Cheltenham Tigers suffered their third league loss of the season this past Saturday when they travelled to Trojans Rugby Club.
Cheltenham always knew this was going to be a tough away trip and this was confirmed when after only two minutes Trojans took the lead as the result of a powerful rolling maul. The conversion was unsuccessful making the early score 5-0 to the home side.
After this wake up call Tigers took control of the game, dominating both territory and possession, but thanks to resilient and committed defence from Trojans, alongside some very strong breakdown work, Cheltenham couldn’t seem to break them down.
Relentless work rate from the forwards however, as well as great accuracy and patience from the back line did eventually result in some reward when Emma Mundy kicked Tigers first points of the game to make the half time score 5-3 to the home side.
Tigers started the second half brightly with more strong carries from the likes of Loll Williams and Cat Slevin as well as Laura Hale at 9 always looking a lively threat. However it was Trojans who struck first in the second half with a well finished try and impressive conversion, making the score at 50 minutes 12-3.
Tigers came back fighting and after 15 minutes of constant pressure finally got the breakthrough they deserved when Beth O’Brien broke through and scored. The try was unconverted and the score 12-8.
A whirlwind last 15 minutes ensued. The pace and physicality of the game was relentless as Tigers kept attempting to kick down the Trojans door in search of a winning try. However like their ancient warrior namesakes the Trojans were not to be defeated easily and with 80 minutes on the clock Tigers found themselves in their own 22.
The girls then showed immense spirit, commitment and skill to play for over 4 minutes and going through North of 25 phases to take the ball back all the way to the Trojans five metre line. Unfortunately a handling error brought about the end of the game and Trojans came away deserved 12-8 winners.
Tigers showed great fight and spirit but on the day were beaten by the better team. They will now dust themselves down and prepare for their last league game of the season again Plymouth and their national cup semi final against neighbours Gloucester-Hartpury in the coming weeks. There is an awful lot still to play for in this exciting season for the Tigers ladies!
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