Apr 13, 2018
SEMI FINAL PREVIEW: SARACENS WOMEN vs GLOUCESTER-HARTPURY
Saracens Women welcome Gloucester-Hartpury to Allianz Park for second leg of the Tyrrells Premier 15s semi final.
Rob Cain has made two changes to the starting squad that ran in ten tries against the Westcountry outfit last week. May Campbell comes off the bench to fill the hooker jersey and last weekend’s double try scorer Garnet Mackinder gets a nod on the wing.
Upfront, Campbell is joined by props Hannah Botterman and Sam Martinez Gion who both crossed the whitewash last weekend. Sonia Green and Tessa Wijmans partner up in the second row and the back row of Marlie Packer, Bryony and Poppy Cleall remains unchanged. The Premier 15s top points scorer Helena Rowland starts in the midfield with Lauren Cattell, alongside the half back pairing of Georgie Gulliver and Zoe Harrison. Lotte Clapp captains from the wing opposite Mackinder and Nina Vistisen rounds off the team at full back.
Italian international Valeria Fedrighi makes a return to the squad following a hand injury which forced her out of the opening Six Nations match in February and is named amongst the replacements.
Gloucester-Hartpury have been forced into changes as England international Sarah Bern is ruled out through injury and replaced by Catrin Edwards in the front row. Cerys Hale and Courtney Gill retain their places in the pack. There’s a new look back row as Connie Powell comes into start at no.8 alongside last week’s replacement Taz Bricknell and open side flanker Tabs Copson.
There is a single change to the starting backs as Mary-Ann Gittings comes in to replace England flyer Ellie Kildunne who is named on the bench. Captain Ceri Large links with Bianca Blackburn in the half backs, with Kelly Smith, Tatyana Heard, Rachel Lund and Ellie Underwood completing the starting back line.
Head to Head
Sarries got off to the perfect start in the away leg securing a 62-0 win at The Gillman’s Ground. Rob Cain’s side crossed the whitewash ten times with scores courtesy of Sam Martinez Gion, Hannah Botterman, Bryony Cleall, Poppy Cleall, Lotte Clapp, a brace from Marlie Packer and Garnet Mackinder plus seventeen points from eighteen year old Helena Rowland.
Rob Cain told Saracens.com: “It’s great to be back at Allianz Park for the second leg of the semis after such a positive score line and performance last Saturday. We know how much Gloucester-Hartpury will be hurting after last week. Our sole aim is to finish the job we started in the first round to secure our finals spot."
Gloucester-Hartpury coach Suzie Appleby told their club website: “We were extremely disappointed with our performance last week, we were outplayed by Saracens in every aspect of the game. We are better than that and we need to show that tomorrow. We need to tighten up our accuracy at the breakdown area and be more accurate with the ball when we do have possession.
"We have nothing to lose and we are going to throw everything at Sarries tomorrow. The players have had an excellent season and are determined to finish off with a really strong performance. We are looking forward to it."
How to Follow
Twitter: Follow #SarriesLive via @saracenswomen
Tickets for the home semi final at Allianz Park on Saturday 14th April, 18h00 KO, can be purchased via www.saracens.com