Jan 19, 2019
Match report: Gloucester-Hartpury Women 28-34 Saracens Women
Saracens Women survived a nervous last few minutes to hold on for a 34-28 bonus-point win at Gloucester-Hartpury on Saturday.
The Women in Black scored five tries to lead at Hartpury College, including a brace from the hugely impressive Sarah McKenna, but conceded a try in the 74thminute and were under pressure at the death with 14 players after Kay Searcy was yellow carded.
Last weekend it was Sarries who scored three late tries to turn the game around against Harlequins Ladies, but this week they showed their class at the other end to hold firm and maintain their lead at the top of the Tyrrells Premier 15s.
Gloucester-Hartpury enjoyed the brighter start, scoring in the second minute through Tatyana Heard, but Saracens drew level 12 minutes later when great persistence from the forwards on the left allowed Zoe Harrison to loop the ball out to McKenna on the right for a straightforward finish.
Every time McKenna had the ball in hand she looked dangerous, and in the 28thminute the England international put Saracens ahead, collecting a short pass from Harrison, side-stepping to the right and sprinting for the corner.
Gloucester-Hartpury answered almost immediately through Dyddgy Hywel, but Bryony Cleall restored Saracens’ lead just before half-time, showing her trademark power with an unstoppable drive.
That lead was extended further just after the break when McKenna turned provider to loop a pass out to Hannah Casey on the right, who dodged a tackle to squeeze over in the corner.
However, Gloucester-Hartpury again responded quickly, a couple of errors allowing Heard to score under the post.
Sarries took advantage of a yellow card for Katie Dougan in the 55thminute, driving the maul forward from a lineout for May Campbell to go over, and soon after Harrison kicked a penalty following a wonderful run on the left from Lotte Clapp.
The hosts piled on the pressure in the closing stages, and a Tazmin Brickall try six minutes from time made for a nail-biting finish, but Saracens held on to secure their 14thwin of the season.
Player of the match Harrison said: “They brought a really hard effort. We struggled a bit but we really put it in after half-time and came out fighting.”