It is difficult not to turn your attention toward the excitement that awaits the Leicester Tigers Women’s team.
A maiden season in the Premier 15s offering the chance to compete at the highest level in the women’s game.
Whatever next season will bring, there is a real sense of pride at what the group have achieved this season; the immense focus it takes to go a whole league campaign unbeaten, the drive to keep pushing their development as players and how they have embraced the expectations placed upon them, on and off the field.
With the Championship North 1 season complete (and play-offs on the horizon), we look back on a litany of statistics and records in what was an unforgettable first chapter in the writing of a new history.
To many onlookers, the only numbers that matter are in the wins and losses column.
In that respect, the side certainly don’t disappoint, with a commanding 100% record of 16 wins from 16 games (not including two additional walkovers). These games have been won in style too, with over 50 points (54.13) scored per match, with Head of Women’s Rugby Vicky MacQueen always keen to stress the side’s brand of full-width, attacking rugby.
Those numbers include an enormous 114 points scored in the away win at Harrogate Town, a staggering record that will be incredibly difficult to surpass in the years to come, if ever. It is the first time a Leicester Tigers side have scored over 100 points in a match since 1992 and this demonstration of dominance was the bow on a bevy of electric attacking displays.
From a defensive perspective, the numbers are equally impressive, with just 79 points conceded all season.
This averages out to just 4.94 points per game; but what stands out most clearly is how many of those games have seen a nil score for the opposition. Tigers have won seven games whilst conceding zero points and, as lock Charlotte Fray was quick to point out after the clean sheet home win over Bishop Auckland, the team ‘has to give props to Stevie H (defence coach Steve Hanna) who has been working on that all season’.
Hanna’s overarching goal for the season was to stay at less than 100 points and that goal will now extend to include the upcoming Championship play-offs. It will be a daunting task against the best that Championship North & South 1 have to offer but the side has taken great pleasure in smashing expectations thus far. These numbers reflect a staunch commitment to both sides of the scoreboard.
It’s difficult to hear the words ‘Leicester Tigers’ without the ‘ABC Club’ rising to the forefront of your mind.
The vaunted group have been key pillars of Tigers sides for generations and it feels appropriate that the players with the highest number of starting XV appearances are three representatives from the front-row.
Rebecca Church, Ofure Ugiagbe and Samantha Williams have all started 14 games this season, a real testament to their consistency on the field and the stability they provide the rest of the side. Trailing just behind on 13 starts each, we see members of the core leadership group, with captain Natasha Jones joined by vice-captains Roisin McBrien and Katie Childs.
Childs is also second in another metric, the team’s top scorers for the year. The Swedish international was the predominant goal kicker, slotting 39 conversions throughout the season, with her 14 tries (also second overall for the team) meaning she finished just shy of 150 points for the season, on 148.
Back-three flyer Molly Draycott leads the scoring charts for both the side and all of Championship North 1, notching a mammoth 159 points, a figure that includes 23 tries!
Closely behind Draycott and Childs, are wingers Zoë Evans and Lucrezia Iavarone who have sprinted in to notch 11 tries apiece.
Evans is also the proud owner of a unique achievement.
She was the scorer of the first try in a competitive fixture for Leicester Tigers Women, opening the scoring in the side’s maiden fixture, a 5-57 away win at Bishop Auckland.
Two weeks later, the side had their first try at Mattioli Woods Welford Road, scored by Ugiagbe. This was a story coming full circle for the tighthead prop, who returned to the field where her rugby journey began, having represented the University of Leicester in Varsity competition years earlier.
If you’d like to see history be written LIVE in the Premier 15s, you can secure your seat at every home matchday with a 2023/24 Season Ticket! You can find out more here or call the Ticket Office on 0116 3198888 (option 2).
Women's Season Tickets are available for just £36 (Adults) and £12 (Under-18s) for supporters renewing their place for the 23/24 campaign or purchasing together with a Men's Season Ticket.
For new purchasers, Women's Season Tickets are £50 (Adults) and £20 (Under-18s).