Saturday, June 3, 2017

Life West Roll To Women's DI Championship

The Life West Gladiatrix have been simply dominant this year and even though they were challenged by the Raleigh Venom they still rolled to the DI title. The final score was 39-17. Credit to the Venom who fought hard and were every much the equal through the first part of the match but the fitness and skill eventually won out for Life West.

It only took a little more than a minute for Life West to get on the board. Flanker Mele Taumoefolau put in about as good of a run as you'll see as she repeatedly fended off a defender to go 50 meters for the score. Still, Raleigh responded, particularly on the defensive end where they were able to slow down what Life West was trying to do in the first 20 minutes.  That defense was soon rewarded when Cerrin Eldridge scored in the corner for Raleigh. They were able to make their conversion to take a 7-5 lead.

Life West showed throughout the match that they can strike without warning as they responded right away with a try from Jenn Sever. Raleigh were able to even things up soon after with a penalty to make it 10-10.

Take the jump to read more.
The match turned soon after the penalty. Raleigh had a woman sent to the bin and with the extra woman Life West pumped in three tries from Mirelle Raza, Mata Hingano, and Megan Foster to balloon the lead to 27-10. The Hingano try was an excellent team try. Raleigh made the poor decision to kick away and the ball went right to Foster who took it five meters short. She could have been isolated but here team did well to support her to lead to the try. Hali Deters scored one more try for Life West before the halftime to push the lead to 34-10.

It took a little while for things to get going in the second half but when they did they went Raleigh's way. They put themselves in a good position but made the interesting choice to take a scrum in front of the posts rather than go quick after a penalty. In the end it paid off as Megan Gilmore scored to cut the deficit to 34-17.

After the try Raleigh kept putting the pressure on Life West. That pressure even led to Foster being sent to the bin. However, Life West got a lucky bounce when they kicked the ball down the pitch and subsequent good hands saw Caty Benson rewarded with a try. With time running out Life West led 39-17. Raleigh continued to try and make a game of it and had one great opportunity to score but could never find that final breakthrough.

The difference in the match came down to Life West being able to capitalize on mistakes from Raleigh. The Venom chose to kick away a number of times and while they did get a couple of good bounces it also allowed Life West time with the ball--they had the bulk of the possession--and the Gladiatrix used that to full impact. 

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