Hopes raised for 2013 as Exile rookies prove to be tough cookies

Some 70 percent of the team were making their debuts, but that didn’t stop the international team from impressing

October 14th, 2012 4:38 pm| by admin

The Exiles Ladies side will this Saturday take extra motivation into the next round of the Dansk Rugby Union (DRU) DM 2012 Ladies Series, after an impressive display from some of their debutants at the Frederiksberg rugby grounds on September 22, where they won one and lost one of their two games. It bodes well for 2013 at the end of what has been a transitional season for Exiles.

It was initially a nervous squad who assembled, as it only included three stalwarts of the regular team and no less than seven making their debuts, including three playing their first ever game of rugby.

But there were no signs of the pre-game jitters once the game got under way, and Exiles – who are out of contention to win this year’s championship –  started with a bang when debutant Kirstine Liedecke scorched down the wing to score the first try of the game, or so the crowd thought. Unfortunately, Liedecke’s inexperience showed, as the try was disallowed by a referee not satisfied with the grounding of the ball. And then to confound matters, CBS Rugby, after soaking up some severe Exiles pressure, scored a try of their own to lead 5-0 at half-time.

But the Exiles were clearly not in the mood to lose, and debutant Julie Sjøqvist quickly levelled matters, sidestepping through the CBS defensive line to sprint home a try in her first ever game of rugby. And then another rookie, Christina Jorgensen, took an excellent lineout steal, which led to Becky Jensen scoring from a quick tap penalty and dummy. Linda McLean added a third before CBS replied with a converted try just before the final whistle. Final score: Exiles Ladies 15, CBS 12.

However, in the second game of the day, the ladies faced tougher opposition in the form of Grenå, the third-ranked team in the series. And while Exiles raced into a lead thanks to quick tries from debutants Laura Shrum and Sjøqvist again, Grenå responded with two of their own to lead at the break 12-10.

The second-half was a stalemate in which two fatigued teams cancelled each other out. And while Exiles debutant Kirsa Nørregaard impressed with her stamina, it was Grenå who eventually prevailed, scoring a converted try at fulltime to seal a 19-10 win.

“I love this game and cannot wait to play again in the next round,” said two-try heroine Sjøqvist after the game. Which is great news for Exiles fans and an ominous warning to the rest of the teams in the DM 2012 Ladies Series ahead of the 2013 season.

The Exiles’ next games are on Saturday at Grenå Rugby Klub.

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