Nov 09, 2015
Saracens Women nil Wasps
Saracens keep Wasps at bay in a scrappy affair at Allianz Park to record their eighth Premiership win this season.
After a comfortable victory away to Wasps earlier in the season, the home side were pushed much closer this time out as their London rivals pressurised and made Saracens fight for every point.
Handling errors from both sides stopped any real momentum as possession was coughed up cheaply around the park. Wasps had the opportunity to get the first points on the board with a penalty after two minutes but were denied by the woodwork.
Nina Vistisen opened the scoring for Saracens shortly after following a flowing attack move and a series of strong carries, the space opened up out wide but the centre threw the dummy to ghost through under the posts. April Brown duly converted. Marcella Collins got on the score sheet just before half time as she peeled off from a strong driving maul to give the home side a 12 point lead at the break.
Saracens were without usual starters Hannah Gallagher, Lotte Clapp and Lauren Cattel due to their international commitments with England over the next fortnight and injuries to prop Kerrie-Ann Craddock and full back Georgia Peedle gave several fresh faces the opportunity to make their mark. Centre Brooke Sim stepped up to the plate and was superb throughout, injecting tempo into the midfield and fully deserving of her player of the match award.
The second half continued in a similar vein to the first 40 minutes with neither side able to settle and establish a real foothold in the game. Saracens buried a penalty deep into the corner and followed with another powerful driving maul however Fi Sim was deemed to be held up over the line.
Sensing their opportunity Saracens struck immediately from the resulting scrum with Poppy Cleall picking from the base to dive over. Brooke Sim closed proceedings as she pounced on a loose ball in the final minutes to fly down the wing and dot down for her first Premiership try.
Despite keeping a clean sheet Saracens will be left disappointed that they were unable to secure the bonus point. The gap at the top of the table now extends to 5 points after Richmond picked up maximum points against Bristol on Saturday and Saracens will want to make sure they keep hot on the heels of the leaders.
Saracens Head Coach, Rob Cain: “I can’t fault the attitude or work rate of the squad today. With several players away on international duty and unavailable through injury this showed our strength in depth and reinforced just how much competition we have within the club for starting places.
“We are very fortunate to have a very talented hardworking squad and quite a few markers were laid down through their individuals performances. We still have lots to work on so we can deliver a full 80 minute performance but each week different parts of our game are developing and its pleasing to see this improvement as we continue towards the play offs.”
Tries: Vistisen (10), Collins (35) Cleall (72) B. Sim (77)
Conversions: Brown (11)
Saracens Women: 15 Charlotte Barras; 14 Deborah Fleming; 13 Nina Vistisen; 12 Brooke Sim; 11 Laura Dowsett; 10 April Brown; 9 Georgia Gulliver; 1.Karlee Walters; 2 May Campbell; 3 Olivia de Merchant; 4 Marcella Collins; 5 Fi Sim; 6 Lauren Newman; 7 Poppy Cleall; 8 Sonia Green (c)
Replacements: 16 Geri Thomas; 17 Anna Stodter; 18 Rachael Potter; 19 Ama Mayes