Saracens - Saracens Women topple Top 8 side in France preseason friendly

Sep 02, 2017

Saracens Women topple Top 8 side in France preseason friendly


Saracens Women overcame French Top 8 team Stade Rennais in a preseason friendly on Saturday evening at the Stadium Du Littoral in Dunkerque with an impressive 46-5 win. The London side ran in eight tries courtesy of Lauren Cattell, Rosie Galligan, Georgie Lingham, Sarah Bebbington and a brace for fullback Lotte Clapp in front of an enthusiastic home crowd.

Saracens Women overcame French Top 8 team Stade Rennais in a preseason friendly on Saturday evening at the Stadium Du Littoral in Dunkerque with an impressive 46-5 win. The London side ran in eight tries courtesy of Lauren Cattell, Rosie Galligan, Georgie Lingham, Sarah Bebbington and a brace for fullback Lotte Clapp in front of an enthusiastic home crowd.

Both teams took a while to settle into the game as they tested new combinations and looked to put their preseason efforts into action. Stade Rennais opened the scoring as they patiently worked through the phases for the ball to make its way out wide for the winger to cross the whitewash after just six minutes. Both sets of forwards were made to work hard as multiple handling errors lead to successive scrums, and it was from the set piece that Sarries struck for their first try of the match. Some solid scrummaging lead to a turnover for the women in black which was quickly recycled for Clapp to score in the corner on the 18 minute mark. There was nothing to separate the teams after the first quarter as bruising hits from Stade Rennais snuffed out any Sarries attack.

Sarries debutants Ella Wyras and Sarah Bebbington will be pleased with their contribution as they proved to be a constant threat with ball in hand. No. 8 Rosie Galligan impressed with a string of powerful carries to put Sarries on the front foot for Cattell to score just before the half hour mark. Beginning to find their rhythm and with new combinations clicking into place, Sarries began to enjoy prolonged periods of possession and dominate territory. Loz Salisbury went close only to be denied metres short of the line by some tenacious tackling from Stade Rennais as was also the case for Clapp minutes later. The French side’s defence could only hold up against the sustained tide of pressure from Sarries for so long and finally broke as Galligan muscled her way over after a quick tap from a penalty.

Momentum carried on in Sarries favour in the second half as they launched wave after wave of attack with scrumhalf Georgie Gulliver forcing a tempo the Top 8 side could not live with moving them around the park. Bebbington, who was outstanding in open play, sliced open the Stade Rennais defence to break forty metres and looked certain to score but unselfishly put newcomer Georgia Lingham in for a score on her debut. Clapp went over for her second as she wrong-footed several defenders with some impressive footwork to extend Sarries lead to 27-5. Bebbington was in the thick of the action soon after as she picked a superb line and once the burners were on there was no way anyone was going to catch her.

Saracens continued to enjoy moving the ball around the park and hooker Kat Evans went over for Sarries seventh of the evening after debutant and French national Kelly Togba showed her strength from close range. Rob Cain’s side weren’t quite done as outside centre Nina Vistisen deservedly got her name on the scoresheet in an inspired solo effort as she brushed off several defenders to round off the game and give Saracens a 46-5 victory.

Speaking after the match Rob Cain said: “It was great to see so many promising displays today, lots of new faces and combinations and everyone made the most of their opportunities. I was so pleased with our intent to play, we spoke about this being an opportunity to show what we have focused on so far in preseason in real time and it was very encouraging to see so much of the players hard work show, with and without the ball. This bodes well for the upcoming season.”

 

Saracens Women 46 – 5 5tade Rennais

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