up to the standard we need to be at. Some of the girls had a free sports massage on the Wednesday morning to relieve any tight or sore muscles we may have gained throughout preseason so far. These were performed by students from York College and York St John, leaving us feeling fresh and ready to put our muscles through more work. After training on the Thursday afternoon we took part in a Pure Stretch class at the Sports Village. This was a nice relaxing sessio​​n for us all where we were able to stretch out any sore areas after a strenuous week training over on 22 acres. Friday brought us an inter-club sports day held on the new athletics track on the Heslington West campus. At sports day we got a 3rd place in the egg and spoon race, 3rd place in the piggy back race, and thrashed many others at the tug of war. All in all preseason was a fantastic week with some fun and some tough activities. A big thank you to Grace Clarke for organising such a successful week meaning we were able to try out other activities and meet members of other sports clubs.​

An early wake up on the last Saturday of Freshers Week meant it was time for Freshers Fair. With posters, tackle pads and banners we were ready to get those sign ups. We got a total of 120 sign ups to the email account and were excited to see who would be attending the taster session on the succeeding Sunday.

40 freshers were met at the Sports Centre and then walked over to 22 Acres where our coach was waiting with an intense beginner session to rugby. Strength and conditioning, tackling and running were all involved throughout the training, showing freshers how we train and what we expect from them as a club member. This session was thoroughly enjoyed by all and the majority of the girls came back for training as usual with the rest of us.

Three training sessions a week and touch rugby as a optional activity meant everyone was able to progress and learn how to play and the rules of the game. We were ready for our first game away at Leeds.

The first game of the season took us to Leeds, and with just six old

girls on the pitch we knew it was going to be tough. We got off to a good start with strong defence holding Leeds away from the tryline in our own half. Unfortunately Leeds were able to breakthrough and score a try. We kept our heads held high and continued to put the pressure on forcing mistakes from Leeds who gave away many penalties. Unfortunately they had an extremely strong pack creating intense and difficult scrums for our girls. Half time arrived and we were down 22-0. Although we weren't winning we were all smiling with the impressive performance given by all on the pitch. Throughout the second half Leeds made it over the try line a few more times and ended the the game 51-0. The score certainly does not reflect how well we played and the strong performances that came from all. We felt it was a good first game and we can only go up from here. We are all looking forward to our next match against Sheffield at home.

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