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Women’s rugby bring home European silver

The University of Gloucestershire’s women’s rugby union sevens team have brought home a silver medal representing Great Britain at the European Universities Sports Association (EUSA) Games.

The team travelled to Zagreb in Croatia to take part in the rugby sevens which was one of 21 sports that were taking place at the EUSA Games. The sevens tournament took place over three days in the temperatures of 34-38°C.

Having overcome the University of Paris – representing France – in their opening match, 17-14, the team went on to comprehensively beat the University of Coimbra (Portugal) 19-0. The second day would involve games against the hosts, University of Zagreb, and the University of Porto (Portugal). The University of Gloucestershire were to prove too strong for Zagreb, winning 34-5, but had a stiffer test against Porto, losing 24-19. The team then beat the University of Valencia (Spain) in the last match of the group stages to secure their place in the final, where they would once again face the University of Paris (France). Having taken the lead with an excellent individual try from Devon Holt and good amounts of possession for sustained periods of time the half time score was 12-12. The French team scored a converted second try and then some ducking and weaving from Meg Goddard saw her cross the try line in the corner, but unfortunately unable to convert making the score 19-17 to France. Despite some frantic play in the last couple of minutes, this was how the score finished and the university came away with a silver medal.

University of Gloucestershire Head Coach, Mark Jeffreys, said: “This was an excellent performance by the whole squad throughout the tournament. We played some great sevens and showed some fantastic spirit.” He also praised the work of Team Manager Lorea Sarobe and Physio Jimmy Gaisford. Jeffreys added: “It was a massive team effort from everyone involved and we had some great support from the families of the players. It makes it extra special to be working so hard away from home when you hear the cheers and the support from the sideline.”

The full University of Gloucestershire squad representing Great Britain was: Abbie Parsons, Becki Belcher, Rebecca Trist, Abi Walker, Jess Elbeck, Meg Lavill, Devon Holt, Megan Goddard, Viv Bahlmann, Natalie Haigh, Courtney Bishop, Bryony Eddy.