Women's 1st XV (BUCS 1)
Wed 31 Jan 2024  ·  BUCS Women's National League
Durham University Women
Tries: N CranstonConversions: M Julia
Exeter University RFC
Women's 1st XV (BUCS 1)
Tries: J Palmer, D Womack, G Barker, T Sharp, A Richardson, H Bond (2), E Sterritt, G Molton, D Preece, S LangfordConversions: D Womack, T Westwood (5)
Match Report: Durham University 7-67 Exeter University

Match Report: Durham University 7-67 Exeter University

EURFC Media1 Feb - 13:28
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Durham dominated as Exeter put on an attacking display in the North East.

After last week's loss to league leaders Hartpury, this week Exeter made the long journey up to the North of England to face bottom of the league Durham.

Conditions were typical for this part of the country, with gale-force winds heavily impacting handling and play. Unfortunately for spectators, the first 20 minutes of the game were characteristic of the conditions.

Both sides struggled to find structure, with attritional play taking hold and a significant amount of scrums. Exeter had clear power dominance in the scrum, and despite not getting into attacking flow early on, they were proving powerful in defence with hard hits coming across the park.

After 26 minutes, Exeter finally opened the scoring. Don't worry, from here, it didn't stop at all! It was Bond on the other wing who got Exeter going inside the Durham half, and a strong carry from Green got us to the line. From there, quick ruck ball and simple hands allowed Palmer to dot down for the first of eleven Exeter tries!

Exeter seemed to have finally found their groove and returned right down the pitch from kick-off for another. They were bringing a certain physicality to carries that was missing in the early minutes, and Durham just were not able to cope; this time, Womack finished it off.

From the kick-off receipt second-row, Kate Smith made a dominant carry to get Exeter inside the opposition half. They played to their strengths once field position was secured, keeping it close until Barker was the one to crash over for her first ever try for Exeter.

To Durham's credit, they responded with a try of their own. From a scrum in the middle of the Exeter half, the outside centre hit a hard line on a soft shoulder in defence. She broke through and made it across the whitewash for the try.

Exeter responded with one more just before the half-time whistle, this time from Player of the Day Ti Sharp. She spotted a gap open up close to the line and dotted down for her first-ever try for Exeter, which Womack converted.


Exeter started the second half as they ended the first with yet another try. Some tremendous defensive pressure set this one up; Durham had a scrum on her own five-metre line, but a massive shot from Daisy Womack smacked the scrum-half back over her own try line to give Exeter the scrum. Anna Richardson picked from the base and rumbled over for the try.

Next up on the try list was slightly more flair than any of the previous ones so far. Durham conceded a penalty for crossing inside their half, and Exeter took a quick tap from which they worked it across the pitch with the ball in hand. Coming back the other way, it came to replacement fly-half Westwood, who had spotted Bond was open in space out wide, so she delivered a cross-field kick, and Bond dotted it down. Westwood converted the try she assisted from a difficult angle, extending the lead even further.

Not long after, from inside their own half, Westwood made a half-line break and gave the ball to Smith, who sat down a covering Durham defender with a stiff handoff and kept running to just outside the opposition 22'. Quick ruck ball meant the ball came out to a wide-open Sterritt, who used her pace to run in and get the try, which Westwood once again converted.

The try fest continued following a scrum on the halfway line. Richardson broke from the base and rampaged up the pitch, bringing Exeter into the red zone. Exeter carried well, and Marshall spotted space down the short side, allowing Bond to cruise in for her second that Westwood converted.

Yet another break from a scrum on halfway allowed Richardson to break Durham's defensive attempts and set up camp in the Durham half. With penalty advantage, Exeter kept to their systems, continuing what had been working well all game, and once again, the hosts couldn't cope as this time Molton bashed through under the posts.

Seven minutes on the clock, and surely Exeter wouldn't score any more? Incorrect. One player on debut was determined to be the third player of the day to get their first try in green and white. Jess Thomas set up the momentum by folding the attempting tackler like a deck chair as she caught the ball from kick-off. Despite an Exeter knock-on inside the Durham half, a poor clearance kick from Durham set the Exeter attack in motion.

Dadds fielded a bouncing ball and ran back at a reorganizing Durham defensive line. She passed to Sharp, who let Preece use her storming pace and get over for her first try on debut in the BUCS National League.

Exeter had one more in them just for good measure right before the full-time whistle. Richardson once again broke from the scrum but this time gave it to Bond, who broke down the touchline, handing off one player, breaking into the 22'. Once inside, the ball came to Langford, who used her power to break over for the game's final try.


It was just the performance that Exeter needed following on from last week against Hartpury to build confidence once again. There's a week's break before we look to a Valentine's special up at the old foe Loughborough.

A special mention must also go to our 2XV who yesterday ventured to the deep roots of Wales to face a strong University of South Wales squad. Several of the Exeter 2’s are still at the beginning of their rugby journey, but many are showing real potential and promise for the future. A big shout out to Orla Morton, who moved into a new position during the game after an injury. Well done all, we are really proud of the performance from the whole squad. The 2XV look ahead to an exciting trip to Bath next week.

Match details

Match date

Wed 31 Jan 2024




BUCS Women's National League

League position

Exeter University RFC 1st XV Women (BUCS 1)
Durham University Women
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