Sep 30, 2017
Twelve try Sarries put Valkyries to the sword
Saracens Women stormed to a big away win against Worcester Valkyries at Sixways Stadium as they clocked up 74 unanswered points in round three of the Tyrrells Premier 15s. New signing Marlie Packer was magnificent on her debut bagging six tries of her own, plus scores from the Cleall sisters, Lotte Clapp, Sonia Green, Georgie Gulliver and Seraphine Okemba helped Sarries cruise to victory.
Sarries came firing out of the blocks and never looked back as they enjoyed the majority of possession and territory throughout the eighty minutes. Poppy Cleall came close to scoring on her return within the first minute as she crashed towards the line with sister Bryony in support but the final pass didn’t stick and Worcester were let off the hook. The relief didn’t last long though as the blindside ploughed over minutes later. The destructive new backrow look a force to be reckoned with, notching up eight of the eleven tries between them as Bryony Cleall burrowed over from a powerful Sarries scrum which proved to be flawless all afternoon.
Not wanting to be overlooked, the Sarries backline also got in on the action with some probing runs from young guns Helena Rowland and Rowan White testing the Valkyries defence. The fullback was pivotal in the build up to Sarries third try as she cut a sublime line to get in behind, putting in an offload to Packer and then out to Lotte Clapp for the captain to score.
Packer made her impact known in her first game since the World Cup final and seemed to thoroughly enjoy filling the Sarries openside jersey as she racked up a hat trick in just eighteen minutes. Upfront the visiting pack outmuscled Valkyries and Packer was on hand to dot down from the back of an unstoppable driving maul and score two from close range put Sarries in the driving seat as they took a 34 point into the break.
The second half continued in a similar vein to the first as Sarries hunted down opportunities in a much improved performance from their opening two rounds.
Player of the Match Georgie Gulliver controlled the game superbly from scrumhalf with her speed and accuracy in delivery allowing Sarries to play a high tempo game. This, coupled with the hard line running of props Loz Salisbury and Hannah Botterman made Sarries difficult to contain as they ran in another six in the second half. French flyer Seraphine Okemba made her impact felt off the bench to score on her first touch of the ball as she gassed down the wing. Poppy Cleall demonstrated her class to feed her former Bristol team mate Packer for her fourth closely followed by a score from second row Sonia Green. Packer crossed again twice to mark a half dozen tries on an outstanding debut.
Speaking after the match, head coach Rob Cain said: “Huge credit to Worcester today, they kept coming at us full steam and didn’t back off for the full 80 minutes.
For us we can take lots of positives. Our ball in hand, offloading and putting the ball into better space keeps on improving week by week and to score so many points when the weather was against us with such heavy rain is testament to the players ball handling abilities.
“Our attacking intent was great again today and the number of opportunities we keep on creating is so positive. Over the next few weeks our aim will be to have more accuracy and turn these opportunities into points.
“The players work rate was so good today, forcing some key turnovers and allowing our destructive ball carriers to get some great go forward. Our set piece was dominant and rewarded with a number of penalties and scores off the back and our outside backs got stuck in, moving the ball much better and scoring some impressive tries.
“We will reflect tomorrow and then gear up for another challenge with Wasps at Allianz Park next week, where we will continue to build on the momentum we’ve created so far.”
15 Rowan White (Wyrwas 66’) ;14 Garnet Mackinder (Okemba 54) ; 13 Helena Rowland; 12 Nina Vistisen; 11 Lotte Clapp ©; 10 Zoe Harrison; 9 Georgie Gulliver (Goddard 66) ; 1 Loz Salisbury (Martinez Gion 68’) ; 2 Kat Evans (Thomas 68’) ; 3 Hannah Botterman (Perry 61); 4 Sonia Green ; 5 Valeria Fedrighi; 6 Poppy Cleall ; 7 Marlie Packer; 8 Bryony Cleall (Searcy 61’)
Replacements 16 El Perry; 17 Geri Thomas; 18 Sam Martinez Gion; 19 Kay Searcy; 20 Anna Goddard; 21 Ella Wyrwas; 22 Seraphine Okemba
Scores Tries P Cleall (5’); B Cleall (15’); Packer (22’, 36’, 40’, 64’, 74’, 80’); Gulliver (48’); Okemba (54); Green (67’)
Cons Harrison 7/12
Credit: Joe Meredith Photography