Apr 14, 2018
Saracens Women secure Premier 15s final spot
Saracens Women booked themselves a place in the inaugural Tyrrells Premier 15s final with a 45-26 win against Gloucester-Hartpury at Allianz Park on Saturday. Sarries took a 62-0 aggregate lead going into the fixture and added an additional seven tries to cross the century mark taking the score to 107 -26.
Hungry for redemption following their 62-0 defeat at home last weekend, Gloucester-Hartpury came firing out the blocks with Rachel Lund stepping through the Sarries defence to open the scoring after just seven minutes. Garnet Mackinder’s last ditch tackle going high resulting in a yellow card for the winger.
After a sluggish start this proved to be a wake up call for the home side as they began to settle into the game and break the line with strong carries from the Cleall twins and captain Lotte Clapp. Bryony Cleall was first to cross on twelve minutes as Sarries got their driving maul into play and the flanker appeared from the pile of bodies and Rowland adding the extras. Player of the Match Helena Rowland followed up three minutes later on the end of a storming break from Marlie Packer. Her back row team mate Poppy Cleall was never far from the action as she punctured the Gloucester-Hartpury through the middle and prop Hannah Botterman was on hand to finish under the sticks.
Gloucester-Hartpury were unrecognisable from the side that fell in the previous week, enjoying a good share of possession and asking many questions of the Sarries defence. They were rewarded for their effort as Sarries got caught short out wide and Mary-Ann Gitttings went over in the corner to reduce the deficit to 19-14 going into half time.
Rob Cain’s side rallied early in the second half notching up a fourth score from Garnet Mackinder and another for Marlie Packer off the back of a surging maul. Clapp added to the scoreboard after charging down Kildunne’s kick coupled with Rowland’s conversion to extend the lead to 38-14.
Replacement Cara Wardle was shown yellow for a knock down and Gloucester took immediate advantage of the extra player as replacement Sophie Tandy dotted down to reduce the deficit.
Centre Lauren Cattell danced her way over with five minutes remaining and Gloucester snuck in for a late consolation try through Tandy but the game was already won as Sarries secured a 45-26 win and a place in the Premier 15 final.
Head coach Rob Cain spoke after the match: “We are so delighted to have made the inaugural final after all the hard work which has happened this season. We knew it was going to be a challenge with having such a solid buffer from the first round and full credit to Gloucester – they threw everything at us for the full eighty. The fifteen minutes after half time were massive for us and secured us the win on the day and our finals spot. We’ll enjoy tonight and then the hard work starts again on Monday as we prepare for Quins.”
Saracens Women will play Harlequins Ladies on Sunday 29th April, 15h00 KO at Ealing Trailfinders.
Tickets are available via the RFU website- https://www.eticketing.co.uk/rfu/EDP/Event/Index/2423
15 Nina Vistisen (Uren 60’); 14 Garnet Mackinder; 13 Lauren Cattell; 12 Helena Rowland; 11 Lotte Clapp ©; 10 Zoe Harrison (Wardle 55’); 9 Georgie Gulliver (Swords 55’); 1 Hannah Botterman (Barber 60); 2 May Campbell; 3 Sam Martinez Gion; 4 Sonia Green; 5 Tess Wijmans (Fedrighi 44’); 6 Bryony Cleall; 7 Marlie Packer (Evans 55’); 8 Poppy Cleall (Galligan 52’)
Replacements 16 Kat Evans; 17 Sarah Barber; 18 Rosie Galligan; 19 Valeria Fedrighi; 20 Emma Swords; 21 Cara Wardle; 22 Emma Uren
Scores: B Cleall (12’); Rowland (15’); Botterman (21’); Mackinder (44’) Packer (50’); Clapp (52’); Cattell (75')
Conversions Rowlands x 5
Yellow Card: Mackinder (8’); Wardle (64’)