The University of Gloucestershire Women’s Rugby Union team created history at Twickenham on Friday, 27 March by winning the Women's BUCS final for the first time against defending champions Cardiff Metropolitan University.
Tries from Sarah Nicholas, Millie Wood and Courtney Gill, along with four successful conversions from Sarah Nicholas, ensured that the University scored 28 points to Cardiff’s 12, to record an historic win.
The University of Gloucestershire led for the entire match, leading 21 – 12 at half time, confirming a spectacular rise from a side unable to field a starting XV to BUCS rugby champions in the space of just five years.
Delighted Vice Captain and Player of the Match Sarah Nicholas could not hide her delight, hailing the desire of the team: "All of our girls wanted this victory so much that the desire and belief was there,” she said. “We had nothing to lose and dealt really well with the pressure. Now that we have won BUCS, it will inspire a lot more women to come here and play rugby."
Dr Andy Pitchford, Director of Sport at the University of Gloucestershire, said: “'It was a brilliant performance from the team. They were really gutsy in the second half when they were down on numbers but the defence was superb in that period. I think the crowd helped too - having so many staff and students there to support them made a big difference. It was a superb day that will live in the memory for a long, long time.”
Ben Parfitt, University of Gloucestershire Students’ Union Sports Officer, said: “I couldn’t begin to describe how incredibly proud I was of all the players, support staff and supporters that helped push them over the final hurdle to secure that historic win. The girls more than deserved it and I will remember being part of this for the rest of my life. I don’t think the girls can begin to imagine what this has done for the university, with the widespread feel-good factor, increasing our sense of identity and putting the pin on the map for University of Gloucestershire Sport.”
University of Gloucestershire line-up: Sarah Nicholas, Millie Wood, Devon Holt, Lauren Chenoweth, Courtney Bishop, Megan Goddard, Bianca Blackburn (C), Becky Wilson, Abi Walker, Rebecca Trist, Ellie Lewis, Courtney Gill, Megan Lavill, Becki Belcher, Abi Parsons.
Subs: Kate Carter, Emily Andrews, Jessica Elbeck, Bethan Harries, Natalie Tucker, Lauren Strutt, Hannah Bingham.
Cardiff Metropolitan University line-up: Ambereley Ruck, Elli Norkett, Siobhan Longdon-Hughes, Tatyana Heard, Jasmine Joyce, Sarah Foster, Jessica Anne Roberts, Ellen Moorey, Megan Daley, Daisey Mayes, Olivia Jones, Ffion Jones, Shantell Heam, Cara Hope, Emily Underwood.
Subs: Kitty Newton, Laura Swan, Chloe Davies, Bronnie Jones, Joanne Jones, Cerys Ballett, Holly Molesworth.