Oct 21, 2015
Saracens Women beaten by Richmond
Saracens were beaten 13-17 by London rivals Richmond at Allianz Park in a tense top of the table clash. With both sides undefeated so far in this Premiership campaign, it was Richmond who edged this encounter with a late try courtesy of some solid forward work.
The home side tested Richmond’s defence from the first whistle, playing deep into their territory only to concede a penalty on the line allowing them to alleviate the pressure.
Saracens landed the first points of the match after 15 minutes with Richmond penalised at the breakdown and Cattell opting for the penalty kick. The home side soaked up a lot of pressure going into the break as a strong pick and go game allowed Richmond to gain valuable yards and put Saracens on the back foot. Richmond opened their account through the experienced Rowena Burnfield who crashed over. As expected this was a tight, low scoring affair going into half time at 3-5.
Saracens struck straight after the break as winger Lotte Clapp demonstrated some superb footwork to outpace the Richmond defence. The ball was recycled quickly and Lauren Cattell took advantage of the overlap to dot down.
Richmond substitute Tess Forsburg made an immediate impact as she powered over after some tidy work in the tight and Jackie Shiels added the conversion.
Rob Cain’s side had the opportunity to strike back shortly after as Cattell made a darting break, linking with winger Deborah Fleming who was brought down inches short. Saracens reinforcements piled in to secure the ball however were penalised and Richmond were able to clear their lines. The pressure continued as Fleming used her pace to break, putting Saracens on the front foot and Poppy Cleall (pictured) burrowed over from close range to give the home side a slender one point lead.
With time ticking down, Saracens had valuable possession but Richmond bullied at the breakdown, winning a penalty for their efforts which they kicked to touch. The driving maul, which worked to excellent effect for the visitors throughout, delivered the fatal blow as Saracens were unable to respond and the visitors dived over to take the try and the match.
Saracens head coach Rob Cain spoke after the match “We expected a tough physical battle and we certainly weren’t disappointed and for the neutral spectator put on a fantastic game to watch.
“Today was a really good test of where we are as a group and highlighted to us which areas we need to continue to work hard on. We are still developing as a team with new combinations and this will be a positive learning curve for us. I’m really proud of the whole squad, they left everything out there. Today we lost in round 6 of the league, nothing more, nothing less and our next focus is a tough away trip to Bristol to finish the end of the first round of league games.”
Tries: Cattell (41), Cleall (72)
Penalty: Cattell (15)
Tries: Burnfield (18) Forsberg (52), Croker (75)
Conversions: Shiels (53)