Jan 20, 2018
Saracens Women fall to first Premier 15s defeat
Saracens Women's 100% record in the Tyrrells Premier 15s was ended on Saturday by Wasps FC Ladies on a damp afternoon at Twyford Avenue. A try for fullback Nolli Waterman in the sixty sixth minute was enough for the home side to end Sarries unbeaten record of twelve consecutive matches.
Driving rain and miserable playing conditions suffocated any free flowing rugby in a game which was predominately played in the middle of the park with neither side able to find any continuity. It was a tough day for the forwards with scrum after scrum as the teams struggled to maintain possession for more than a couple of phases.
Wasps applied some early pressure on the Sarries line through a series of tight picks and scrums however could not breach the whitewash as the visitors cleared to resume play in the midfield. Sarries had a rare opportunity to set up a driving maul close to the Wasps line following a penalty slotted to the corner by Helena Rowland but Wasps swarmed to hold them out over the line.
The remainder of the half saw two heavyweight packs slug it out between the 22 metre lines with neither team able to get a foothold as they retreated into the changing rooms scoreless.
The second half saw more of the same as conditions saw no sign of improving. Sarries looked to break the deadlock when Wasps were penalised at the breakdown but Rowland couldn’t nail the tricky kick as it fell agonisingly short. Wasps also had a couple of opportunities to take the lead when Sarries found themselves on the wrong end of the referee’s decision but Hannah Edwards pulled both attempts wide.
It was fullback Waterman who put the first and only points on the board as Wasps capitalised on the extra player advantage following Bryony Cleall’s yellow card for a breakdown infringement. Edwards reversing the play down the blind side for Waterman to dive over in the corner.
Sarries continued to battle, throwing everything at their black and gold opponents as they inched deep into Wasps territory but could not find a way through as the clock wound down for Wasps to inflict the north London sides first defeat of the season.
Speaking after the match, head coach Rob Cain said: “Credit to Wasps for getting the win. The conditions were atrocious and had a major say in the result today. To see two teams who have been scoring five tries plus a match come away with from a contest decided by a single score shows how much both teams had to contend with. Both teams tried to play but unfortunately attacking opportunities were limited due to the battle of the conditions. Credit to the girls, they continued to find a way to try and make things happen but unfortunately we couldn’t build enough pressure to get over the line. Our work rate and ability to soak up pressure was immense today, our kicking game worked well but just really that final pass not sticking at crucial times did it. The result didn’t go our way but there were lots of positives and was great to see Hannah and Zoe back on the pitch.”
15 Nina Vistisen; 14 Emma Uren; 13 Cara Wardle (Harrison 62’) ; 12 Lauren Cattell; 11 Lotte Clapp ©; 10 Helena Rowland; 9 Georgie Gulliver ; 1 Perry; 2 Kat Evans; 3 Hannah Botterman (Stephenson 40’); 4 Valeria Fedrighi; 5 Sonia Green (Galligan 62’) ; 6 Bryony Cleall (75’); 7 Marlie Packer; 8 Poppy Cleall
Replacements 16 Scarlett Cooper-Wall; 17 Jude Stephenson; 18 Rosie Galligan; 19 Lauren Newman; 20; Zoe Harrison; 21 Anna Goddard; 22 Georgie Lingham
Scores: Waterman (66’)
Yellow Card: B Cleall (65')