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
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The WRU is searching for 12 new rugby development apprentices following a successful first year of its WRU Coach Core programme. Craig Duncan and Jess Hancock have flourished in the first year of the programme which has given them a real direction in their lives.
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Llandovery are aiming to make it three titles in a row in this year's Foster's National 7s being held at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park on Sunday 28 August. Drovers assistant coach Simon Davies and Lee Rees assess their sides chances
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