Gloucester-Hartpury Ladies continued to chase down third place Wasps Ladies, with a 10-44 away win against Firwood Waterloo Ladies. Firwood Waterloo began the game with a great intensity, fast-paced and physical play from the entire team saw the backs push over the gain line with every carry supported by the forwards who cleared out the ruck. Despite this power the home side struggled to get deep into Gloucester’s territory as slick conditions cause both sides to knock on repeatedly.
Gloucester showed why they have worked their way up the table by capitalising on a half chance. Pulling defenders out of position, switching the direction of play and spreading the ball our wide got Kelly Smith over in the corner to draw first blood. The home side continued with their physicality, big tackles stunting the visitor’s attacks and helped Firwood Waterloo regain possession but Gloucester kept up the pressure and pinned the home side in their own half.
Gloucester increased their lead 25 minutes in with a crash ball released Mary-Ann Gittings, two phases later saw Rachel Lund cross over to put the visitors up 0-10. Firwood Waterloo responded with speed, a long passage of play continually pushing the visitors further into their own half, eventually getting a line out 5 meters out. The home side secured their line out well and powered over the line for Keisha Hendricks to put Firwood Waterloo on the board. Bethany Stott added the conversion comfortably bringing the home side back within 3.
Gloucester managed to increase their lead before the end of the half with a try from Ellie Underwood who ran clearance kick back through a broken Firwood Waterloo defence, Gittings added the conversion. The opening try scorer Smith, saw yellow for deliberate knock on closing out the half 7-17 to Gloucester.
Gloucester opened the second half with a 2nd try for Underwood, the backs playing off a solid scrum. Bethany Stott added three more points for the home side, continuing her 100% penalty kick record for the season as one of the best fly halves in Permier 15s. This would only stir the visitors into action, now back up to 15 players the visitors stepped into another gear and went about racking up the score. A brace of trys from Ceri Large on 63 and 69 minutes, another from Tabs Copson on 73 minutes and Kelly Smith getting her 2nd on 79 minutes, together with a conversion from Gittings made the score 10-44 at full time.
After the game Firwood Waterloo Backs Coach Rob Tilsley said “We had a lot of basic mistakes giving teams an easy way out… we have a lot to work on to make sure a blow out score like this doesn’t happen again.”
Updated 17:07 - 10 Mar 2018 by Lyndsey Dorries