Women's 1st XV (BUCS 1)
Wed 20 Mar 2024
Exeter University RFC
Women's 1st XV (BUCS 1)
Tries: A Skeates (2), J Palmer, L Summers, N Orchard, P Davis, K Smith (3), S LangfordConversions: L Dadds (4), T WestwoodYellow Carded: T Westwood
Cardiff University
Match Report: Quarter-Final Exeter University 60-14 Cardiff University

Match Report: Quarter-Final Exeter University 60-14 Cardiff University

EURFC Media21 Mar - 10:10
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Exeter secure a home semi-final after a strong performance on the Crumb

For the first time in a while, the sun was out on the crumb, and the talent shone on the pitch as Exeter put in yet another dominant attacking performance to secure a home semi-final.

The game started as well as it could have for Exeter, as Alessia Skeates finished off a fluid attacking set, getting Exeter on the board early.

The lineout operated as an absolute weapon for Exeter, and in the next try came from a launch play after a dummy maul from the lineout, Woodman delivered the ball to Langford on a storming run, who offloaded to Davis, providing Exeter with a quick ball. Exeter went two more phases before coming to Dadds, who pirouetted catching the Cardiff defence off guard, and eventually Palmer finished in the corner.

It wasn’t all attack, as Exeter were just as keen to put in the work defensively. Cardiff made a break from a scrum in their own half, but Preece managed to bring the player to the ground, and some incredible work rate and technique was displayed by Woodman, who jackled over the ball and won the turnover.

Preece assisted in the next score as she let loose down the wing with a blistering pace and managed to offload to Summers on a perfect scrum-half tracking line and went in under the posts.

Exeter struck again quickly, and the driving maul was dominant, pushing the Cardiff pack back from well inside the Exeter half into their own. Summers gave a short pass to Palmer, who came bursting onto the ball and commenced a series of lovely offloads and passing from the Exeter players. Smith got us close to the line, but eventually, Orchard got another score two weeks in a row after returning from an injury.

A mention has to go again to another impeccable turnover from Anna Woodman, whose work on the floor stopped another Cardiff attack dead in its tracks!

Unlike Woodman, Cardiff’s discipline at the breakdown wasn’t clean and conceded a penalty for hands on the floor inside their own half. Langford kicked to the corner, and the rolling maul proved too powerful, with Davis going over at the tail.

The visitors would have the last action of the half as they caught the Exeter defence short from just outside their own 22’ with the winger making a break down the touchline. She got an offload to her Number 8, who Preece looked to have got down but offloaded off the floor to the chasing fullback, who went under the sticks.


Exeter have a habit of scoring early in halves, and Kate Smith was the beneficiary early, bursting through a gap in the Cardiff defence and diving under the posts.

From a lineout just outside the Cardiff 22’, clean ball was secured, and Exeter once again set the driving maul, motoring forwards towards the try line. Cardiff gave away a penalty, and Summers took the quick tap, giving it to Davis, who charged forward. Cardiff got tight in their defensive system and the ball, and once again, it was Smith who was able to dot down.

Cardiff gave away a penalty for a high tackle, allowing Langford to use her big boot and kick to the corner. Exeter again set a driving maul, which Cardiff collapsed, leading to a penalty advantage. They went through a couple of phases but came back for the advantage. Barker took the quick tap, and then Skeates broke over in the next phase, fighting her way to the line for her second of the game.

Skeates may have had two, but Smith wanted the hat-trick. A lovely floated pass from Dadds allowed Preece to let loose down the wing and get up to the try-line. Bond threw the last pass to Smith out on the wing, who cut inside the covering defender and got her third.

Cardiff conceded yet another high tackle off the kick-off, and Exeter kicked downfield for a lineout on the 22'. The driving maul got them up to the line again, and Westwood tried a cross-field kick, but the pass didn’t stick. Exeter reloaded possession, and eventually, Langford finished it off.

Unfortunately for Exeter, they would go down to 14 players after Westwood was given a yellow card for a tip tackle. This player advantage allowed a lot more sustained possession for the visitors, but Exeter’s defence held firm with some ginormous double shots coming in across the park from the likes of Sharp, Woodman and Thomas.

Eventually, with the player advantage, Cardiff capitalised as the outside centre spotted a gap in the defensive line and broke through, beating the attempted covering defence and running it the whole way herself.


Yet again, it was another brilliant performance by Exeter. All eyes now look ahead to a fortnight when they take on Loughborough at home as they look to secure a spot in the final for the second year in a row.

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Wed 20 Mar 2024


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