Senior Women (Sirens) | 21st Aug 2023
The Stewartry Sirens travelled to Cartha Queens Park for their first game in the 23/24 SRU Premiership.
The game started with Cartha taking the initiative from the kick-off. It soon became apparent that the home team were looking to play with tempo in an effort to unsettle the Sirens.
It took 10 mins for Cartha to score their first try. With the new tackle law in place, there was a significant increase in the number of penalties being awarded as Sirens players tried to adapt.
With the home team maintaining possession from kick-off they worked their way back upfield for a second try.
The pattern was set and Cartha appeared to have a simple plan of playing tap penalties and running at the defensive line then trusting their second-phase support runners to move the ball wide. If that failed play appeared to come back to an earlier infringement.
On the 30th minute the Sirens, Lauren Nicholson, received a yellow card following several warnings. Cartha ran in a 5th try to make the halftime score 27-0.
The second half started as the first finished with Cartha moving further ahead with another couple of tries before Phaedra Snailham intercepted a pass that she scored, giving the Sirens their first points of the new season with the conversion kicked by Lisa Ritchie.
The Sirens finally managed to regain possession and started to gain penalties as the Cartha defence struggled to maintain their tackle height.
The Sirens gained a second try with Phaedra Snailham exposing the Cartha defence with a run from around 40m, Lisa Ritchie duly converted.
Cartha responded, scoring again taking their points tally to 53, however, it was the Sirens, who had finally grown into the game, that scored a good team try with debutant Ruby Walsh-Kirk crossing the try-line for the first try of her senior career taking the Sirens to 19 points.
It took some time for the Sirens to find their feet in this tough opening encounter. There are a few challenges, not insurmountable, for the Sirens to address before they will be competitive in the league.