Cardiff Quins secured a hard fought 17-8 victory over local rivals UWIC at the Diamond Ground with a gritty team performance.
Quins got off to a perfect start as Becky Newton burst through the UWIC defence before drawing the full back and offloading to Rachel Taylor who touched down under the posts. Scrum half Jo Jones, who had one of her best games in a Quins' shirt, added the extras to give Quins a 7-0 lead after two minutes.
UWIC redoubled their efforts after this early set back and after applying pressure in the Quins half were rewarded with a penalty which Alix Taylor slotted over to narrow the gap to 7-3. Stung by the quick response Quins went on the assault again and after UWIC were caught offside Jo Jones calmly stepped up to stroke over a long range effort and restore a seven point cushion, 10-3 to Quins after 12 minutes.
The remainder of the half was a war of attrition with both sides attempting to find holes in the defences. The game was not helped with a number of injuries that disrupted the flow of the game and caused both coaches to shuffle players.
Quins, despite dominating possession and territory, were their own worst enemy, giving away a large number of penalties at the contact area as they attempted to stamp their authority on the game.
The start of the second half was almost a carbon copy of the first, with Rachel Green showing her pace and agility to join the line from fullback and slice through the UWIC rearguard to score after 41 minutes. Jones kept up her impressive kicking and added the extras for a 100% record.
Quins reverted to giving away silly penalties and allowed UWIC to clear their lines repeatedly. And the next 20 minutes became a stalemate until concerted pressure from the UWIC pack, lead by the barnstorming Vic Owens, allowed a try to be scored wide out by Ruth Patterson to bring the scores to 17-8.
The remainder of the half was a battle up front with no quarter asked or given, but neither team were able to create further scoring opportunities, with a majority of the game played between the 10m lines.
The final whistle was greeted with relief and with tired bodies scattered round the pitch.
UEFA has today confirmed the Football Association of Wales (FAW) has been successful in its bid for the Millennium Stadium to host the 2017 UEFA Champions League Final on Saturday 3rd June, 2017 (kick-off: 19.45hrs GMT).
The winners of a filmmaking competition organised by the education charity Into Film and the WRU enjoyed a behind the scenes tour of the Millennium Stadium - and a chance to be photographed with the WRU's fire-breathing, rugby loving mascot, Scorch The Dragon, and Welsh international, Jake Ball.
The Wales Under 20 camp are in a quietly confident mood as they face Ireland in the U20 Championship, with Coaching Co-Ordinator Allan Lewis and full back Dafydd Howells targeting a top five finish in the tournament.
Wales U20 may start as favourites against Japan this evening in the U20 Championship, but Team Manager Mark Taylor is warning against complacency. He is also hoping a good win will boost morale and 'kickstart' performances.
Coach Richard Hodges is hoping Wales U20 can put a disappointing campaign behind them when they tackle Japan tomorrow as they look to finish the U20 Championship strongly to secure a good seeding for next year's tournament.