Horsham Girls U12s 6 – 10 East Sussex Barbarians U12s
The East Sussex Barbarians Under 12s brought their hugely successful first season to a close with a convincing 10-6 victory over inaugural county champions Horsham on Thursday.
The Under 12s age group is a new one in girls’ rugby, providing a challenge to clubs to field full teams out of their committed, talented but small cohorts of girls graduating from mini rugby. Horsham have established themselves as one the powerhouses of girls rugby with a fantastic set up for players of all ages. The BaaBaas, meanwhile, has brought together the girls and coaches of Seaford, Lewes, Uckfield and Haywards Heath to create a vibrant and talented squad. This match saw the team’s new jerseys, combining the club colours of the partner clubs, make its debut, helping the team look fantastic and giving the girls a further lift before their final challenge of the season.
The BaaBaas first match back in February was a narrow defeat to Horsham and both sides remained unbeaten since, with Horsham taking the league title as a result. It made sense for the teams to come together again for an end of season return fixture and the match was a fitting finale to a terrific season, with both sides showing how far they have progressed in just a few months and producing rugby of great quality, physicality and flair.
After a truly shocking rugby season weather-wise and the heavy rain on Thursday, all were very grateful for the availability of Horsham’s 4G pitch to allow this game to go ahead. The rain persisted throughout, making handling difficult for two teams who like to spread the ball. The referee did a great job of keeping the game flowing and the teams’ tactics adapted with increasingly direct running and strong contests at the breakdown.
The BaaBaas were the first to break the whitewash with a try from fly half Lily. With each BaaBaas score Horsham responded strongly to keep in touch and the first half ended 6-4 to the BaaBaas and all to play for. The half time team talk was led by the players and allowed them to refocus their strategy and efforts for the second period. Attack and defence were increasingly relentless after the break, with the BaaBaas ability to consistently break the gain line going forward and strength and good technique at the ruck the keys to their success. The BaaBaas lead was maintained and stretched further with a superb darting pick-and-go try from Dottie, four strong close-range finishes from Sophia, two excellent tries from Annie, one from Faye and a second for Lily, while a last play length-of-the-field kick chase and finish from Bethan proved a fitting finale to a pulsating match.
Many thanks to Horsham RUFC for hosting and many congratulations on their successes this season. The matches between these girls will be highlights of many seasons to come. Good luck to Hosham’s older girls teams who are still going strong in national competitions. Thank you and well done to the BaaBaas ‘ coaching team and especially to team manager Victoria, whose brainchild the team was and whose sterling efforts coordinating this fantastic collaboration have been rewarded. If there are any girls aged 10-14 who would like to give rugby a try with the BaaBaas, please get in touch with one of the partner clubs via their websites or with Victoria directly by email at email@example.com