Gloucester-Hartpury make it two from two with dogged win over Wasps
It was always going to be a momentous occasion, Gloucester-Hartpury’s first home game in the top flight. However, few would have predicted the drama that was to follow!
They first had to overcome the late withdrawal of Gemma Sharples due to illness, and also a ferocious opening from the visitors. In fact, it was somewhat against the run of play that Susie Appleby’s side took the lead.
Rachel Lund, who scored two tries last week at Darlington Mowden Park Sharks, continued her hot streak as she picked up a loose ball, stepped a defender and sprinted home. Megan Goddard converted.
Wasps were quickly back on terms as number eight Sarah Mitchelson muscled her way over after a period of pressure, Hannah Edwards converting.
Playing expansively, Gloucester-Hartpury then squandered a number of chances but finally got their reward as they kept things tight, Hari McCormack touching down after a driving maul which featured a number of backs supporting the pack.
However, once again, it was Mitchelson who inspired her side, scoring a similar try to her first as the teams went into half-time level at 12-12.
The home backs came out firing in the second half and quickly extended their lead as Kelly Smith crossed with Goddard again converting, before Ceri Large ghosted over, Goddard’s third conversion of the day making it 26-12.
Things were looking good for Gloucester-Hartpury but the visitors weren’t done just yet. A try from a driving maul narrowed the gap to 26-17 before Tova Derk finished well to set up a grandstand finish.
Nerves were jangling but a terrific defensive effort kept the black and golds out and Gloucester-Hartpury had another bonus point win.