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Report: Bristol Bears Women 12-15 Worcester Warriors Women

Warriors come from behind to topple the Bears 15-12 at Shaftesbury Park.

What happened?

The early stages of the contest were dominated by the home side as they exerted a lot of pressure on the Warriors try line. They were given repeat attempts to knock down the Warriors’ wall via multiple penalties, but the visitors held firm.

Bristol eventually opted to kick one of the penalties awarded, however Snowsill saw her early effort drift wide of the uprights.

Buoyed by their early shut out, Warriors looked to strike first and they almost scored a stunner through Laflin.

The winger’s dazzling footwork allowed her to create space and put on the afterburners to hare towards the try line, however Kayleigh Powell had other ideas. The full-back raced across the turf to put in a stunning try-saving tackle on the winger and put her foot into touch.

Warriors weren’t to be denied of their opener. A penalty allowed Nicholas to nudge the visitors into the corner and set-up a driving maul, which saw Harries crash over the chalk.

The Bears would not be deterred after going behind as the forward pack flexed their muscles and worked through the phases, resulting in Ellie Mulhearn burrowing her way over the line to bring the hosts level. Snowsill converted to hand the Bears’ a 7-5 lead going into the sheds.

The start of the second period followed the pattern of the first. Bristol huffed and puffed, demonstrating some fine interplay to stretch the Worcester defence, yet they couldn’t find a way through.

That was the case, until Courtney Keight made a break on the right wing to bring the Bears up to the Worcester twenty-two, the home side showed great patience to recycle the ball through the hands and find Joyce on the opposite wing to dot down. Snowsill added the extras to make it 12-5 in favour of the Bears.

Worcester would not go away and kept themselves right in the game. A string of penalties allowed them to march up the field and use their driving maul to devastating effect with Harries wrestling her way over the line for her second. Nicholas slotted the conversion to bring the visitors level as the action entered the final ten minutes.

Both sides had to dig deep to find a moment to win the game. Lucie Skuse almost mustered up a moment of magic as she burst through the Warriors defence, but the play was called back by the referee for a crossing offence.

The decisive moment came with seven minutes left on the clock as Lillicrap was adjudged to deliberately knocked the ball on, handing Nicholas the opportunity to kick a penalty goal, which would prove the difference between the two sides.


Teams & Scorers: 

Bristol Bears Women: 15. Kayleigh Powell, 14. Courtney Keight, 13. Phoebe Murray, 12. Lucie Skuse, 11. Jasmine Joyce, 10. Elinor Snowsill, 9. Rhi Parker; 1. Simi Pam, 2. Clara Nielson ©, 3. Ellie Mulhearn, 4. Hollie Cunningham, 5. Natalia John, 6. Rownita Marston, 7. Manon Johnes, 8. Siwan Lillicrap

Impact Players: 16. Holly Phillips, 17. Sophie Phillips, 18. Stef Evans, 19. Marlo Boyd, 20. Alisha Butchers, 21. Serena Settembri, 22. Georgia Newman, 23. Lauren Smyth

Scorers: Mulhearn 30’ (TRY), Joyce 52’ (TRY), Snowsill 52’ (CON)

Worcester Warriors Women: 15. Abi Kershaw, 14. Paige Farries, 13. Jade Shekells, 12. Meg Varley, 11. Vicky Laflin, 10. Sarah Nicholas (CC), 9. Brooke Bradley; 1. Caryl Thomas, 2. Carmen Tremelling, 3. Flo Long, 4. Cara Brincat, 5. Amelia Buckland Hurry, 6. Jo Brown, 7. Alex Callender, 8. Sioned Harries (CC)

Replacements: 16. Hannah Stephens, 17. Roz Jermine, 18. Elizabeth Shermer, 19 .Philippa Rawbone, 20. Taz Bricknell, 21. Caity Mattinson, 22. Robyn Wilkins, 23. Zoe Heeley

Scorers: Harries 26’, 62’ (TRY), Nicholas 62’ (CON), Nicholas 63’ (PEN)


Key Moment: Sarah Nicholas

With the clock fast approaching the red the two sides were stuck in deadlock.

Having just brought themselves right back in the game through Harries’ second score, the momentum was with the visitors and they got their chance to steal it at the death.

Nicholas held her nerve to step up and slot the late penalty and hand Worcester victory at Shaftesbury Park.


Player of the match: Kayleigh Powell

The full-back was a woman on a mission this afternoon putting in an outstanding display in the number fifteen jersey.

Powell’s defence was superb throughout the seventy minutes with her stand-out moment coming in the first half, she put in phenomenal last-ditch tackle to deny Laflin a certain score.

Her defensive efforts did not waiver in the second period putting in multiple bone-crunching hits as well as providing a vital assist in Jaz Joyce’s second half score.

Superb.


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