Oct 21, 2017
Saracens Women topple Richmond FC
Saracens Women made it five from five as they overcame Richmond FC by a score of 29-0 at The Athletics Ground in the Tyrrells Premier 15s. Four tries from no.8 Poppy Cleall plus another from Garnet Mackinder was enough to secure a bonus point win and give Sarries their third consecutive clean sheet.
The rivalry between the two London teams is well known and this was the bruising encounter that everyone expected. It took fourteen minutes for the visitors to break the deadlock as Poppy Cleall finished off from the back of a tidy looking Sarries scrum. Both sides enjoyed spells of possession however were unable to capitalise on a blustery evening in south west London. Richmond moved the ball well through Abi Chamberlain and Jade Wong however Sarries wolfpack defence kept them at bay.
The visitors added to their tally through winger Garnet Mackinder as they capitalised on the extra player advantage following a sin bin for Richmond no.8 Chloe Butler for coming off her feet at the ruck. A series of tight picks sucked in the home side and Mackinder didn’t need to be asked twice to find the space and finish in the corner.
The departure of Marlie Packer at half time was the only shadow on an otherwise successful evening for Sarries as the flanker picked up an injury late in the first half and could not continue. Her forwards team mates rallied in her absence with second row duo, Sonia Green and Valeria Fedrighi leading the charge sensationally in both attack and defence. Poppy Cleall got herself on the scoresheet for her second try as the Sarries scrum bullied Richmond back for the backrower to cross again.
Saracens stuck to their power game up front which is proving to be a real weapon and will be pleased with the effectiveness of the driving maul which frequently put the home side under pressure. A raft of Sarries substitutions injected some energy into the closing quarter of game with Anna Goddard and Geri Thomas both making an impact when entering the fray.
Cleall picked up her hat trick in the sixty six minute as Sarries forwards and back linked to carry the visitors into the danger zone and the no.8 bulldozed over from close range to claim the bonus point – Sarries fourth from five matches.
Richmond launched a comeback in the final stages throwing everything at the Sarries line however couldn’t find a way through the wall of white. Determined to keep yet another clean sheet Sarries fought back to win back possession and with it another try from Cleall.
Speaking after the match head coach Rob Cain said: “I’m so so pleased for the players today. It wasn’t always pretty but after showing much attacking intent the last few games it was the players work ethic especially after half time which was the difference. We really forced the tempo in the second half and our ball carriers worked tirelessly to give us quicker ball. It was great to see the strength of our squad show through with so many new combinations and faces problem solve together to get what we needed out of the game. The players defensive efforts were rewarded again and our energy for each other was rewarded, keeping the opposition scoreless. To come to Richmond is always a tough task and the players continued to show how well they are building as a group.”
15 Rowan White;14 Garnet Mackinder (Siczowa 69’) ; 13 Ella Wyrwas (Wardle 70’); 12 Nina Vistisen ; 11 Lotte Clapp ©; 10 April Brown; 9 Georgie Gulliver (Goddard 66) ; 1 Loz Salisbury (Barber 70) ; 2 Kat Evans; 3 Sam Martinez Gion (Thomas 55’); 4 Sonia Green; 5 Valeria Fedrighi; 6 Harriet Austin (Galligan 60’); 7 Marlie Packer (Cleall 40’); 8 Poppy Cleall
Replacements 16 Sarah Barber; 17 Geri Thomas; 18 Rosie Galligan; 19 Bryony Cleall; 20 Cra Wardle; 21 Anna Goddard; 22 Chrissy Siczowa
Scores Tries Cleall (14’, 46’, 66’, 80’); Mackinder (38)
Cons Brown 2/5
Images courtesy of Daniel Nechita.