Nov 24, 2015
Nine try Saracens Women sweep Darlington aside
Saracens Women continued their impressive run of form as they romped to a nine try victory over Darlington at Allianz Park.
Despite welcoming back several players who were involved with the Autumn Internationals, head coach Rob Cain named an unchanged starting squad from the previous rounds win away to Lichfield.
The home side were quick out of the blocks as Poppy Cleall embarked on a bulldozing run to link with skipper Sonia Green who was denied just short of the line.
Geri Thomas was in support to muscle over from close range to open the scoring. Saracens continued to build the pressure as the visitors were penalised several times in quick succession and fast thinking scrum half
Georgia Gulliver, eager to raise the tempo, took a quick tap penalty which saw Cleall again on the end to bully her way over to score. The backrow is in blistering form this season, her barnstorming runs coupled with moments of offload magic are lighting up the Premiership every week.
Winger Deborah Fleming added her name to the scoresheet shortly after as she blitzed out of her own half leaving the Darlington defenders in her wake to give Saracens a 15 point lead after 15 minutes.
Despite the early onslaught, the visitors did not let their heads drop and following some promising positive phases in the Saracens 22 were rewarded with a try of their own as centre Rachel Woosey split the defence to slip through.
The visitors struck again following a spell of ill discipline by Saracens gave them territory and flanker Ruth Nash dotted down to bring them back to within 3 points. This was clearly a wake up call for last years champions as they lifted the intensity and winger Ama Mayes got one back on the stroke of half time.
Saracens made changes at half time with the introduction of Hannah Gallagher and Lauren Cattell, fresh from England duty making an instant impact on the game.
Another strong link from backrow partners Cleall and Green got Saracens on the front foot as the skipper barged over and Cattell added the extras. The substitute centre then added a try of her own as she danced through the Darlington defence from 60 metres out.
The third of Saracens England players, Lotte Clapp entered the fray and scored on her first touch of the ball as she bolted down the line unopposed. Flanker Lauren Newman went close minutes later but a resolute Darlington defence kept her out and forced the error. Their third try of the afternoon came courtesy of a break from Woosey who looked threatening throughout the afternoon.
It was the home side that would have the final say as birthday girl Brooke Sim ran in, followed shortly by her centre partner Cattell who breezed through with another long range solo effort to wrap up a 51-17 victory. The bonus point keeps Saracens within 5 points of league leaders Richmond, with the sides set to face each other next weekend.
Head coach Rob Cain – “I’m really happy after such a dominant performance against a very determined and confrontational Darlington team. Things are beginning to come together nicely for our run into the final stages for the seeding of the play offs. Our speed of play, decision making and execution is getting better all the time and I am very excited to see how far we continue to develop our style over the next few weeks.”