Gloucestershire have won the BUCS Rugby Sevens Women’s Championship for a second year running after beating Edinburgh at the prestigious competition.
The Premier South side walked away with the Cup following a pulsating 20 minute clash with Edinburgh in ever changing weather conditions in Leeds. The game was level at 5-5 at half-time and with the sleet beginning to fall; handling errors were starting to creep in during the second period.
Edinburgh then looked as though they had done enough to win it when they made a striding break through the stretched Gloucestershire defence to touch down. However, with the pressure now on the reigning champions, they stayed cool and composed before they dealt the killer blow.
They were able to turn over possession and let Emily Wood loose and she sprinted under the posts to level the game up with minutes remaining. She then stayed calm to nudge over the conversion which ultimately secured the victory.
Route to the Final
The Women’s tournament was split into two groups; one of which contained five teams while the other contained four. The top four sides in Pool A would qualify for the quarter-finals while all four sides from Pool B were guaranteed a place in the last eight.
From Pool A, Edinburgh cruised through winning all four of their matches and in the process, they racked up a points difference of +109. BUCS XV a-side Championship finalists Cardiff Met came second after two wins and a draw while Northumbria finished third. Fellow north-east side Newcastle also progressed to the last eight.
In Pool B, Gloucestershire started the defence of their title in style picking up maximum points while Exeter finished second, Loughborough third and Leeds Beckett (who were the only to lose all of their groups matches) fourth.
Gloucestershire and Edinburgh had no such troubles in their quarter-final ties as the holders eased past Premier North side Newcastle with a 36-7 win while Edinburgh comfortably beat Durham 24-0. After clinching the BUCS XV a-side Championship at Twickenham last month, Cardiff Met looked in great shape to do the double as they saw off Loughborough 25-0 while Exeter got their revenge for their BUCS XV a-side Championship semi-final defeat to Northumbria by beating the north-east outfit 25-10.
In truth, there was nothing unpredictable about the semi-final line-up. All four of these sides had had strong afternoons in Leeds as they battled the inclement weather conditions to reach the last four of this competition. Gloucestershire took on old foes Cardiff Met looking for payback following their BUCS XV a-side Championship semi-final defeat and the current 7s holders did just that. Gloucestershire overpowered Cardiff Met by scoring give tries inside 14 minutes to seal a 27-7 win to reach a second successive final while Edinburgh maintained their 100 per cent record for the day thanks to a 26-7 victory over Premier South side Exeter.
So to the final where the two unbeaten sides went head to head for the BUCS crown. Gloucestershire were well known before the tournament for their pedigree in Sevens rugby while Edinburgh were an unknown quantity to most, but thoroughly deserved their place in the final.
And that was highlighted by their display as they more than matched the regening champions before England U20 international Wood spotted a rare gap in the Edinburgh defence to dart over Gloucestershire and seal them a second consecutive title in this competition.
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