The Great Britain Women’s national team had an all-round performance against Sweden in their opening game of the 2023-24 IFAF Women’s European Championship, with the Lions’ offense and defense coming together to put up an impressive 40-0 scoreline.
Looking ahead to this weekend’s fixture against Germany, focus once again turns to Great Britain’s promising young talent on both sides of the ball.
The Lions’ offensive line played a huge role in the result, helping their offence score six touchdowns on the day and at a recent camp, starting centre Vanessa Mansaray spoke about what contributed to her unit’s success at Sixways:
“It was just about us sticking together.
“There’s a real sisterhood on the offensive line and that’s why we smashed it against Sweden.”
With 10 rookies making their debut at Sixways, Mansaray was quick to praise the young players on the team. The Lions starter gave a particular shoutout to fellow centre Ruby Watson – who put on a Great Britain helmet for the first time at just 17 years old.
“They have amazing potential, I’m really proud of all the rookies.
“Ruby – absolutely outstanding. She’s going to be a force to be reckoned with.”
The Manchester Titans U19s player earned high praise after the Lions’ offence scored on just her second play on the field.
Images courtesy of Geoff White gw-images.net
But it wasn’t all offense on the day, the Lions’ defence roared as well – forcing a shutout against Sweden. Starting safety Lucy Peaty, who had an interception in the game, also shone the light on the younger players.
“I cannot be prouder of the rookies.
“They’ve come through and shown they can play at the same level as some of the returners.
“The fact they got so much game time really is a credit to their drive and effort.”
The team can’t celebrate for too long though, as they have a quick turnaround with their next match against Germany on the horizon. They’ll take the field again on 28 May just outside Dusseldorf in the city of Solingen.
But it seems like the defense is ready for the challenge and focussed on the task ahead. Hoping this hunger can translate onto the field, Peaty spoke about how the defence can improve on a shutout victory.
“It all starts with training. You really have to train with intensity to avoid getting complacent.
“Now we can look to get those pick sixes, put some points on the board, and keep thriving.”
Relive Great Britain’s last fixture as they took on Sweden at Sixways Stadium in Worcester.