Sapphire 2018: Round 2 recap and MVPs

Sapphire Series 2018

Sapphire 2018: Round 2 recap and MVPs

What an eventful day for this bunch of ballers! Wonderful conditions of a sunny but cold day, and speakers blasting out Moana on the banter bus, the team were so ready to take on two very tough teams – Chester Romans and Sandwell Steelers! We loved playing them in 5 aside and we were just as keen to see them at 7s. Both games saw new formations and schemes on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball, and due to injuries the Valkyries saw many players in new positions and roles. However all stepped up to the plate when called upon…

 

 

Cardiff Valkyries V Chester Romans

The first game saw an all-out battle between hard hitters Chester Romans and was by far the standout performance from the team. On the defense we saw some great pressure from the team, with Mandy Gould entering as Nose Tackle and doing a smashing job! Throughout the game there were some great hits by all the team, putting on pressure in the back field and getting two fumble recoveries by Lauren Oldacre and Zoe John.

Offense wise the game kicked off with an absolute rush, with a running touch down by QB Kira Walker on the second play of the game! Chester’s defense was not to be taken lightly however, and proved to be a menacing force scoring safety’s. The offense kept repping with heart however, and with those amazing hands of Ruth Lewis another touchdown was made. With limited personnel the offense saw line-backer Zoe John making her debut filling in as running back, scoring a rushing touch down. Even right at the end the team still gave it absolutely everything, almost getting a safety and then, with seconds left, going the length of the field in 3 plays to get a TD with the last play of the game with anotherimpressive catch by Ruth Lewis – leaving the Valkyries at a very impressive 29-24 loss!

Cardiff Valkyries 24 – Chester Romans 29

 

Cardiff Valkyries V Sandwell Steelers

The second game against Sandwell Steelers was another battle for the ball. Sandwell hit us hard early with an excellent running game and, while the team rallied in the game and began to create stops, the difference maker in the game resided in the backfield of Sandwell and proved too difficult to completely contain over the course of the game. However, despite the score line the team never gave up – a trait in every game they have played – and kept going to the very end no matter what. Even injuries didn’t phase the players as we reorganised into a completely new defense to accommodate.

On the offense we saw some short yardage gains by Zoe at RB, but the deep threat arm of QB Kira and the talents of receivers made the points. In the first half we saw a grand catch by Ruth and some fantastic blocking by Elleanor stopping the potential tackle. However, despite the score line the team never gave up – a trait in every game they have played – and kept going to the very end no matter what. The offense maintained their determination and were rewarded with a couple of scores late in the game. The re-vamped offense saw a tasty play – a choo choo train of 6 linewomen followed by Zoe at QB rushing into the endzone. Elleanor showed some Odell-like hands, catching a very heated ball surrounded by Steelers for the touchdown. The extra point was scored by another line-backer in her offensive debut- a pass to Holly Dame catching the ball at tight end! Smashing!

Cardiff Valkyries 20 – Sandwell Steelers 51

 

 

Offense MVP

As mentioned, as an offence we threw a lot of new things out there. It was great to see the line coming together running 4, 5 and the famous 6 player units. Special mentions as well to Zoe John and Elleanor O’Connell for coming across from Defense to plug the gaps and allowing us to still do what we wanted to do. Both had really great plays and definitely contributed to a strong offensive showing.

However, you know that someone is playing well and influencing the game when you can hear the opposition coaches screaming at the defense to cover her. With Sandwell rotating their defense across to her side and at one point even triple teaming her on a play Ruth Lewis was certainly the different maker on the field. The attention was richly deserved as she continued her ability to turn contested catches into huge scores with her speed and elusiveness.

 

Defense MVP

On defense the honourable mention goes to Lauren Oldacre who had a fantastic game. Played both d line and line backer and managed to pull off some great tackles.

But defensive MVP goes to Zoe John. An outstanding performance with some big defensive plays. With her experience of reading the game and some powerful tackles, Zoe proved to be a force to be reckoned with on the field.

Well done, everyone!

 

There are so many things to take from the day! We are still on a massive high and feeling more than ready for Round 3 this Saturday. Bring it on!

 

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