Jan 08, 2018
Saracens Women maintain winning run in Cup
Saracens Women continued their unbeaten form across all competitions with a 19-27 win away to Lichfield Ladies in the National Cup on Sunday. First half tries from Georgie Lingham and Eloise Bloomfield plus scores from Emma Swords, Kay Searcy and Ella Wyrwas was enough to secure victory against a determined Lichfield outfit in the first outing of 2018.
It was the home side that took first blood after five minutes as they punished a series of early Sarris errors. A missed kick to touch was picked up by Lichfield scrum half Eleanor Pitcher who smartly spotted the space in behind to chip and chase to score. Nancy Stone successfully converting to take the full seven points.
This proved to be a wake up call for Sarries who began to exert pressure and make good yards up the field. Some quick thinking from scrum half Emma Swords put Sarries on the front foot as she found Ellie Gattlin who floated a beautiful pass out to Georgie Lingham who showed her pace down the wing to touch down in the corner for their first score of the afternoon on the eighteen minute mark.
Lichfield applied some solid pressure of their own as they camped out in the 22 but Sarries wolfpack defence stood firm with Jude Stephenson earning a crucial penalty on the line to snub out the danger.
Sarries sensed an opportunity to strike, running from their own line with some superb interplay between the backline for winger Eloise Bloomfield to dot down in the corner with 33 minutes on the clock.
Lichfield had the final say of the half as centre Carys Hall ripped the ball away in the tackle to dive in for a score and a successful conversion from Stone gave the home side a 14-10 lead going into the break.
It was very much a tale of two halves as Sarries began to find their clinical edge which has escaped them in the first period. Some strong carrying and movement from the backs gave good field position allowing Swords to snipe under the posts from five metres out seven minutes into the second half. Fly half April Brown adding the extras to edge Sarries back in front at 14-17.
With momentum now swinging in favour of the visitors and the bench making a real impact, Sarries began to ramp up the pressure. Kay Searcy, scoring against her former club, as she bulldozed over from close range with the help of Brown after 54 minutes.
Full back Cathy Freeman put boot to ball to put Sarries deep in Lichfield territory and after several phases Ella Wyrwas spotted the gap to beat two defenders and score, earning Sarries the bonus point and a thirteen point lead with 15 minutes on the clock.
Lichfield continued to battle to the final whistle and were rewarded for their efforts as flanker Alice Hodgkinson finished off a well worked move in the corner but it wasn’t enough as Saracens maintained their 100% record in the competition with a 19-27 win.
Speaking after the match, head coach Rob Cain said: “Full credit to the players today. We dug ourselves a few holes but had the character and work ethic to problem solve and come out a rejuvenated side in the second half. Lichfield is always a tough place to travel to and get a result so credit to them. Their physical abrasive style combined with us not being as clinical as would have liked left us frustrated for large chucks of the game and gave them opportunities to get points easier than we wanted.
“We spoke at half time about us needing to raise our physicality and tempo of the game and I am so pleased that our hard work shone through and we were rewarded with the win. Getting a bonus point even though for large parts of the game our performance wasn’t where we aspired it to be shows you how much fight and resolve this squad has.”
Scores Tries Lingham (18’); Bloomfield (33’); Swords (47‘); Searcy (54‘); Wyrwas (65‘)
Cons Brown 1/4, Lingham 0/1