The Cherry and Whites kicked off their first home game of the New Year against Sale Sharks Women at the Alpas Arena. Following a convincing 36-14 win against Bristol Bears Women last week, the team were looking to keep the momentum going and continue to climb the Allianz Premier 15s table.
The Cherry and Whites began with great intensity on the defensive front with fast line speed and hard-hitting tackling led in particular by flanker Bethan Lewis. Despite an early yellow card to Mo Hunt the team’s defensive intensity continued setting the tone for remainder of the game.
Following winning a penalty outside the opposition 22, Lleucu George drove the kick for touch setting up an attacking line out 15 metres out from the Sale line. Following an overwhelming driving maul which was brought down just before the line, Rachel Lund forced her way over from a first phase carry following breaking a tackle in the Sale defensive line, with the missed conversion this left the score at 5-0 following the first 15 minutes of the contest.
A continued defensive effort from Gloucester-Hartpury prevented Sale from forming any attacking momentum keeping the opposition pinned back in their own half, the majority of their time in possession. Sale Sharks Women did manage to find some momentum towards the end of the half finding themselves with a lineout 5 metres from the Gloucester-Hartpury line with the clock almost in the red. But as ever a resolute Cherry and White defence turned the ball over leaving Lleucu George to put the ball out to end the half.
The second half was the story of strong defensive and attacking creativity from the home side, as they began to challenge Sale defensively as well as keeping the opposition’s attack under control. Following a yellow card for Sale, Connie Powell found herself throwing in at the line out 5 metres from the Sale line, as well as finding herself crossing for her team’s second score in the corner as a result of the commanding field position, making the score 10-0 following 50 minutes of play
Sale Sharks Women managed to find themselves on the scoresheet for their only score of the game coming from a successful penalty which came as a result of Sale’s more established second half attack earning a penalty outside the 22.
That was all that would come from a Sale perspective as far as scoring was concerned as the Cherry and White defence did not faulter again as the replacements began to make an impact for the home side. In particular Kerin Lake’s attacking creativity began to open up the defence of Sale ultimately leading to Sommer’s score further extending the lead, the conversion from Emma Sing made the score 17-3 with 10 minutes to go. That is how the score would stay as Gloucester-Hartpury secured another win to keep their good run of form going.
Following the contest Head Coach Sean Lynn was ‘Really happy with 4 points’, in his eyes ‘building momentum’, momentum which the side will look to continue in their next game against Harlequins away on Saturday 29 January.