The Women's Premier League championship weekend produced plenty of drama and some surprises, and we've encapsulated that feeling into five of the best and most dramatic tries of the tournament.
By Jackie Finlan
These scores involved risk, adventure or triumphing over pressure – all elements representative of the Women’s Premier League national championship last weekend.
5. The Pick
D.C. struggled to hold onto possession against Beantown, which ran up a four-try lead after 20 minutes of the 9th place match. Nevertheless, the Furies kept swinging and looking for opportunities. As the half wore down, Beantown attempted to run the ball out of its end, but center Lauran Glover anticipated the pass from flyhalf Miranda Wakimoto and picked it off for the intercept try.
4. The Pop
It was anyone’s game during the first half of the Glendale vs. Twin Cities final. The Merlins went up first, and then the Amazons tested Glendale’s red zone defense. Power flyhalf Katana Howard took the outlet pass near the 10 meter and angled toward the line, but instead of lowering a shoulder, chipped over the line. Howard gathered the kick and dove over the try line – right in front of an exuberant Amazons cheering section. Rob Cain then introduced himself.
3. The Game-Winner
Chicago North Shore was under particular pressure in its first match at nationals. The team had not won a game all season and if that streak continued, then it would be vulnerable to relegation. Down 14-0 at the break, North Shore rallied and put prop Charli Jacoby into the try zone twice, but the conversions missed and so North Shore needed a third score. The team was getting that opportunity as the clock expired, and after an excruciating goal-line campaign, Jacoby got the ball for one final carry and dotted down, 15-14 for the win and guaranteed spot in the 2019 WPL.
2. Mayhem In The Corner
The final was an absolute slugfest, and as the ball moved to Glendale wing Nichole Wanamaker, it looked like another big collision along the sideline was about to erupt. Instead, Wanamaker lifted the ball over the defense from approximately the San Diego 22, and Gabby Cantorna tore away on the chase. The center did enough to disrupt San Diego’s pickup, and flanker Amandine Chatelier dove on the ball for the try. Wanamaker’s giddy, bounding celebration could also be its own Top 5 moment.
1. Off The Pylon And Play On
New York scored four tries in the first half of the 3rd place game against Twin Cities, and they occurred in a 15-minute block. The pick occurred approximately 20 minutes, as New York searched the Amazons’ goal-line defense for a crack. From the five meter, flyhalf Kristen Siano sent a cross-field kick to the corner, and it looked like it had a little too much on it. But the ball hit the pylon, bounced into play, and chaser Sarah Levy scooped it up and dove across the line.