Warriors Women were unable to build on their league victory over Loughborough Lightning as they went down 29-12 to Exeter Chiefs at Sixways in the Allianz Premier 15s.
The match formed the second part of a double-header with the men, who defeated Wasps 32-31 in dramatic fashion. Given a guard of honour by the men’s team, it was a scene to be hold and encapsulated what the club is all about.
When the game kicked off, Jo Yapp’s side never really got going and perhaps lacked the execution that Exeter demonstrated for the full 80 minutes.
The Devon club underlined their top four credentials with a bonus-point victory, running in four tries thanks to Linde Van der Velden, Nancy McGillivray, Chloe Rollie and Daleaka Menin. Caity Mattinson and Abby Smitheman replied for Warriors.
It was first blood to Exeter on 15 minutes when second-row Van der Velden crashed over from close range after a period of sustained pressure in Warriors’ 22. Garcia, who was impeccable with the boot all evening, converted.
Chiefs threatened a further score, but it was Warriors who notched up the next try through Mattinson. Mattinson’s show and go at the breakdown bamboozled Chiefs’ defence and the England capped scrum-half sprinted clear to touchdown. The try came shortly after replacement prop Carmen Tremelling came on for her 50th appearance for Warriors.
Lydia Thompson, one of a number of returning internationals, threatened to score a series of breakaway tries when the ball was moved wide, but Chiefs foiled any such attacks.
Instead, Exeter extended their lead on 28 minutes when McGillivray powered over for a converted score, before Garcia added further gloss to the score line with a long-range penalty to make it 17-5 going into the break.
Warriors rang the changes at half-time, but Chiefs continued where they left off in the first half by registering try number three courtesy of Rollie. It was arguably the try of the game as the full-back cut inside from the wing and dashed in under the posts. Garcia’s conversion made it 24-5 to the Devon club.
On the hour mark Menin barged her way over to give Exeter the try bonus-point to the delight of the travelling supporters, who made the trip up the M5.
Undeterred by the 29-5 scoreline, Warriors kept fighting until the end and they had the last word when replacement prop Smitheman breached Exeter’s resistance with a strong ball carry. Ellen Murphy was successful with the conversion, but the night belonged to Exeter who left Worcester with maximum points.
15m | Van der Velden try 0-5
16m | Garcia con 0-7
21m | Mattinson try 5-7
28m | McGillivray try 5-12
29m | Garcia con 5-14
31m | Garcia pen 5-17
49m | Rollie try 5-22
50m | Garcia con 5-24
61m | Menin try 5-29
78m | Smitheman try 10-29
79m | Murphy con 12-29