Match report: Trailfinders Women 10 - 40 Exeter Chiefs Women


Caroline Moore at Trailfinders Sports Park

Chiefs Women sealed their place in the Allianz PWR semi-finals with a 10-40 win over Trailfinders Women with experience and youth blending well to seize six tries away from home.

It was a hot day at Trailfinders Sports Park with a breeze working in Chiefs’ favour in the first half, but this was largely negated by numerous penalties and errors.

That said, the visitors still won the first 40 minutes and were giving Trailfinders some bother at scrum-time. Chiefs were also looking confident in the lineout with Cliodhna Moloney back from international duty to do some damage! The Ireland hooker scored Chiefs’ first try from a drive from a lineout. Classic Cli.

Six minutes later, and Chiefs were back on the scoreboard again when a penalty was kicked to touch, and a short lineout throw went to Harriet Millar-Mills for Maisy Allen to take over the line.

At 12 points up, Chiefs looked to be in the driving seat, but the penalties started to rack up, which pinned the visitors in their own half.

Trailfinders, though, failed to capitalise on the territory and possession they did have in the second quarter and remained scoreless as the teams went into the break.


The second half was a jollier story for Chiefs helped, in part, by a yellow card for Trailfinders’ hooker Elis Riffonneau. Chiefs opted for the scrum for the penalty and fly-half Robyn Wilkins ran in a try from a pass from scrum-half Brooke Bradley.

Chiefs made the most of their numbers' advantage with a try from winger Eilidh Sinclair which seem to involve the entire team and saw the ball moving across the field several times with star performances from Sophie Langford, Linde van der Velden and Katie Buchanan.

The lineout though continued to bear fruit with Moloney notching up her second as the third quarter came to an end.

Despite the heat, the forwards did not take a step back and when Hannah Sams made her break down the middle and passed to Demi Swann, this would have been enough for a cheer from the crowd. The cherry on the cake was the try from Niamh Orchard!

Two tries in the dying minutes from England winger Abby Dow gave the home fans something to feel happy about, but these could not rob Chiefs of their bonus point away win and Allianz PWR semi-final qualification.

Other high points of the game included Lucy Ward’s Chiefs debut, and Connie Clarke and Naomi Brennan getting their first run out in the league.

Full-time: 10-40

Trailfinders Women: V Laflin; R Inman, A Dow (cc), A Burton, L Musgrave (S Shiels 50); E Green, E Swords (E Amory HT); L Crake (K Tamai 68), E Riffonneau, A Stock (K Leat 68), S Pinnock, S Ikahihifo (cc), A McQuade (L Walter 50), M Barwick, R Burnfield (T Sylvester, 50)

Tries: Dow (2)

Yellow cards: Riffonneau, Sylvester

Exeter Chiefs Women:
M Doidge; E Sinclair (C Clarke 66), K Kobayashi, S Langford (N Brennan 5-16, 71), K Buchanan; R Wilkins, B Bradley; D Swann (L Ward 75), Moloney (C Nielson 70), L Hanlon (H Sams 52), L van der Velden (N Orchard 64), P Leith (c), E Jefferies, M Allen (T Bricknell 71), H Millar-Mills

Tries: Moloney (2), Allen, Wilkins, Sinclair, Orchard

Cons: Wilkins (5)

Yellow card: Millar-Mills

Referee: Nikki O’Donnell

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