Bristol’s defeat at Saracens last weekend meant that today’s game was a must win for Bristol Ladies in order to finish fourth in the Premiership and claim the final spot in the play-offs. Opponents Worcester had the same aim and the game had been building all week.
Bristol started brightly from kick off, but soon found themselves camped in their own 22. They defended stoically, getting turn over ball, only to lose it in contact when trying to break back, or to knock on once securing a loose ball. After 20 minutes of solid defending Worcester found a way through and got the only score of the first half.
The second half started similarly, with the kick off going well for Bristol, but Worcester gained possession and attacked the Bristol defensive lines. Bristol’s Lucy Demaine was on fine kicking form, getting Bristol out of several situations with her accurate boot, and Bryony Cleall made some fantastic and powerful breaks. However this wasn’t enough, as Worcester again camped in the Bristol 22, and got a second and third score.
Bristol looked close to going over at the end, as Katie Mason looked to guide wave after wave of attack on the Worcester line – although spilt possession allowed Worcester to kick the ball into touch and end the game, and Bristol’s hopes of a playoff spot. Final score 15-0.
Bristol Ladies club has grown and developed through the season, having to adapt to injuries and international call ups, and has shown the strength and depth of the squad. There wasn’t a dry eye in the Bristol dressing room as the team gathered for the post-match huddle. The club will learn and grow from the experience, and will focus on the cup fixtures and other games for the rest of the season, and come back stronger next year.
Bristol gave their congratulations to Worcester and thanked all of their supporters who travelled down to support the girls.
Report from Bristol Media Manager, Emma Bacon
Photo from RMT Photography