Gloucester-Hartpury greeted Wasps Women with a 36-7 win at the Alpas Arena in their last Premier Allianz 15s home game of the season.
The Cherry and White’s quick pressure on the visitors try line led to an exciting lead for the hosts with an early bounce back from their last defeat against the Saracens, England’s Emma Sing kicked perfectly between the posts for a 3 point lead for Hartpury.
Fresh out of the England camp, Captain Natasha ‘Mo’ Hunt was awarded the first try from Sing’s sharp breakthrough on the wing. Wasps Women’s early signs of struggle against Gloucester-Hartpury’s quick pace saw the hosts in a 10 point lead. Despite Wasps’ Ellie Boatman gaining flight on the wing, the Cherry and Whites quickly shut down the offence. On the 14th minute Wasps’ scrum advantage left the visitors struggling in their danger zone after Cliodha Moloney was shown a yellow card.
Soon, Gloucester-Hartpury’s Neve Jones powered over the try line ready to welcome a 15-0 lead. Struggling to compete, Wasps’ forward force Bryony Cleall had her hard carries put on hold, as the the visitors gave away yet another penalty. Once again, Wasps’ limited ball time and numerous knock-ons made them struggle to gain momentum. As the first half came to a close, Gloucester-Hartpury’s Rachel Lund’s swift intercept greeted her with the time she needed to claimed a try under the posts. Out on the wing, Underwood fired for the try line for a 29-0 lead.
Wasps hoped for a second-half comeback try but, after a forward pass to Abi Burton, the whistle was blown and Gloucester-Hartpury were awarded back the ball. The visitors finally managed to gather some points on the 66th minute as Ellie Boatman’s broke through the line and sprinted the pitch for her first try. Fighting for more points on the scoresheet, Wasps fought for more hard lines at the Gloucester-Hartpury defence but, they couldn’t keep the ball.
With 14 seconds left on the clock, Gloucester-Hartpury’s Kerin Lake paced it for the try line alongside teammate Sing to claim the last try of the afternoon at the Alpas Arena, winning 36-7.
Quote of the day
"I just love the girls, love being back in the squad and love being around the culture and everything about it”, says Gloucester-Hartpury captain, Natasha ‘Mo’ Hunt. With the Gloucester-Hartpury win under her belt, Mo stated that her last few weeks “have just been amazing” after having secured the Six Nations Grand Slam Title last week. "This environment is amazing. I’ve had a brilliant time over the last two months but there’s just something special about coming home, I genuinely really enjoyed that one.”
Gloucester-Hartpury’s attack was on fire. Their tactical use of forward carries and quick transitions to get the ball out wide, Wasps were on the back foot for most of the game and couldn’t keep up with the pace of Sings, Underwood and Lund. Wasps Women truly lacked ball time with their repetitive stumbles and knock on’s. Despite their backs eagerness to fly for the try line, or even out of their danger zone, today’s game didn’t fall into their favour.
Gloucester-Hartpury’s connection in defence was an obstacle that Wasps struggled to overcome (until the 66th minute). Gloucester-Hartpury’s strong hits and pressure around the breakdown led to Wasps making simple handling mistakes, which cost them points. As reflected through the score, Wasps’ defence was lacking. Unfortunately for the visitors, they spent a high percentage of the game defending and the players didn’t seem to have their normal buzz for the game. Despite some players being a tackling machine, like Maud Muir, the gaps in their defence allowed the Gloucester-Hartpury-side to have a field day.
Player of the match
One key player that help the home-side achieve this victory was Emma Sing. Her outstanding conversion record and quick pace for the try line with her teammates helped boost Gloucester-Hartpury’s score. Her quick transitions between defence and attack, as well as her clear eagerness to win, Wasps couldn’t compete with her.
As the Premier 15s league begins to close, Gloucester-Hartpury get ready for the last game of the season away at DMP Sharks this Saturday. After going one place with their victory, they sit at sixth place in the table. Another victory next week is looking likely after their previous 84-0 thriller in the last meet.