Saints make Premiership return
Saints go down fighting at Bristol
Bristol 22 OA Saints 10
OA SAINTS travelled to Bristol for their first outing in the Premiership since 1998.
As newcomers to the league the Saints knew the season start would be tough. Bristol came flying out of the blocks and the combination of the pace of the Premiership and it being the first game of the season allowed Bristol to capitalise on space left open on the wing. The Saints found themselves seven points down after only five minutes play. Bristol continued to dominate the next quarter with the Bristol winger completing her hat-trick and the Saints staring at a 17 point deficit 20 minutes in.
The Saints could have let their heads drop but instead came back fighting working their way up the pitch and excellent midfield defence from Simone Shepherd and Sarah McKenna preventing further attacks making it to their wing.
The pressure from the Saint finally told when a penalty was awarded against Bristol that McKenna slotted over with ease.
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There was further pressure in the first half from the Saints with good attacking lineouts and mauls all stopped just short of the try line.
The second half was an evenly matched contest with both sides turning up the pressure and defending well. It was the Saints hard work that eventually paid off with a penalty kick to the corner a powerful drive from the tail of the lineout was set up and the Saints made no mistake ensuring the ball was over the line with the players and referee unable to identify the ‘scorer’ from, Angela Wadham, Geri Thomas and Nadia Brannon who all had hands on the ball. All eight forwards were involved in the move which was a true squad try. Mckenna added the extras.
Bristol managed to pick up and extra five points when a penalty was awarded at the scrum for front row infringement and the No.8 crashed over from just five metres out. Final score 22-10 giving OA Saints a loss bonus point and denying Bristol and win bonus.
The Saints are now up and running in the Premiership and are looking forward to their first home match of the season against Darlington this Sunday, KO 2.30pm.
Saints: Brinsley, Brannon, Chandler (Pretty 70), Knighton (Kenny 50), Wadham (De Ronde 70), Botterman (Thomas 50), Rees, Carey�, Saint-Smith, McKenna S, King (McKenna C 55), Shepherd, Page, Alcorn, Barnes