Sep 29, 2015
Saracens Women weather late Lichfield attack
Lichfield started the stronger of the sides, starving Saracens of ball and forcing the home side to absorb pressure for the opening quarter. The visiting side were patient and played the phases well however a solid Saracens defence meant they rarely threatened the line.
Saracens were first to score, against the run of play, as a turnover in the home sides 22 unleashed the Saracens midfield. Lotte Clapp burst down the wing with Leanne Riley in support. Lichfield scrambled back to bring down the centre just short of the line but fly half Nina Vistisen was there to finish the move.
After an uncharacteristic shaky start upfront, Saracens pack began firing, allowing skipper Sonia Green to pick from the back of a scrum and score from close range. Saracens taking a 14 point lead into the break.
The home side were first to strike after half time as Lichfield had a player sent to the sin bin. A powerful scrum on the 5 metre line saw Saracens push over and George Gulliver touched down. Deborah Fleming added to her impressive try tally shortly after as she burst down the wing to score.
Saracens looked in control with 24 unanswered points however as they entered the final 10 minutes the game began to break up. A series of infringements by the home side opened the door to Lichfield who opened their account with a penalty slotted by Nancy Stone.
Flanker Hannah Gallagher was shown yellow, closely joined in the bin by replacement back row, Orla Hillary. With Saracens down to 13 players for the final 10 minutes, Lichfield took full advantage with Katie Trevarthen dotting down. The visitors had the final say as the stretched Saracens defence was exploited and Holly Aitchison went wide to score in the corner.
Saracens captain and Player of the Match -Sonia Green: “We’re now four games into the Premiership and the competition is heightening each week. Lichfield proved to be our toughest contest so far in the set piece and asked many questions of us. We managed to withstand their pressure for the first 20 but once our forwards got settled this enabled us to release our back 3. Lichfield were a tenacious side that dictated the pace of the game and did not allow us to find our rhythm.
“Teams know we like to play a fast, wide game and Lichfield were successful at smothering that for the majority of the game. Our consistency and discipline at the breakdown let us down this weekend so this will be a focus in training. Despite these areas to work on, we came away with the win and that was down to the work rate and character of our players. We now need to play smarter, consistently.”
Final Score: 24-15
Tries: Vistisen (28), Green (37), Gulliver (47). Fleming (49)
Conversions: Barras (28,37)
Tries: Trevarthen (74), Aitchison (79)
Conversions: Stone (74)
Penalties: Stone (72)