In November 2022, Gloucester Rugby and Leicester Tigers announced that they would be competing for the Slater Trophy, that was named after Ed Slater. Slater played and captained for both Gloucester and Leicester but was forced to retire after his diagnosis of Motor Neurone Disease. In February 2023, Gloucester announced that for the first Slater Cup game played at Kingsholm that they would play in a limited edition Slater Cup Shirt that was designed by Ed and his family. They also said that £10 from every shirt sold would go to Ed and his family to aid his treatment and help fund adaptions to his home. This year Slater’s children carried out the Cup.
Gloucester Hartpury vs Leicster Tigers (Kingsholm Stadium):
This was the first time we saw the Slater Cup being introduced in the PWR Allianz cup, which enabled for Gloucester Hartpury to earn their first win of the season. The home team were especially dominant in the first half, going into half time with a score line of 40-0. Georgia Brock scored the first try, followed by Kelly Taylor’s soon after with a tidy finish on the left wing and El Perry had a powerful carry to get Gloucester Hartpury’s third. Her try was the first out of many stand-out contributions in the match from the prop, which earned Perry the Stowford Press Player of the Match. Then, tries from Sarah Beckett, Mia Venner and Emma Sing racked up the huge first half score line. After the break, Gloucester Hartpury started how they ended the last half, scoring many tries. Perry made a break through the midfield and had Neve Jones running a support line on her shoulding. The Ireland international received a well-timed pass from Perry and finished onthe try line. Venner scored a second try that extended Gloucester Hartpury’s points total to over 50. The Tigers challenged the home team with a couple of late scores, including a solo try from the England International, Meg Jones but nothing could steal the win away from Gloucester Hartpury. The score ended in 52-14 to Gloucester Hartpury, which was the prefect start to their road of title defending.
Gloucester vs Leicester Tigers (Kingsholm Stadium):
The Cherry and Whites faced defeat at home in the Kingsholm’s Slater Cup double-header and the Tigers retained the Cup with a 20-38 victory. It was a rocky start for Gloucester as just after 2 minutes of play, Handre Pollard knocked over a penalty from the front of posts after the Gloucester back line were penalised for offside, making the score line 0-3. George Barton had a chance to level the score line after the Tigers conceded a penalty for not rolling away but the fly-half’s kick struck the upright and Leicester cleared their lines. However, Barton redeemed himself with a second penalty attempt of the match, and he landed his kick from halfway which made the Cherry and Whites catch up with the Tigers. After many failed attempts of converting a penalty kick, Barton scored another making it 6-3, with Gloucester in the lead. But this lead was short-lived as Pollard converted 2 consecutive penalties pushing the Tigers in the lead again with the score of 3-9. Ollie Hassell-Collins claimed the game’s first try after beating Santiago Carreras but Pollard couldn’t add the extra points. By the end of the first half, the Tigers were winning 6-14. Lewis Ludlow’s words of wisdom during the break must have worked as George McGuigan scored a try after rumbling over on the back of a driving maul and Barton added a well-struck touchline conversion. Leicester’s second row, Ollie Chessum, was sent for 10 minutes in the sin bin for contact to the face as the maul headed towards the Tigers’ line. The Cherry and Whites were also reduced to 14 men as Barton was penalised for head-on-head contact with Pollard. Tries from the leicester hooker, Julian Montoya, and Ollie H-C and coversion from Pollard made the score line 13-28 but was soon followed by a maiden try from Jamal Ford-Robinson and Barton adding another two points from the boot, 20-28. It was too little, too late for Gloucester as another Pollard penalty and a bonus point try frim Solomone Kata saw Leicester Tigers retain the Slater Cup. End score line: 20-38.