Austerberry believes there is more to come after win over Bristol
Alex Austerberry lauded the “opportunistic” Ella Wyrwas whose try proved to be the difference as Saracens leapfrogged Saturday’s opponents Bristol Bears to go top of the Premier 15s table.
Scrum-half Wyrwas scored a sensational solo try chasing down her own kick to score the decisive score in a 17-12 victory which ended Bristol’s unbeaten start to the season.
Head coach Austerberry said: “We talked about some of the space in the backfield. Ella’s opportunistic and it helps that she’s got a turn of pace as well.
“It’s not something that we directly planned for but for her to link it together and have the skill set to execute the kick and have the desire and the work rate to get there is fantastic.”
Wyrwas’ try will stick in the minds of many Sarries fans when they look back on this top of the table clash, but Austerberry was keen to praise the collective effort of the forward pack.
Marlie Packer, captain in the absence of Lotte Clapp, led by example and was the scourge of the Bears at the breakdown on several occasions.
“We have a lot of people who can really impact and influence the breakdown so it is something that we work hard on,” said Austerberry.
“It is a real strength of Marlie’s game and it came to the fore today, as it did for a fair few players.
“In a big game you need the top players to stand up and they did.”
The win which extended Saracens’ winning start to seven matches saw them replace the Bears at the summit of the Premier 15s. But Austerberry insists the team are solely focused on where they stand come the season’s climax.
“Let’s talk about the table at the end of the season.
“This performance had lots of positives: physicality, work rate, and coming away with a win against a very good side.
“It’s a good day. There are still things to work on to make us that bit more effective but I’m really happy.”
Sunday sees third-placed Harlequins visit the StoneX in a mouth-watering occasion. The Women in Black will be keen to avenge the defeat suffered at the hands of their London rivals in last season’s Premier 15s final.
“It’s a building rivalry,” said Austerberry.
“There have been some epic encounters, unfortunately we lost the last one so it’s a great chance to knock off a rival at home.
“It’s always electric at the StoneX and it’s brilliant to have the crowd behind us, so it’s very much something we’re looking forward to.
“We’ll enjoy this win and then get back down to work and prepare for Quins.
“It’s a really tough month and we want to be two from two against these very good sides.”
Written by Ben Hart.