Valkyries impressing with entertaining brand

Portsmouth Valkyries beat Reading. Picture: Ian Hargreaves
Portsmouth Valkyries beat Reading. Picture: Ian Hargreaves
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PORTSMOUTH VALKYRIES surged to the top of the Women’s NC south-east west one table with a comprehensive 32-17 win over Reading Kites at Norway Road on Saturday.

Senior coach Bali Salisbury is thrilled by the progress made by the team.

They are in excellent form and keep on reaching the targets set for them this season.

He said: ‘The girls are playing out of their skins.

‘I have set them challenges all season and they work hard to keep reaching them.

‘They also set goals of their own and hopefully we are playing a brand of rugby everyone can enjoy.

‘The culture and ethos throughout the squad is brilliant.

‘Against Reading we played well for 60 minutes and credit to our opponents we had to hang on a bit after that.

‘Last season we would have leaked tries.

‘But this season we are better defensively.

‘This is a testament to the hard work the girls keep putting in.

‘They are also a really nice bunch to coach.’

Four first-half tries gave the hosts a commanding 22-0 lead at the break.

Bronwyn Jacobs opened the scoring with flanker Jordan Wilshire bulldozing over the line for the second.

Inside centre Chloe Stopard-Baker scored the Valkyries third try followed five minutes later by scrum-half Charlotte Morgan diving over after several strong forward phases.

Portsmouth were solid in defence and going forward as Sophy Roseaman carried the ball making many metres from the number eight position.

Flanker Kerry McCormick likewise was instrumental in setting up attacks.

In the front row Fred French put in a masterful performance, ensuring the Pompey pack controlled the game providing excellent ball for the backs to work with,

Outside-half Izzy Rawlinson opened up wave after wave of Valkyries plays from the backs.

Reading crossed the try-line three times in the second half but two further scores from wing Jacobs and Stopard-Baker ensured a comfortable win.

The victory takes Portsmouth to the top of the division until London Welsh play Rosslyn Park who are next Sunday’s visitors to Rugby Camp.

Meanwhile, Havant Ladies maintained their 100-per-cent record in NC south two with a 19-0 win at Jersey Ladies.

In the John Sneezum Veterans Cup final Havant beat Trojans 41-17 at Hooks Lane.