Jo Yapp had an exceptional weekend. After overseeing a Barbarian victory over Wales in the Principality Stadium, she returned to Sixways to see if her home charges could repeat the dose against the Bears.
Four of her regulars were unavailable, Sasha Acheson, Alex Callender, Ffion Lewis and Gwen Crabb, as they had been part of the great occasion in Cardiff – on one side or the other.
Possibly the key moment in Sunday’s game occurred in the third minute: Sarah Bern was forced off the field with a leg injury. Although her replacement Ellie Mulhearn scored a first-half try, Warriors were full of beans, their backs showing up strongly. Vicky Laflin made several dangerous runs, and there was Lydia Thompson on the other side of the field to cause palpitations.
Warriors struck first, Lucy Lockhart ding over from a line-out drive. But Lucy Attwood’s conversion of the Mulhearn try put the visitors ahead. 5-7
On the half-hour Warriors opted bravely for a scrum at a 5-metre penalty. It worked! Lockhart registered her second.
Warriors have been in this position a few times before: taking a lead, then failing to maintain it. What could Jo Yapp achieve over the lemons?
Answer: renewed determination.
It took a lot of effort before Carys Cox scored another try to stretch the lead. 15-7
Bristol responded with a score of their own through Charlotte Wright-Haley went over from a scrum 15-12
Warriors hung on defiantly, repulsing the Bears’ threats.
A momentous day for the Warriors, a first win and their first points.
Head coaches must have their own idea of pleasurable weekends, but it’s hard to imagine a better double for Jo Yapp
Full time: 15-12
Table after 7 Rounds:
W L B Pts
Harlequins 7 0 7 35
Saracens 7 0 6 34
Glos-Pury 5 2 5 25
Lightning 4 3 6 22
Wasps . 4 3 4 20
Bristol 3 4 5 17
DMP 3 3 3 15
Richmond 1 6 1 5
Worcester 1 6 0 4
Waterloo 0 7 1 1
The two leaders stride away out of view. Quins’ points-for total is an astonishing 118 ahead of their main rivals.
G-P rise to an encouraging third.
But the headline news is at the bottom of the table. Warriors achieve their third victory ever to rise off that tenth place.