FINDLAY AND STREET’S LADIES GO TOP OF THE PREMIER 15S TABLE WITH AN AWAY WIN AT SARACENS
Despite a tough opening ten minutes, Harlequins Ladies rallied away from home to win 32-29 at league rivals Saracens. With this win, the quartered shirts go top of the Tyrrells Premier 15s table, with Saracens having one match left to play, against Bristol next weekend.
This was a fixture of tremendous quality and forced both sides to bring out their very best rugby. It was the home side, however, that started the better, scoring two tries within the first ten minutes, both from lineout drives. With hooker Davinia Catlin sent to the bin for collapsing a maul, the visitors were up against it from the get go.
With an early 12-point buffer, Saracens looked certain to run away with it in the first half, however Quins remained focussed and resolute. After forcing a penalty inside the Saracens half, young fly half Ellie Green stepped up to kick for goal, which brought about her side’s first points of the contest.
After putting points on the scoreboard, Quins seemed to relax into their patterns of play, and in the 32nd minute, Holly Myers was able to get on the end of a wayward Saracens pass, and run under the posts for her team’s first try. With the simple conversion completed by Green, Quins were now within two points of their North London rivals.
The away side were on the up, and six minutes later, Myers ran in for her second after some sustained pressure from the backs. Despite the missed conversion, Findlay and Street’s Ladies were now in front, and then, just before the break, Davinia Catlin redeemed her early infringements by going over herself for her side’s third try. Green then added the extras to mean that the visitors went in at half-time 22-12 up.
After the interval, the points continued to come, as Green slotted another penalty to give her side an even bigger buffer. Then, at the 49-minute mark, blindside Shaunagh Brown trundled over to bring up 30 points to the south-west Londoners. With Green again converting, Quins had now amassed a seemingly insurmountable 20-point advantage, with half an hour left to go.
Saracens, however, had other ideas, particularly winger Emma Uren, who after making an initial break from inside her own half, continued to sprint down the touchline for a fantastic individual score. With the conversion successfully kicked, Sarries were back to within 15 points of the leaders.
The home team now looked firmly in the driving seat up front, and after a stream of deadly pick and go moves from the forwards, they ran in for another try, bringing the score to 24-32 with less than ten minutes to go. They followed this up with another try at the 77th minute, meaning that with three minutes to go, another try would surely seal a memorable victory.
Harlequins, however, were able to hold out in the dying stages, and bring home the win, an excellent victory away from home for Findlay and Street’s Ladies.
Harlequins Ladies return to The Stoop for their home semi-final of the Tyrrell’s Premier 15s on Saturday 14th April (kick-off, TBC). Tickets are on sale for this fixture, and can be purchased by clicking here.