The Cherry and Whites took on a Loughborough side who were coming off the back of a win against Exeter Chiefs Women. An even and very physical game at Loughborough University concluded with both sides inseparable, the score line 19-19.
Looking to get back to wining ways Gloucester-Hartpury took on an in-form Loughborough side. The first half began with both teams having time in possession, both sides finding themselves in the opposition 22 on multiple occasions. It was a home side visit to the Cherry and White 22 which yielded the game’s first points, an unconverted try from Sara Svoboda giving Loughborough the lead.
This lead would be in place until pressure at a Loughborough line out on their own 5 metre line caused an error with Gloucester-Hartpury gaining the ball in an attacking position. It then only took phew phases for Sisilia Tuipulotu to force her way over the try line, an Emma Sing conversion giving the visiting side a 7-5 lead with 31 minutes on the clock.
This score line would carry into the half time break as neither side was able to add any more points in the final 10 minutes of the half.
The second half began with Gloucester-Hartpury possession, a clean line break from full-back Emma Sing, followed by a kick down field created significant pressure on the Loughborough defence. This pressure resulted in a spilt ball on the line, dived on by Ellie Underwood to give her team their second score of the game, converted again, the lead now 14-5 only 5 minutes into the second half.
What followed this score was very much a result of Loughborough’s retention of the ball and the territorial pressure that this created. Needing a score to get themselves back in the game, a dangerous attack in the Gloucester-Hartpury 22 saw Loughborough’s Bulou Mataitoga run in underneath the posts, a converted try the result leaving the home side only 2 points behind.
This try gave Loughborough the momentum they needed in possession, a line break into the Gloucester-Hartpury 22 and a couple of phases was all they needed to cross the line again for their third try of the game. The added extras meant that Loughborough found themselves with a 19-14 lead with only 10 minutes of the game remaining.
Needing a try to tie the game the Cherry and Whites then went on the offensive following the try. A crucial line break from Hannah Jones caused a scramble from the home side’s defence who were unable to stop her from crossing the line for the tying score. The score now read 19-19 with a tense 5 minutes to go.
As the clock was in the red, Loughborough won a penalty in the Cherry and White 22 causing a nail-biting wait for the kick at goal to be taken. The potentially game winning kick bounced off the post ensuring the game would finish in a 19-19 draw.
Key Moment – Hannah Jones
Hannah’s try with 5 minutes to go brought the scoreboard level.
Gloucester-Hartpury take on Worcester Warriors Women at Kingsholm on Saturday 5 March at 5:30 PM.