Saracens Women slipped to a defeat at the hands of Lichfield Ladies at Cooke Fields in round two of the Women’s Premiership.
Three second half tries from the Midlands outfit was enough to take them to their first victory over Saracens since 2012.
The first forty minutes was a tight affair with Lichfield taking a slender three point lead going into the break.
Saracens struck first through Chrissy Sicwoza, the winger bursting down the line to score against her former side after seven minutes.
The away side enjoyed a prolonged period of possession camped out in the Lichfield 22, forcing a string of penalties however a resolute Lichfield defence held them out and they were unable to convert pressure to points.
Lichfield took their opportunities when they ventured into the Saracens 22 with strong carrying from Harriet Millar Mills and Emily Braund. A well worked lineout move from a penalty saw the ball fed back into the 5 metre channel for Amy Cokayne to score. The hooker got herself on the scoresheet again after Lichfield stretched the Sarries defence to go over in the corner.
Fullback Charlotte Barras was shown yellow for a dangerous tackle just before the break but the Lichfield penalty kick was pushed wide.
Barras’ sin-binning proved to be costly for the visitors as Lichfield took advantage of the extra player to run in two tries in quick succession through Hannah Phillip and Charlotte Pearce. Momentum had swung firmly in favour of the home side as they secured their bonus point through a second try from Phillip on 60 minutes.
A raft of substitutions from Saracens raised the tempo and the visitors began to work themselves back into the game and test the Lichfield defence once again. Replacement hooker Kat Evans got one back for Rob Cain’s side in the 67th minute and Saracens continued to knock on the door but Lichfield stood firm and closed out the game.
Speaking after the match, Rob Cain said: “Full credit to Lichfield. They deserved the win. They executed better than us and were better in the collisions. The girls were still fighting and making things work but the sin bin before halt time really changed the momentum and conceding two tries during that period meant it was always a tough ask to come back from.
“The players worked really hard today and full credit to them for fighting but we just weren’t good enough with our execution and decision making. Knowing this group, we will work hard to turn this into a positive learning experience, still remembering this is only our second game as a new team. We are a long way from deciding honours just yet.”
Saracens Women face reigning Premiership champions Richmond Ladies next Sunday at Allianz Park, kick off 15h00. Entry is free.
Tries: Sicwoza (6); K. Evans (67)
Cons: Harrison 2/2
Replacements used: K. Evans for M. Evans (42); Collins for Fredrickson (45); Cleall for Barras (50); Potter for Sicwoza (69)
Yellow card: Barras (39)
Tries: Cokayne (25, 35); Phillip (43, 60); Pearce (47)