By Tom Branston
Worcester Valkyries scored six tries as they stormed to a 36-13 victory over Darlington Mowden Park Sharks at Sixways on Sunday.
In a game of two halves, Valkyries came out on top with an explosive second-half performance as they took a chunk out of the Sharks to claim a bonus-point win.
Bianca Blackburn gave them an early lead before the visitors hit back through a Katy Mclean penalty and a Rebekah Wilson try to lead at the break.
But tries for Courtney Gill, Heather Fisher, Samantha Bree, Ceri Large and Lisa Campbell saw the hosts rally to a convincing victory.
The game began as a tense affair with both sides battling hard to gain early possession and territory.
But it was déjà vu for the Valkyries as Blackburn dived over for an early try to open the scoring for a second week on the trot.
Bree received the ball out wide and cleverly popped it to Blackburn who crashed through a tackle to score but Goddard missed her conversion as she hit the post from a tough angle.
However, an instant response from Darlington saw Mclean kick a penalty to bring the visitors within two.
Valkyries lock Gill was then sin-binned and Darlington soon won two penalties but Mclean couldn’t make the most of the kicks at goal.
But the Sharks did have the last say of the half as Wilson chased down Mclean’s kick over the top to give them an 8-5 lead.
Valkyries responded instantaneously in the second-half when Large drew in two defenders before popping it to lock Gill who charged over and Goddard added the extras as Valkyries retained their lead.
But Darlington got their second try shortly after as La Toya Mason finished off a driving maul.
Valkyries centre Fisher then produced the try of the game as she received the ball from a ruck on halfway, spotted a gap and handed off defenders before stepping the last woman to score a remarkable try. Goddard added the extras to make it 19-13.
Valkyries then stepped up a gear as they ran in three tries to put the game out of sight in the latter stages.
Bree received the ball out wide and beat three defenders to score with Goddard converting before Large’s show-and-go saw her break the line and she crashed past the Sharks full-back to score.
And replacement Campbell capped off a convincing second-half display as she carried three bodies with her over the line following a good spell in the away 22, as Valkyries completed the win.
Worcester travel to Wasps Ladies on Saturday 22 October in search of their third consecutive win.
10m | Blackburn try 5-0
13m | Mclean pen 5-3
40m | Wilson try 5-8
43m | Gill try 10-8
44m | Goddard con 12-8
48m | Mason try 12-13
53m | Fisher try 17-13
54m | Goddard con 19-13
66m | Bree try 24-13
66m | Goddard con 26-13
71m | Large try 31-13
76m | Campbell try 36-13
Valkyries | 15 Dyddgu Hywel (Lund 59), 14 Rhi Parker, 13 Zoe Bennion, 12 Megan Goddard, 11 Sam Bree (C) (S Parker 71), 10 Ceri Large, 9 Bianca Blackburn, 8 Shona Powell-Hughes, 7 Sian Williams (Hiscox 64), 6 Lyndsay O’Donnell (Fisher 40), 5 Rosie Haigh (Campbell 40), 4 Courtney Gill, 3 Tracy Balmer (Keates 40), 2 Lark Davies (Bunce 71), 1 Rochelle Clark
Replacements | 16 Helena Bunce, 17 Laura Keates, 18 Stacey Hiscox, 19 Lisa Campbell, 20 Heather Fisher, 21 Sam Parker, 22 Rachel Lund