Quins and Richmond co-exist 3 miles apart, the A316 road being the artery that divides and unites them.
This afternoony at Twickenham Stoop, Harlequins Ladies won the bragging rights and more importantly five points in an exciting and colourful local derby in front of 1200 fans at the Stoop.
Rachael Burford may have been at sea in the Caribbean over the Christmas period, but there was no cruising from the Quins skipper on this occasion, as she marshalled the defence, stoked the attack and subtly guided the referee using all her skill and experience.
In freezing temperatures an excited passionate Stoop crowd roared Quins on to the pitch and they did not have to wait long for the home side to rattle the scoreboard.
After just 3 minutes Leanne Riley burst over for a try converted by Emily Scott, just nine minutes later Leanne got over for her second, I don’t know what she had for breakfast yesterday but she was on fire.
Richmond were under the cosh as Quins played with pace and accuracy behind a pack that looked like it had been fed raw meat and barbed wire all week.
Fiona Fletcher, Davinia Catlin, (after a sumptuous give and go), and Jess Breach went over for further first half tries and a penalty try right on half time gave the home side a 36-0 lead at the break.
In the second half, to Richmond’s credit, they kept Quins out until the 62nd minute when Jess Breach touched down, Emily Scott put on the after burners for a try before Jess Breach completed her hat trick, Quins 90th try of the season.
On 79 minutes Ellie Green slipped back into the pocket to slot over a sweet drop goal and on full time Emily Scott went over for her second of the match, giving Quins a 59-7 victory.
As hundreds of young girls flocked to meet the players after the final whistle the true winner here was women’s rugby, autographs were signed, selfies taken, and with matches and occasions like this, the womens game will continue to grow and encourage the next generation, the future of the womens game is looking brighter by the week.