MATCH REPORT | Saracens Women 31-0 Sale Sharks Women
Picking up where their dominant second-half performance last week left off, Saracens convincingly beat Sale Sharks 31-0 in the Allianz Cup to make it two wins from three games in the cup.
After a cagey start to the game, including a string of penalties conceded by Saracens, the home side found their first try from a stolen lineout. It was Vicky Fleetwood who capitalised on their craftiness at the set piece, striding through the Sale defence and under the posts for try number one.
After their first try, momentum clearly sat with The Women in Black. Their monstrous defence and line speed consistently swallowed up Sale’s efforts.
Sarries’ quick movement of the ball found them inside Sale’s 22 with numbers out wide, and Hannah Casey took it upon herself to slice through the opposition defence. Ella Wyrwas kicked her second conversion and Sarries were 14-0 up.
The sprightly Coreen Grant stood out in the first half. The fullback was constantly a thorn in Sale’s side, being a safe pair of hands under the high ball, and running it back with intent and aggression. Katie Barnes’ efforts at the lineout were also integral to providing an attacking platform.
Two more tries looked set in stone for Sarries, but thanks to a sturdy Sale defence, they were held up over the line twice in quick succession. The two sides continued to trade penalties and opportunities, and Sale had a try of their own held up after their forwards drove through Sarries’ 22.
Sale came out in the second half guns blazing, camping themselves in the 22 and attacking the try line. In the blink of an eye, Sarries turned defence into attack, winning a penalty and kicking for touch into Sale’s half. A few phases later captain Cara Wardle broke through. With defenders still in front of her, Wardle backed herself, breaking the last tackle and racing through for the third try of the match. The celebrations were cut short, however, as Wardle was taken off injured after scoring.
As substitutes like Jodie Mallard and Chantelle Miell entered the game, they injected further pace off the bench and kept the home side dominant.
Fresh off her call up to the Barbarians, Rocky Clark delighted the StoneX faithful with Saracens’ fourth try of the day, securing a bonus point.
The referee’s signal for the ball being held up became a familiar gesture throughout the day. After two Saracens tries were held up in the first half, amazingly, another two were held up in the second. It was equally a testament to Sale’s ability to defend under pressure, and Sarries’ excellence in attacking the opposition try line.
Hannah Casey closed out a dominant performance with her second try of the match shortly before the final whistle. Sophie Shams made an excellent catch under pressure, popping to Fiona McIntosh to accelerate towards the Sale 22. Hannah Casey received the ball and sensed blood in the waters, fending off a pack of Sharks to score in the corner.
Saracens now have a break before they travel to play Gloucester-Hartpury in the league on 27th November.
Written by Rhys Jones.