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Bristol 1XV vs. Cambridge 1XV

Written by Chlöe Fletcher (Club Captain)

The first BUCS game of the season for UBWRFC's 1st team finally arrived on October 12th following a lengthy preseason of preparations, and the girls were all eager to head to Cambridge to test themselves! Six first team debutants were on the UBWRFC team, which faced a strong Cambridge side including 7 blues from last years varsity. With Bristol conceding two early penalties and Cambridge playing strongly up front, Cambridge got off to a solid start. Bristol recovered control after pressing Cambridge and forcing a mistake. Bristol then passed the ball wide out to the Full Back Nat, who beat the defender and scored the team's first try (0-5).

When the game resumed, Bristol appeared more motivated. Strong carries by the forwards including Katie and Lieske pressed hard against the Cambridge defence and gained territory. Following a Bristol backline error, Cambridge went on the offensive. Although Bristol's defence was tight and held Cambridge in their own half, they once more looked a powerful team on the gainline. Cambridge was awarded another penalty, and their strong kicking game prompted Bristol to exit from their own half with running rugby. Yet again after getting the ball wide, Kitty, the captain of the first team playing blindside flanker, scored the second beneath the posts after Bristol gained possession of the ball after closing down the space for the Cambridge attack. Conversion by Chlöe (0-12). After the restart, Cambridge were able to keep Bristol within a few yards of the halfway line until Lieske gained 20 metres with support from Maddy who, with great awareness of space, scooped up the ball from the base of the ruck and went over unopposed, for another try between the sticks. Chlöe added the conversion (0-19).

Half time was called and Bristol brought on the remainder of their replacements showing the strength of the squad Despite Cambridge being more unified as the second half went on, Bristol once more sent the ball wide allowing wing Katherine to have an easy run in the corner. Clem stepped up to convert from out wide, but the ball fell short (0-24). Nevertheless, Bristol began to dominate the match with three more tries inside the next fifteen minutes. A second try by Nat and two strong carries from second row Lieske and open side Caitlin allowed Bristol to cross the Cambridge line (0-39).

The Bristol team's attention to detail was evident as Skye and Vicky at 10 and 12 controlled the backline, allowing outside backs Jenna and Amy to slip through holes in the Cambridge defence, before Katherine sprinted in for her second try, conversion by Chlöe (0-46). Soon after the restart, Ella fielded Chlöe through a gap, who offloaded to ever present prop Saffy, who was tackled five metres short, and the ball was then passed to Kitty, who scored her second just inside the five-metre line (0-51). With five minutes left, Bristol was able to produce another opportunity out wide, this time for Kitty to complete her hat trick, conversion added by Chlöe (0-58). Nearing the end of the game Saffy turned over a Cambridge ball and gained 10 metres before Chlöe chipped the ball over the Cambridge defence. Bristol then regained control by pressuring the full back, and Jenna rushed the ball in for a well-deserved try. Chlöe added the conversion to end the game (0-65).

Bristol had a fantastic first game, with every single player elevating one another, rising to the occasion, and showcasing their abilities. Bristol face a strong Swansea 1XV next week, and will take what they've learnt in this game to prepare for a home game under the lights at Coombe Dingle!

Forward of the Match - Saffy James

Back of the Match - Jenna De Vera

  1. Saffy James

  2. Katie Horton *

  3. Helen Barker

  4. Lieske Oomen

  5. Kirsten Swinscoe

  6. Kitty Vaughan-Fowler ©

  7. Caitlin Trevithick

  8. Chlöe Fletcher

  9. Jenna De Vera *

  10. Skye Ayling *

  11. Anna Underwood

  12. Vicky Baxter (VC)

  13. Amy Woods

  14. Katherine Townsend

  15. Nat Sodzi

  16. Maddy Padgett *

  17. Madeleine Perks

  18. Minna Hancock

  19. Clementine Copeland *

  20. Ella Lawrence *

  21. Renee Bassin *

(*1st team debutants)

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