Penryn Girls achieved their best finish of the beach rugby season so far this weekend, combining irresistible attack with resolute defence placing 5th out of 21 teams at the Marazion Beach Rugby festival hosted by the National Trust and the RFU.
It has been their 3rd outing on the beach rugby calendar but their first as just Penryn, with previous outings at Carbis Bay and Perranporth in conjunction with other local girls sections under the banner of the Belerions (more on this to come!) Carbis Bay had seen the Belerions U18s finish the highest placed female side in 5th place from 13, whilst the predominantly U13s squad claimed some creditable scalps across a demanding 13 fixtures in two days.
Running three squads at the Perranporth beach rugby by The Watering Hole with a Penryn-Perranporth collaboration, it was the U15 Belerions who finished highest within a far more competitive field and besting their U18 clubmates in the process. The U13s had a decidedly Minis look to it on the soggy second day as a host of talented young future Perranporth Sirens helped them reach a well-deserved final.
Throughout both tournaments all the girls had played some wonderful rugby, but at times tried to force the attack too much against stronger opponents, leading to costly turnovers. At Marazion though the Penryn girls found a new consistency and composure to come out as the top female side yet again with a record of 5 wins to a single loss.
Despite having to defend the last play of both halves, Penryn snuck past good friends Penzance Ladies by a single point, before putting a local mens team to the sword 8-2 and achieving one of the only 6-tag turnovers of the day on the tiny half-length pitches! Their last group game was against eventual winners Mounts Bay, and the added pressure of quality opponents showed in the only real wobbles of the day, with a procession of turnovers leaving them trailing by a handful at the break. Some quick changes and some adjustment of the defence to cope with the overloading saw the girls regain their composure and win the second half, but lost 7-4 overall.
With teams re-seeded and having qualified for the second tier group of 4, the Penryn girls found themselves facing the strong mens team Lizard Choughs who had been runners up at Carbis Bay. Undeterred, the girls playing flawless attacking rugby and it was the men instead who faltered under the pressure, losing 8-7 to the girls. The second group game was against the combined Camborne Ladies and soon-to-be U13s who, despite playing some lovely rugby especially with the all-youngsters team of the second half, found the Penryn girls too dominant to hold back.
That set up a 5th-6th decider in the final group game between the Penryn girls and Camborne Boys U14s. In a good-natured and well-matched last battle the girls were yet again near-faultless in attack, putting enough defensive pressure on the boys to claim a final 8-6 victory and with it a 5th place finish in a strongly competitive field and claiming a full set of scalps - mens, womens, boys and girls teams - along the way!
This week sees the start of pre-season fitness, getting ready for an exciting new season! The fun (!) starts 6:30pm-8pm on Thursday 25th July at Penryn RFC, with attendance open to all girls regardless of experience aged 11-17. Any girls looking to join our merry band of warrioresses can contact head coach Ross Tucknott here, and follow us on Instagram at @girls_rugby_at_penrynrfc