The Saints made the long trip looking to press on in the cup after a solid performance at home last week to a powerful Lichfield side.
The away side got off to a flying start with two tries within the first 10 minutes. They got themselves on the scoreboard with an opportunistic try from a turnover in their own half. The ball was moved wide to Caz Collie who powered down the wing before offloading to Claire Mckenna who raced under the posts for her first try. Shortly thereafter, Mckenna went over again after a well-worked strike move from an attacking scrum out wide to take the score to 12-0.
Not satisfied with two quick scores, the Saints scored again soon after when Alice Leitao found a gap from fly-half before offloading to Steph Plunkett who dotted down to extend the lead, 17-0.
Cheltenham rallied and took advantage of the Saints’ inability to clear their lines from the resulting kick-off to bring themselves back into the game, 5-17. For the renaming period of the first half, the Tigers laid siege to the OA’s line, but the blue wall would not be breached again thanks to some tireless work upfront and frantic pressure in the backs.
In a scoreless second half, both sides struggled to gain a foothold in the game due to consistent unforced errors in torrid conditions. Saints were fluent in stages throughout the second half in the attack, but failed to show the killer edge that saw them fly into the lead. They will rue the ill-disciple that saw them go down to 14 players twice in the game. Nevertheless, they will be proud of how they started and the character they showed to grind out the win.
Saints have a week off before hosting West Park Leeds RFC at Woolams looking to maintain they’re unbeaten run in the cup.
First Team Manager
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