The venue was changed as the 1st XV pitch was deemed unplayable unfortunately the message reached the squad late so by the time the players bundled into their cars, made the 5 minute drive to Old Dear park then walked the 300 metres or so to the pitch it only left 25 minutes to warm up before kick off.
Flanker Liz Philp
kicked off in strong wind and rain that would persist for the whole game on a pitch that was truly exposed to the elements. A park player dropped the ball from the kick off giving the Bulls a scrum on the opposition 10 metre line. From the scrum fly half Clair Richardson fed winger Sam Olliver
who raced in under the posts untouched with little more than a minute on the clock, Philp added the easy kick. Although in control, with conditions deteriorating further the Bulls didn’t click for the next 30 minutes with a number of balls being dropped and passes going to ground. The Bulls defence held firm with park only venturing into the 22 once in this period. Coming into the last 10 minutes of the half the Bulls finally clicked and started putting a number of phases together. Park were only just managing to hold on and started to give penalties away, with just under 10 minutes to go Captain Claire Phillips
received ball from a penalty and crashed over from 10 metres out, Philip added the extras. Straight from the kick off the Bulls were back deep in Park territory piling on the pressure. No 8 Catherine Spencer
took a ball out wide just outside the 22, she managed to out pace the covering defence then use some fancy footwork to beat the full back to dot down next to the sticks, Philp stepped up to add her third in a row. The Bulls managed to again return the kick off with interest with the half almost at its end quick clean ball was produced about 30 metres out quick hands down the line produced the overlap for Olliver to go over for her second in the corner, giving the Bulls a 26-00 half time lead.
The second half was all Bulls again with park rarely venturing outside their half. With 10 minutes of the half gone the forwards were controlling things with a number of strong drives. Phillips took a short pass near the line and used quick hands to put veteran lock Michele Mayhew
over to clinch the bonus point, Philp added the two points. The next 20 minutes saw the Bulls in total control but with a number of players looking like they had the early stages of hypothermia and a number of the backs unable to feel their hands things were tough. Captain Phillips led strongly with a few strong drives each time making huge gains, centre Rebecca Rowe
was a constant threat with powerful runs, but the Bulls just kept coming up short, Richardson almost went through following a long range break but was hauled down short of the line. It wasn't until the 70 minute mark the Bulls were able to add their final score when the Park backs finally gave in to Rowe's power as she broke through three tackles to run in from just out side the 22 after receiving the ball following some great back line play. With time almost up Rafica Schneider
could have notched up one more after beating Park out wide and stepping the full back but as she was heading for the posts she lost the ball as she had lost the feeling in her hands. This was the last play and gave the Bulls a 38-00 win.
Forward of the match went to Captain Claire Phillips
who carried strongly all afternoon and made a number of tackles, Back of the match went to Rebecca Rowe
who constantly caused park problems with her robust style of play.
Team: French, Schneider, Saunders, Rowe, Olliver, Richardson, Dootson, Schorah, Sieben, Phillips, Mayhew, Smith, Binskin-Barnes, Philp, Spencer.
Replacements: Pettitt, Davies, Parker.