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Report: Bristol Bears Women 26-30 Saracens Women

A big show of character from the Bears saw the side come away with two bonus points in a hard fought defeat against league leaders Saracens at Shaftesbury Park.

Rownita Marston, Leanne Infante, Alisha Butchers and Sarah Bern all touched down for Dave Ward's side, as a late fightback ensured they wouldn't leave empty-handed.


What happened?

A nasty looking injury to Saracens' Georgia Evans in the opening two minutes temporarily suspended play until the medical staff could be back out pitchside.

With play back underway safely, it was Saracens who were first to open the scores after a yellow card to Bristol’s Hannah West allowed the visitors to slot the penalty in line with the posts through the boot of Holly Aitchison.

Utilising the extra player, Alev Kelter broke her way through the Bears defence to score Saracens first try of the match. Converting her own try to extend the score 0-10.

Bears looked to answer back, setting up the attack in Saracens 22. But a loose pass was intercepted by Saracens hands who raced up field for the try. Alysha Corrigan with the spoils and Kelter converting.

Just before half time, penalties stacked up against Saracens with Vicky Fleetwood shown a yellow card allowing the Bears to kick deeper into their 22 for the territory. Clinching the line out, Bears set up the mail to power over the line for the try with Rownita Marston scoring. Amber Reed striking the conversion to put the scores at 7-17 heading in at the break.

Coming out for the second half a back-and-forth battle started with Saracens going first with a try from a line out drive.

But Bristol fought back with a solid attack in their opponents half. Conjuring up the phases, Manon Johnes made good headway to set up Leanne Infante who found the gap and touched down over the line. Reed with the extras.

A tug of war broke out with Saracens bagging the bonus point try moments later. But despite the score sitting at 14-27 in favour of our opponents, Bristol dug in deep. A ferocious effort from the pack sent Saracens backwards paving the way for Alisha Butchers to crash over the line for the try. Reed’s conversion just skimming the sticks to put the score at 19-27 with less than 10 minutes left on the clock.

A hard fought battle right until the end came with the Bears setting up the line out inside Saracens 22. A colossal driving maul sent Sarah Bern over for the Bears 4th try of the match. Reed converting to seal the two bonus points despite falling just short at 26-30.

Bristol Bears Women: 15. Kayleigh Powell; 14. Jasmine Joyce, 13. Phoebe Murray, 12. Ella Lovibond, 11. Courtney Keight; 10. Amber Reed (Co-Capt), 9. Keira Bevan; 1. China Kill, 2. Hannah West, 3. Sarah Bern, 4. Delaney Burns, 5. Abbie Ward (co-capt), 6. Alisha Butchers, 7. Manon Johnes, 8. Rownita Marston

System players: 16. Alice Lockwood, 17. Simi Pam, 18. Holly Phillips, 19. Siwan Lillicrap, 20. Talia John, 21. Leanne Infante, 22. Lucie Skuse, 23. Jenny Hesketh.

Saracens: 15. Charlotte Clapp, 14. Raijieli Laqeretabua, 13. Cara Wardle, 12. Alev Kelter, 11. Alysha Corrigan, 10. Holly Aitchison, 9. Ella Wyrwas, 1. Kelsey Clifford, 2. May Campbell, 3. Alexandria Ellis, 4. Sonia Green, 5. Georgia Evans, 6. Victoria Fleetwood, 7. Marlie Packer, 8. Poppy Cleall

Replacements: 16. Katherine Evans, 17. Mackenzie Carson, 18. Donna Rose, 19. Catharina Jacobs, 20. Fiona Mcintosh, 21. Lisa Martin, 22. Hannah Casey, 23. Chantelle Miell.

Bristol Bears: Tries: Rownita Marston, Leanne Infante, Alisha Butchers, Sarah Bern. Conversions- Amber Reed x3

Saracens: Tries: Alev Kelter, Alysha Corrigan, May Campbell, Poppy Cleall. Penalty: Alev Kelter x2. Conversion: Alev Kelter x2


Pick of the match: Alisha Butchers



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