Sep 29, 2014
Saracens Women secure Sharks victory
Saracens Women 38 DMP Sharks 5
Visitors to Allianz Park were treated to a double dose of Premiership action on Saturday as Saracens Women welcomed DMP Sharks as a curtain raiser to the men's match.
Both teams started brightly, looking to get an early foothold on the game. A couple of cheap Saracens penalties allowed DMP to build pressure and their young back row of Jo Brown and Abbie Scott proved a constant threat. A resolute Saracens defence rose to the challenge and kept the Sharks at bay with some tenacious tackling from Jeanina Vinueza Yoyola and captain, Maggie Alphonsi.
The home side began to build in confidence as Saracens wingers, Rachael Potter and Zira Handley made crucial yards with some surging runs along with strong ball carriers, Lynsey Wheeler and Poppy Cleall. Saracens pressure paid dividends, forcing a turnover in the midfield which was moved out wide to centre, Hannah Casey who smashed through to make the score 5-0, with Lauren Cattell adding the conversion.
Irish international, Casey added to her tally shortly after with a show and go to dot down in the corner following a classy break from fly half, April Brown. Cattell coolly slotted the conversion from the touch line to make it 14-0 to the home side.
An impressive defensive performance lead by DMP second row, Tamara Taylor kept the game tight as Saracens were reduced to 14 through a sin-binning before half time.
After the break, the home side continued to threaten the Sharks line with quick tempo rugby. Saracens prop and man of the match, Kerrie-Ann Craddock working tirelessly in the tight and loose along with the second row partnership of Sonia Green and Heather Stammers.
DMP fly half Katy McLean demonstrated her class with some probing kicks and ability to bring players into the game which tested the Saracens defence, giving Sharks much needed territory but the visitors were unable to capitalise.
The Saracens pack however proved too strong as they got good field position and drove over from a scrum, with newcomer, Georgina Gulliver touching down to make it 19-0.
Some beautiful handling from both the Saracens backs and forwards gave the home side further momentum, allowing Gulliver to pick blind and put Brown into space where she danced over the line to take it to 24-0.
Saracens continued to ramp up the tempo searching for the bonus point and some quick thinking from Gulliver from a penalty put them on the front front with flanker, Poppy Cleall punching through the line to see her over the whitewash. Cattell added the extras to make it 31-0.
Saracens final try of the match was the culmination of fantastic interplay. The forwards patiently built the phases before quickly recycling the ball out to the backs where fullback Cattell beat the final defenders to score and then convert at 38-0.
DMP continued to press hard and Saracens ill discipline earned them a second yellow card five metres from their line leaving them down to 14 for the final period of the game. Sharks took advantage of the extra man and centre, Rebecca Scholes, who was lively throughout, put DMP on the score sheet to take the final score to 38-5.