Year-long unbeaten run comes to an end for OA Saints at Hove
- Credit: Archant
OA Saints stunning unbeaten run has finally come to an end after an 18-12 defeat away to Hove.
It stretched back some 13 months and helped them start the new season back in Women's Championship South with four straight wins and a position on top of the pile.
They have now slipped to second behind Blackheath.
Hove took an early 5-0 lead after a try out in the corner and that was how it stayed until after half-time.
Saints had struggled to maintain possession due to unforced errors and lapses in concentration in the first period but they retook the field with a renewed energy, quickly getting level thanks to a charge downfield from Caz Collie.
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Hove regrouped and went back in front with another score in the corner but Saints were next to score and took the lead for the first time after Collie added the conversion to a Steph Plunkett try, her reward after good approach play by Claire McKenna.
However a third Hove try and penalty meant Saints left empty-handed.
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Forwards coach Harry Mack said: "Despite long periods of strong defence we were far from our best and made life very difficult for ourselves.
"But we know what we need to do as a team to improve and I have every faith that the girls will bounce back."