MATCH REPORT | Wasps Women 13-73 Saracens Women
The early rain failed to dampen Saracens Women’s parade, as they romped to victory against a resilient Wasps side, to secure an Allianz Cup semi-final berth.
Whilst Alex Austerberry’s side pulled clear in the second half, Wasps made them work for every one of their eleven tries, as the hosts continued to fight until the very end.
The early exchanges were all Saracens, as the pack drove Wasps backwards at every turn.
The opening score would come from a similar position too, as the maul drove towards the line, before Alex Ellis drove over from close range.
Minutes later, Saracens were in for their second, as Flo Williams spotted a gap on the shortside and burst through, to score against her former side. Williams duly added the conversion on a fine afternoon from the tee, as Wasps were powerless to stop the Saracens charge.
Wasps though, were about to put a spanner in the works, as Makeda Lewis intercepted a floated pass and sprinted clear, to get her side up and running on the afternoon.
That blip didn’t seem to unsettle Sarries though and they hit back in typically powerful fashion, with Maya Montiel crashing over for her first try in Saracens colours, on a fine afternoon for the Canadian international.
The hosts though, continued to stay in the hunt, with Hannah Edwards slotting a penalty to reduce the deficit again.
Saracens though, would continue to stick to what was serving them well, as Jodie Rettie powered over from the back of a maul, to seal the try bonus point.
In truth, the rest of the half became a somewhat scrappy affair, with both sides creating opportunities, only to lose the ball in contact when it mattered most.
Saracens though they were in again on the stroke of half-time, as Sharifa Kasolo powered away. However, her side would lose control of the ball on the floor, to end the half on a frustrating note.
As the second half got underway, Saracens returned with the bit between their teeth, as Kasolo finally got her score, latching onto a seismic break from Montiel.
Williams continued her fine record off the tee, and it wasn’t long before Sarries scored again, as Ellis finished off a sumptuous team try.
Replacement Sarah Bebbington carried hard into contact, before Catha Jacobs and Ellis combined for a well-worked score.
Wasps needed a response, and they found it thanks to another Edwards penalty, but that was as good as it got for the hosts, as Sarries continued to build the score.
Montiel then powered over for her second of the afternoon, before a silky set-play saw the returning Sydney Gregson race over untouched.
Saracens really were dominant now, with replacement May Campbell grabbing the first of her two tries, from another trademark driving maul.
Heading into the final ten minutes, Saracens were intent on continuing to add to their tally. The opportunity looked to have been lost after a misplaced lineout, however Campbell was quickest to the ball, ripping it from her opposite number and putting her head where it hurts, to power over the line.
Wasps continued to keep hunting for a second try, as they looked to end with a bang, but it was Saracens who would provide the final flourish.
Rebecca De Fillipo was making her first appearance on the field for three years and the Welsh international certainly made up for lost time, as she powered through several tackles, to finish expertly in the corner and bring up seventy points.
This was a mightily impressive showing from a much-changed Saracens side, as they secured a cup semi-final berth at the end of April, heading into a much-deserved break from competitive action.