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Report: Harlequins Women 5-24 Bristol Bears Women

Bristol Bears Women maintain their unbeaten start to the season with a bonus-point victory over the reigning champions Harlequins Women at The Stoop.

What happened?

Quins came out of the blocks all guns blazing and immediately looked to turn the screw on the visiting Bears.

A series of penalties against the visitors allowed Quins to come close, but for Abbie Ward’s intervention at the line-out only five metres. However,  the penalty count took its toll with Natalia John heading to the sin bin.

Lagi Tuima then hooked her penalty attempt wide and despite being down to 14 players it would be the Bears who would open the scoring through Courtney Keight. Alisha Butchers burst through the defensive line to assist her Welsh compatriot, who powered over the whitewash.

Jasmine Joyce and Keira Bevan got in each other’s way to deny the Bears a second, before Harlequins hit back through Emily Robinson to level the scoring.

For the remainder of the half, it would the Bears who were on top. West burrowed her way over the line for what she thought was her side’s second score, but the referee pulled back play back for an adjudged knock-on.

Neither side could find another try before the break, which saw the teams head in level at five points apiece.

The game was finely poised coming out of the sheds until the Bears blew the game wide open in the next ten minutes.

First, a beauty of a break from Sarah Bern saw the prop gallop 40 metres in open field before throwing an outrageous dummy offload and then finding Grace Crompton to open the second half scoring.

In the blink of an eye Bears had a second. Keira Bevan dummied her way down the blindside to release Jasmine Joyce, who raced away from the covering Ellie Kildunne to dot down under the sticks. 

Bears then turned to their most potent weapon so far this season for their bonus-point score, the driving line-out. Hannah West was the beneficiary of an almighty heave to drop over the chalk and seal victory for Dave Ward’s side.


TEAMS & SCORERS:

Harlequins Women: 15. Ellie Kildunne, 14. Heather Cowell, 13. Lagi Tuima, 12. Beth Blacklock, 11. Jess Breach, 10. Emily Scott (C), 9. Emma Swords; 1. Tove Viksten, 2. Amy Cokayne, 3. Shaunagh Brown, 4. Fi Fletcher, 5. Sarah Bonar, 6. Lauren Brooks, 7. Emily Robinson, 8. Katy Mew

Replacements: 16. Elle Bloor, 17. Vickii Cornborough, 18. Chloe Edwards, 19. Jade Konkel, 20. Bethan Dainton, 21. Ellie Green, 22. Jade Mullen, 23. Charlie Wellbelove

Scorers: Robinson (21' - TRY)

Bristol Bears Women: 15.Jasmine Joyce, 14. Grace Crompton, 13. Phoebe Murray, 12. Amber Reed (CC), 11. Courtney Keight, 10. Elinor Snowsill, 9. Keira Bevan; 1. Simi Pam, 2. Hannah West, 3. Sarah Bern, 4. Natalia John, 5. Abbie Ward (CC), 6. Alisha Butchers, 7. Manon Johnes, 8. Rownita Marston

Impact Players: 16. Robyn Lock, 17. China Kill, 18. Ellie Mulhearn, 19. Hollie Cunningham, 20. Siwan Lillicrap, 21. Lucy Burgess, 22. Lucie Skuse, 23. Jenny Hesketh

Scorers: Keight (13' - TRY), Crompton (44' - TRY), Reed (44' - CON), Joyce (47' - TRY), Reed (47' - CON), West (59' - TRY)


REACTION:


Play of the match: Sarah Bern x Grace Crompton 


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