Premier 15s: Bristol Bears fall to Gloucester-Hartpury defeat as league returns

·2-min read
Elinor Snowsill started at No 10 for Bristol Bears (Getty)
Elinor Snowsill started at No 10 for Bristol Bears (Getty)

Premier 15s leaders Bristol Bears suffered a 36-14 defeat at the hands of local rivals Gloucester-Hartpury as the league returned from its winter break.

Bristol could be knocked off the top spot if third place Saracens can defeat DMP Durham Sharks on Sunday. It was a difficult match for the Bears as Gloucester came out firing with Sisilia Tuipulotu and World Rugby Player of the Year Zoe Aldcroft scoring.

Fortunes began to change for the hosts as they were awarded a penalty try and Aldcroft was sent to the sin bin. They followed it up with a try from Keira Bevan which sent Bristol ahead heading into half-time.

However, tries from Gloucester’s Rachel Lund, Emma Sing and Ellie Underwood dealt Bristol their third defeat of the season. The hosts head coach Dave Ward said he was “frustrated” with the result.

“It was really tough,” Ward said. “Frustration is the word as we were right in it, especially going into half-time. We conceded pretty quickly in the second half and it was one of those that got away from us in the end.”

Meanwhile, it was another bleak afternoon for Sale Sharks as they lost 43-7 to Exeter Chiefs. Sale have won just one match this season so far and would have wanted to start the new year well.

The hosts certainly held strong for the first 40 despite conceding first through Exeter’s Jennine Detiveaux. Georgie Perris-Reading scored to put them back in the match but the visitors went up a gear.

Exeter’s Rachel Johnson, Laura Delgado, Linda van der Velden, Emily Tuttosi, Merryn Doidge and Brooke Bradley all scored in a disastrous match for Sale. The result leaves Sale in ninth place with Exeter sharing third with Sarries.

A third fixture between Wasps and Loughborough Lightning was due to take place on Saturday but it was postponed due to Covid. Sunday’s matches will see Saracens take on DMP while Harlequins’ game against Worcester has been rescheduled as a result of Covid.

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