For the second fixture of Gloucester-Hartpury’s Premier 15s campaign they kicked off at the ALPAS Arena, facing Bristol Bears Women in the first West Country derby of the season. Gloucester-Hartpury showed their strengths early, winning four penalties within the first 10-minutes of kick off.
Electing to go for the posts on the fourth, Emma Sing slotted the first 3-points of the game. The first try came shortly after. A dominant scrum from the forwards drove the Bristol pack backwards, giving a great platform for Tatyana Heard to break through the defensive line after an exceptional switch play from Robyn Wilkins in the 10-shirt. A beautiful inside pass to Kelly Smith saw Gloucester-Hartpury just shy of the try line, but a little lift to Connie Powell in support meant that Gloucester-Hartpury were over for their first. Conversion was good, taken by Emma Sing.
Bristol retaliated with strong forward carries, but a series of disciplinary issues and some massive hits from the Gloucester-Hartpury defence meant that Bristol came away with nothing. First half score Gloucester-Hartpury 10-0 Bristol Bears Women.
The Bears came out fighting in the second half, Gloucester-Hartpury lost possession in contact, leading to the ball going out wide and Bristol going over the line in what was their first and third tries of the match. However, Bristol’s discipline proved problematic throughout, with a series of penalties leading to Gloucester-Hartpury’s second try of the game. Emma Sing gave a neat inside ball to Natasha Hunt, who distributed the ball wide with it ending in the hands of Kelly Smith on the wing for a beautiful finish in the corner. Conversion was good by Emma Sing.
Bristol hit back with heavy forward carries which proved difficult to defend at times, with Gloucester-Hartpury giving away two penalties on two separate occasions which resulted in driving mauls at the lineout. Both 5m out from the Gloucester-Hartpury line and unable to stop the momentum, Bristol got both scores. The final whistle was called, ending a hard-fought battle between the two sides, with Bristol managing to secure the win in the last four minutes of the match. Bristol managing to get 2 out of 4 conversions put the final score as Gloucester-Hartpury 17-24 Bristol Bears Women.
Gloucester-Hartpury now prepare for their first away fixture of the season where they travel to face Sale Sharks.