Here’s the Round up from Allianz Premier 15s. Neil Kennedy went along to the Sixways clash and got some great photos for us – thanks Neil – check him out on Twitter @Neil_A_K for more shots.
Round seven of the Allianz Premier 15s saw only six teams in action after the postponement of Exeter Chiefs v Saracens and DMP Durham Sharks v Sale Sharks, following positive COVID-19 tests.
Here’s a look back at what happened in the three matches that took place this weekend.
Wasps 21 – 10 Loughborough Lightning
The weekend’s live-streamed match saw fourth-placed Wasps take on third-placed Loughborough Lightning at Twyford Avenue.
Wasps broke the deadlock on 11 minutes when Abby Dow broke down the left and, after being brought down close to the line by an excellent Helena Rowland cover tackle, Harriet Millar-Mills muscled her way over the line. Lightning responded shortly after through Rhona Lloyd, who scored out wide after a series of drives from the pack. The visitors crossed again just before the break, as Lark Davies finished off a rampaging rolling maul in the corner to put Lightning into a three-point lead at half time.
Just as they did against Saracens in round five, Wasps came out firing in the second half and it was Ellie Kildunne who flew over early on – after another break by Abby Dow – to put the hosts back into the lead. Wasps scored again on the hour mark, when the ubiquitous Dow finished off a line-out drive, and Megan Jones’ touchline conversion took the score to 21-10.
It was an impressive performance from Giselle Mather’s side, who secured a valuable win against one of their main rivals for a coveted top-four spot.
Harlequins 61 – 17 Bristol Bears
Harlequins extended their lead at the top of the Allianz Premier 15s table with a seventh-straight bonus-point win against Bristol Bears at The Stoop.
It took Quins just five minutes to open their account when Shaunagh Brown powered over for her seventh try of the season. But the Bears responded almost immediately through Jasmine Joyce, who broke down the left and scored what would turn out to be the first of three tries for the Welsh starlet. Brown scored her second of the afternoon 20 minutes later, once again firing over from short range, and that was followed a Beth Wilcock try just before the break. Ellie Green’s three successful conversions took the half time score to 21-5.
Bristol appeared to be clawing their way back into the contest early in the second half, when an inspired Jasmine Joyce scored twice in the space of three minutes to take the visitors to within four points of Quins. But the tide soon turned when Quins started to exert their forward dominance. Amy Cokayne scored the first of six second-half tries from a rolling maul. That was followed by another short-range try, this time from USA international Kristine Sommer, and then a penalty try on the hour-mark after an infringement at the maul. Harlequins’ backline added the final three scores, through the returning Heather Cowell, Lucy Packer and substitute Izzy Mayhew.
It was another ruthless performance from Harlequins, who will now have to wait until Sunday 20 December before returning to action, after the postponement of next weekend’s top-of-the-table clash against Saracens.
Worcester Warriors 7-15 Gloucester-Hartpury
Both sides went into this clash looking to bounce back from defeats in round six, and it was Gloucester-Hartpury who emerged victorious, securing a hard-fought win at Sixways.
Gloucester-Hartpury took an early lead when Daisy Fahey struck a penalty with just two minutes on the clock and followed that up four minutes later when Kelsey Jones dotted down from a powerful rolling maul. Fahey’s conversion took the score to 0-10, and the visitors were off to the perfect start. Despite sustained periods of Gloucester-Hartpury dominance, the Warriors defence held tight, until the 31st minute when Ellie Underwood sprinted in underneath the posts to take the score to 0-15 at the break.
Warriors rallied in the second half and were rewarded for their efforts when Sioned Harries forced her way over the line after a series of phases close to the Gloucester-Hartpury line. Jo Yapp’s side continued to chase the losing bonus point but were unable to find a way through, meaning that the Cherry and Whites held out for the win and a valuable four points on the road.
Here’s the updated standings: