Bristol Ladies secured a bonus point win in a hard fought victory over a strong DMP side.
The first of Bristol’s six tries came from building pressure as they went patiently through the phases, strong forward play saw them gain ground then quick ball through the backs saw Bristol’s Captain Amber Reed over the line on 10 minutes (not converted) and putting Bristol in front 0-5 on 10 minutes. DMP responded with a try of their own shortly after, when great work from the DMP forwards got them deep into Bristol territory, a miss pass by La Toya Mason to Rachael Woosey, quick hands out to full back Emma Harbage who raced ahead handing off the cover tackle, to score in the left hand corner, and leveling the score at 5-5.
Bristol upped their work rate, increasing the pressure on the excellent DMP defence, which held firm until a change of tactic and a clever kick through from Bristol’s Katie Mason turned the DMP defence. The chase back was good but the ball bounced unkindly and a great chase by Bristol’s Chantelle Miell saw her touch the ball down over the line (not converted) but putting Bristol back in the lead 5-10.
Bristol’s ladies tails were up and they secured the ball from the kick off, passing it quickly through the hands to Tilly Vaughan-Fowler, who showed great pace to race between two DMP defenders and run the length of the pitch to score under the post Reed successfully converted taking the score on 36 minutes to 5-17.
DMP got one back before the break as some strong phases of possession saw DMP working their way deep into Bristol’s territory. Quick ball from scrumhalf La Toya Mason to her half back partner Rebecca Scholes stretched the defence to create a superb inside ball for Heather Kerr who powered over the line for her first premiership try. Taking the score to DMP 10 Bristol 17 to set up an exciting second half.
Bristol got the second half under way. DMPs Fi Davidson gathered the ball and quickly passed out to Emma Harbage who raced raced deep into Bristol’s half, the support was late getting to her and Bristol turned the ball over but great work by Abbie Scott won it back for DMP, scrum half La Toya Mason’s quick pass out to fly half Rebecca Scholes saw her draw the Bristol defender, passing off to Linzi Taylor who scored wide out on the left hand side (not converted) bringing DMP within 2 points of Bristol: 15-17.
Bristol showed what a resilient outfit they are, as they responded again with quick hands through the backs, which saw the fleet-footed Katie Mason score out wide in the left hand corner (not converted) restoring Bristol’s lead and taking the score to 15-22.
Bristol’s tails were up, clever substitutions by the Bristol coaching team saw fresh legs on when required, which saw additional pressure on the hardworking DMP defence. Pressure told when DMPs Linzi Taylor was sin binned for not rolling away.
Sarah Bern was subbed on for Sue Nuemann and three minutes later made her presence felt as she touched down, after some fantastic offloads from Sarah Hunter and Izzy Noel Smith.
Bristol made the extra player count on the 52nd minute when after a spell of high pressure and high intensity rugby from both sides, Bern got her second try of the afternoon, capitalising after a catch and drive from a line out, making a break down the blindside she powered over the line to score (not converted) stretching the lead go 15-27.
DMP team fought hard to get back in the game, and their never say die attitude was much in evidence when DMPs Fi Davidson got her hands on the ball a quick pass to Rachael Woosey who sprinted from the half way, line turning on the after burners, to outpace Bristol’s defence, a great hand-off dealt with the cover tackle and saw her over the line on 60 minutes bringing DMP within a score at 20-27.
DMP threw everything at Bristol, who showed great organisation in defence to keep DMP at bay, on 70 minutes Bristol earned a line out on DMP’s five metre line it was secured, the ball was worked out to Bristol’s Sarah Bern who powered over to score her second try (not converted) once again stretching the lead in Bristol’s favour: 20-32.
DMP responded again through Fi Davidson, who raced up the right hand side of the pitch and showing great pace chased her own kick through and won a penalty at the ensuing breakdown. DMP decided to quick tap but unfortunately lost possession which ended the game with a final score of final score: DMP Sharks (4 tries) 20 – 32 (6 tries, 1 conv) Bristol Ladies.
This is Bristol’s fifth win out of six, with the next fixture seeing the girls take on reigning Premiership champions Saracens at home.
After the game Bristol’s Head coach LJ Adams had this to say: “This was the best Darlington Mowden Park Sharks side we have faced in a long time. They were so physical and really tested out defence. We’ve had the perfect run up to the game against Saracens next weekend and the squad and back room staff feel up for a big battle at home on Sunday.”
“As one of the hardest games we’ve played so far, I think that we pulled really well together and played a fast paced and exciting game. We are really looking forward to next week when we take on Saracens who are just above us by one point in the league, which will be a huge test.”
Bristol’s forward of the game: Izzy Noel Smith
Bristol’s Back of the game: Amber Reed
Voted for by the players
DMP’s forward of the game: Zoe Aldcroft
DMP’s back of the match- Emma Harbage
Game Score Stats
10m – TRY Bristol – Amber Reed, 0 – 5
15m – TRY DMP – Emma Harbage – 5 – 5
30m – TRY Bristol – Chantelle Miell, 5 – 10
35m – TRY Bristol – Tilly Vaughan Fowler, 5 – 15
35m – CONV Bristol – Reed, 5 – 17
40m – TRY DMP – Heather Kerr – 10 – 17
41m – TRY DMP – Linzi Taylor – 15 – 17
50m – TRY Bristol – Katie Mason, 15 – 22
55m – YELLOW DMP – Linzi Taylor – not rolling away
60m – TRY Bristol – Sarah Bern, 15 – 27
65m – TRY DMP – Rachael Woosey – 20 – 27
75m – TRY Bristol – Sarah Bern, 20 – 32
1 Caryl Thomas 2. Clara Nielson 3. Abbie Parsons 4. Amelia Buckland-Hurry 5. Kate Newton 6. Izzy Noel-Smith 7.Sue Neumann 8. Sarah Hunter 9. Sian Moore 10. Elinor Snowsill 11. Chantelle Miell 12. Amber Reed 13. Tilly Vaughan Fowler 14. Sydney Gregson 15. Katie Mason
16 Poppy Leitch (for Nielson 52m) 17. Bethan Dainton (for Moore, 60m) 18. Sarah Bern (for Neumann, 57m)
DMP Sharks Team
1. Heather Kerr 2. Sam Jamieson 3. Sarah Clough 4. Tamara Taylor (c) 5. Lisa Cockburn 6. Abbie Scott 7. Ruth Nash 8. Zoe Aldcroft 9. Fiona Davidson 10. La Toya Mason 11. Rachael Woosey 12. Rebecca Scholes 13. Linzi Taylor 14. Emma Warrington 15. Emma Harbage
16. Amy Needham 17. Sarah Bush 18. Joanna Brown 19. Phillipa Rawbone 20. Emma Lloyd-Edwards 21. Caity Mattinson 22. Katherine Hobson
Bristol Ladies 2nd XV vs Cheltenham Tigers
FINAL SCORE: Cheltenham Tigers 30 – 5 Bristol Ladies 2nd XV
Bristol faced a strong Cheltenham side away from home, and although Cheltenham were able to put 6 tries passed the visitors, Bristol still took many positives from the match.
Daisy Travers took her second try of the season during the first half, continuing her fine form this season. Chantelle Miller and Sian Kersse also had stand out performances with great defensive work, excellent line speed and inventive running lines.
The players persevered through until the end of the game and never gave up – they displayed some great attacking phases, but some passing errors meant they never quite capitalised on their attacks. Going down to 14 players due to injury for the final 30 minutes provided a challenge, however the visitors camped in the Cheltenham half for the last 15 minutes but couldn’t quite cross the line.
Squad Co-Ordinator Pete Reaks: ‘The team played for each other and worked hard for each other which showed in lots of the game today. It was a shame that we weren’t able to quite finish off some our phases. The girls played with passion and pride and the smiles on their faces at the end said it all, even if the result didn’t go our way’
Sunday 25th October – 1st XV vs Saracens 1st XV – HOME – venue TBC, KO TBC
Sunday 25th October – 2nd XV vs Saracens 2nd XV – HOME – venue TBC, KO TBC
Match reports courtesy of Bristol Ladies and DMP Sharks