After warming up with a friendly against Blackwood and a 10s tournament at Llandovery, Blaenau Gwent Ladies kicked off their new Division 1 East League season with a resounding 12-try rout on the road against Gwernyfed.
Despite newcomers Gwernyfed putting up a plucky performance, Blaenau Gwent ran out 10-80 victors.
Blaenau were first on the score sheet with skipper and centre Kim Boaler running in the first of her four tries. Hooker Annemarie Rogers quickly followed, before Gwernyfed hit back with a try of their own by Ellena Hope.
Blaenau Gwent's forwards dominated the inexperienced Gwernyfed, despite having several new players themselves. Notably Jordan Shallish, making her first full start at second row, securing Blaenau's lineout ball and stole many of Gwernyfed's throws.
The Gwent girls also dominated in the scrums, securing a platform for their elusive back line to work off. The powerful pack proved too much for the home side, forcing uncontested scrums, giving the Blaenau pack more opportunity to show their skills in open play.
Gwernyfed, newcomers to the league, never let their heads go down, and were rewarded by Deleth Ward running in a try near the end of the first half.
Front row Emma Pearce continued Gwent's excellent work rate into the second half with a well-worked try from a strong forward drive.
The Blaenau Gwent backs showed some committed defensive play, and cutting attack moves, especially wing Nicola Lewis, who capped off a back-of-the-match performance with her first try.
Amanda Howells, Gemma Lewis-Morse, Ami Jones and Anna Mills secured tries of their own, as did fly half Vicky Jennings, who added 10 conversions, giving the Gwent side plenty of confidence ahead of next weekend's clash with local rivals Blackwood.
Blaenau Gwent are keen to welcome new players, or anyone returning to the game. They are based at Crumlin RFC and train Wednesdays 7-8.30 and play Sunday afternoons. Anyone interested should contact Kim on 07738 261072
Carmarthen Quins are holding an exhibition to commemorate club players who fought in World War I. All welcome to the clubhouse on Friday afternoon to learn more about local history, or share any family anecdotes or artifacts.
Defence coach Shaun Edwards believes Saturday's clash against England - the 'form team in world rugby' - poses a huge challenge for his side but he is confident, with Wales beginning to show the defensive qualities displayed in the last two World Cups,