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.
Nearly 40 players were involved in the first Wales Under 18 training session of the season. WRU National Performance Manager Gethin Watts is excited at the potential shown by the group and expects the Regional Under 18 Championship to hone their skills even further.