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Report: Gloucester-Hartpury Ladies 34-17 Bristol Ladies

Bristol Ladies slipped to their first defeat in five games in the Tyrells Premier 15s at the hands of west-country rivals Gloucester-Hartpury on Saturday.

Bristol scored three second half tries through Lagi Tuima, Sydney Gregson and Clara Nielson, but it was not enough to get the win as Gloucester-Hartpury are now level on points with Bristol in the league table.

What Happened?

The opening exchanges of the game were very stop-start due to the number of handling errors from both sides in difficult handling conditions with the ball resembling a bar of soap at some stages.

Gloucester got the breakthrough after they managed to keep hold of the ball and offload well in the tackle to set full-back Ellie Kildunne off to the races to score.

Bristol responded well and spent most the remainder of the half in the Gloucester-Hartpury twenty-two, however, ill-discipline and missed chances saw them come away empty handed and frustrated.

Gloucester-Hartpury’s Laura Swan then collected an offload from Sarah Bern five metres out and there was no stopping the hooker as she scored in the corner, this score gave the hosts a 12-0 lead going into the break.

Immediately after the break the Cherry and Whites scored two quick-fire tries through Ellie Underwood and Sarah Bern to put some daylight between the two sides.

Bristol looked to be back in the game after two quick tries, the first through Lagi Tuima, who collected a wonderfully fizzed pass from her centre-partner Amber Reed to crash through a hole in opposition defence and score.

Sydney Gregson also continued her scoring run as she got over the line soon after, showing great strength to finish under pressure from two defenders.

Gloucester-Hartpury shut down any hope of a Bristol comeback as they scored back-to-back tries, the first through Underwood after a deft kick through from Kildunne and the second from former Bristol Ladies player Sasha Acheson.

Bristol had the last say in the game, Pheobe Murray ran a superb line through the Cherry and White defence to give Bristol the momentum and from the resulting breakdown Clara Nielson snuck through to run behind the posts and cap the scoring for the afternoon.

Player of the Match:

Clara Nielson was superb throughout the game for Bristol, she had a tireless work rate in defence whilst completing all line-outs in tricky conditions. The hooker also managed to get on the scoresheet demonstrating great awareness and quick-thinking to dart through the breakdown to score.

Bristol Team:

15. Cat McNaney, 14. Sydney Gregson, 13. Lagi Tuima, 12. Amber Reed (c) 11. Lillian Stoeger-Goddard, 10. Lucy Attwood, 9. Caity Mattinson; 1. Abbie Parsons, 2. Clara Nielson, 3. Ellie Mulhearn, 4. Amelia Buckland-Hurry, 5. Emily Underwood, 6. Ebony Jefferies, 7. Daisie Mayes, 8. Poppy Leitch.

Replacements: 16. Jess Thomas, 17. Michaella Roberts, 18. Robyn Price 19. Pheobe Murray, 20. Lottie Holland

Gloucester-Hartpury:

15. Ellie Kildunne, 14. Ellie Underwood, 13. Sophie Tandy, 12. Tatyana Heard, 11. Kelly Smith, 10. Ceri Large, 9. Bianca Blackburn; 1. Sasha Acheson, 2. Laura Swan, 3. Sarah Bern, 4.Molly Morrissey, 5. Courtney Gill, 6. Charlotte Faux, 7. Tabitha Copson, 8. Abi Burton

Replacements: 16. Kathryn Buggy, 17. Ellie Gilbert, 18. Gemma Sharples, 19. Tazmin Bricknell, 20. Sarah Nicholas, 21. Rachel Lund, 22. Mary-Ann Gittings