Gloucester-Hartpury made light of the long trip north, including being delayed by traffic, to get their Tyrrells Premier 15s off to a great start with a 32-3 win at Darlington Mowden Park Sharks on Saturday.
It was the team’s first game in the top flight and a dream opening for the side. In the build-up, Head Coach Susie Appleby admitted that it would be a big step up for her newly-assembled squad but they delivered on the day.
The home team missed an early penalty opportunity, and instantly regretted it as Ceri Large dummied her way over near the posts, Megan Goddard converting. Gloucester-Hartpury then had to dig deep as hooker Ellie Gilbert was sinbinned and the home team narrowed the gap with a penalty.
Megan Goddard responded with a penalty of her own, before a fine lineout move on the stroke of half-time saw Rachel Lund score to give Gloucester-Hartpury a decent 15-3 lead at the break.
The lead was quickly extended as slick hands saw Beth Jones cross in the corner, and the fourth try followed as the hour mark approached, more good work from the pack backed up by good hands in the backs and Lund was over for her second, Goddard converting.
There were still some defensive duties to carry out as the home team rallied, but Gloucester-Hartpury coped well before moving downfield and adding a fifth as Milly Wallis touched down after a strong catch and drive to complete the scoring.
Head Coach Susie Appleby was understandably delighted after the game, but admitted there were plenty of positives to work on.
Next up are Wasps Ladies at Hartpury College on Saturday September 23rd.
My name is John ‘Max’ Maxwell and I am the MD of RuckinRugby, a website design and hosting company focused on all things Rugby. Rugby is a huge part of my life and after meeting Catherine Spencer some years ago, I became interested in the women’s game at the highest level.
The World Champion team of 2014 were something very special and I immediately became aware of how important our domestic game would become in maintaining the sort of national side that I, and many others love to watch. This inspired me to do whatever I can to promote Women’s Elite Rugby in England.