“That was a little bit too close for comfort at times! Amazing to comeback at the end and get the win!” – Vicky Fleetwood
Saracens Women produced an outstanding second half comeback to win away to Loughborough Lightning 24 – 28 on Saturday 5 October at Loughborough University.
Saracens went in at half-time 17 – 0 down but second half scores by Hannah Botterman, Mackenzie Carson, Sarah McKenna and Libby Lockwood, along with four successful conversions by Lisa Martin, ensured the visitors came away with the full five points.
After an even opening few minutes it was the home side that got on the board as Emily Scarratt ran a good line in midfield to run in under the posts. She converted her try to take Loughborough into a 7 – 0 lead.
Their second try followed in quick succession as a wide pass found Loughborough’s fullback in space. Jones stepped her way through the defence before offloading to Katy Daley-McLean, with the fly-half applying the finishing touches.
Saracens struggled for possession and territory in the first 40 minutes and Loughborough were dangerous off turnover ball.
One of these turnovers led to Loughborough’s third try with Scarratt proving key as two big carries from the centre eventually led to Isla Alejandro scoring in the corner.
This took Loughborough out to a 17-nil lead but there was still time for them to put the visitors under pressure in their 22. Two big defensive sets from Saracens kept Loughborough out and ensured they didn’t concede again before half-time.
The visitors came out firing in the second 40 minutes and soon had a chance to get a score back on the board. Two quick penalties against the home team gave Saracens the lineout in their 22 and a huge driving maul resulted in Hannah Botterman dotting down.
Martin’s first conversion meant the visitors had their foot in the door.
Carson’s try followed just a few minutes later and once again it was the driving maul that proved so effective. Slick service at the lineout gave Saracens the chance to setup and the hooker showed good strength to get the ball down.
However, Loughborough looked to have secured the win just a few minutes later as Scarratt got her second. The centre followed up Daley-McLean’s kick in behind to score next to the posts.
There was still time for one final swing of fortunes in this match though as Saracens came back hard in the final ten minutes.
After Chantelle Miell was held up in the left-hand corner, some patient play from the scrum eventually gave Sarah McKenna the chance to step between two defenders and go over next to the posts.
Martin’s third successful conversion meant that a try would be enough to give Saracens the win.
It looked like Loughborough had done enough to hold Saracens off as they had a lineout outside their 22 with just over two minutes left.
Pressure from the visiting team led to a knock-on and Saracens were able to force a penalty. Loughborough did well to stop the initial drive but the visitors showed their patience and trusted the forwards to get over the line.
The pressure told with Libby Lockwood showing great strength to get the ball down to the jubilation of the Saracens players and travelling Sarries fans.