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Facebook Barbariennes Fill the Gap

The Combined Services’ Women were left in a hole when the British Police cried off from their annual Poppy Appeal fixture on 8 November.

Undeterred former Scotland prop Major Maggie-Ann Hodge, selected for the Services squad,. turned to FACEBOOK to see whether girls in the Gloucester—Cheltenham area would fancy a game of rugby on a damp November night.The response was electric and a great game was played out at the Prince of Wales Stadium Cheltenham. Maybe the Services lacked a few of the ‘star’ names but there were sufficient numbers to give the FACEBOOK BARBARIENNES a run for their money.

The Barbariennes dominated the first half with a couple of high speed tries which left the Services gasping for air. Even though the Services were a scratch side the cohesion was not good and few were inclined to put on a head of steam. Whatever was said at half time in the changing room—it worked ! The Services came out with all guns firing.

Rosie Hague lifted the pack with searing runs of 50m whilst flanker Kelly Douglas plunged forward in close formation. With up-front domination scrum half Gemma Stonebridge –Smith whipped the ball to Sarah Mitchelson who was now in unstoppable form. Unsung heroine was probably loose head prop Charlie Maxwell who time and again drove into the centre of the defences and scored the try to give the Services victory.

On a pretty dank night initiative and rugby were the winners.

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