BASINGSTOKE Ladies rugby team had success in front of the cameras as they hosted Readingensians Sirens in a pre-season friendly on Sunday.

Stoke came away with a 15-10 victory in front of Rugby Nats UK, a Grassroots Rugby TV Programme, who were spending the day following the squad, through pre-match preparations, the game and post-match, including interviews with players, coaches and supporters.

Head coach Steve Parker had a Squad of 28 Players, including five debutants to pick from and agreement was made with the Sirens to play three periods of time, allowing plenty of changes and a chance for the Stoke coaching team to test out various combinations ahead of their next game against Portsmouth Valkyries.

The home started the game on the front foot, their forwards well marshalled by scrum half Emma Horner, running a series of pick and go moves as they built up the phases, the ball was released out to the backs with debutant Ella Wilson making some surging runs at inside centre, ably supported by the pace of Flora Carpenter. However, the Sirens defence was well marshalled and held firm, ‘

Despite Stoke's pressure it was the Siren’s who scored first, a handling error allowing the visitors to go ahead.

However, it wasn't long until the hosts pressure paid off, Horner sniped from the base of a ruck to go over for Stokes first points.

The sides went into the break level, and as the second-half got underway Stoke started the brighter, new lock combination of Emily Attwood and Bizzi Woodcraft in particular causing all sorts of trouble.

However, another handling error again saw the home side once again fall behind.

Winger Cimone Guggiari in only her second game of rugby had some superb runs at the tiring Sirens defence as did replacement lock Sam Elliott who carried hard for over 50 metres in total. The pressure finally told as another series or well organised forwards phases saw Stoke captain Hannah Pulleyn pick from the base and dive over the try line to take Stoke level.

A large crowd provided superb vocal support to the Ladies as they looked for the winning score and it was captain Pulleyn who scored the winning try after great work from the forwards.

After the game head coach Parker said: “I think that’s our best game so far, in terms of how we played together and executed our game plan. We were guilty of butchering a few chances, nervous when trying to finish off and get the ball over the try line, but the girls soon settled and began to trust in themselves and in our play, our forwards worked very hard today.

"A lot of Ladies made their playing debuts today, we had 28 players available and another 11 watching on the sidelines which is brilliant. Pre-season has been hard work, but the girls are really enjoying themselves, and we are beginning to look very good on the pitch, I can’t wait for our next game against Portsmouth.”