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Saracens Women exact revenge on rivals Richmond
Saracens Women ran in six tries and secured a bonus point win against reigning Premiership champions Richmond Ladies at Allianz Park on Sunday.
After falling short to the West London club in two finals last season, Saracens took their opportunities and controlled proceedings against an unfamiliar Richmond squad.
It was speedster Mackinder who got Sarries off the mark after nine minutes as she turned the burners on from eighty metres out leaving a trail of defenders in her wake to score.
Solid work from the Saracens pack at scrum time put them on the front foot as the new look midfield of Georgia Peedle and debutant Claire Allan linked up neatly for full back Nina Vistisen to slice her way through and cross the whitewash.
Richmond battled back into the game with strong carries from hooker Emma Croker and number 8 Sam McCarthy both making good yards. The home side were given a let off however as a penalty kick was overcooked giving them the opportunity to clear their lines.
On the half hour mark Mackinder struck again; fly half Zoe Harrison pulling the strings in the midfield to work the overlap and put the winger over.
Richmond had to see out the half with 14 players after flanker Rowena Burnfield was dismissed for a dangerous tackle – the home side taking a commanding seventeen point lead into the break.
It took only one minute for Saracens to add to their lead through Chrissy Siczowa as she stormed down the wing for the home side’s fourth try.
A well weighted kick through from Richmond put them deep into Sarries territory and with the ensuing lineout not finding its mark, Richmond were granted an opportunity to set up and drive. Flanker Becky Roby was shown yellow following as Sarries were forced to stop the maul illegally but Sarries weathered the storm as the lineout was turned over.
New signing Emily Scott showed her class as she pounced on a loose ball and danced her way through the defence to put Harrison through for the try bonus point.
Last season’s champions continued to fight and were rewarded as centre Becky Ball slipped through a tackle to go over for Richmond’s first of the afternoon with ten minutes left on the clock.
Rob Cain will certainly be happy with his sides’ sixth and final score of the afternoon as magnificent interplay between the forwards and backs saw Zoe Harrison get behind the Richmond defence. The eighteen year old fly half and Player of the Match was bought down inches short of the line but deft hands and fantastic vision saw the ball lifted to replacement Charlotte Barras to crash over.
It was the visitors who had the final say in the last minute of the game as the impressive Sam McCarthy powered over from close range.
Full-Time: Saracens Women 34 Richmond Ladies 14
Speaking after the match, Rob Cain said: “We expected a tough physical encounter and we weren’t disappointed by Richmond today. We learnt from last week, let go of the disappointment and worked on a few areas which improved our performance. We did the right things at the right times under pressure so full credit to the players.
“Our set piece set the tone and our front five deserve a huge pat on the back for their continued performances. El Perry and Kat Evans carried really well away from their scrum duties and it’s great to see our front row be a threat with the ball. Our line speed allowed us to control the space and tempo even when we didn’t have the ball and Lauren Newman and Georgia Peedle led the line well.
“We scored some great team tries today and Garnet Mackinder continues to show what she can do in space. Zoe Harrison deservedly got Player of the Match with some great passing and got the back line moving well. Claire Allen had some nice touches and Nina Vistien was an attacking threat all game.
“The whole bench made an impact with Charlotte Barras finishing a great team try and Emily Scott threatening the line and putting away Zoe for one of her scores today.
“We left a few tries out there but with all the new combinations playing together for the first time our execution will only get better the more games we play as we continue to build.”
Saracens Women take on Worcester Valkyries on Sunday 9th October following Saracens vs Wasps at Allianz Park.
Tries: Mackinder (6, 30); Vistisen (14); Siczowa (41); Harrison (62); Barras (74)
Cons: Harrison 2/6
Replacements used: Scott for Allan (56); Barras for Siczowa (56); M. Evans for Thomas (65); Fredrickson for Collins (65)
Yellow card: Roby (55)
Tries: Ball (70); McCarthy (80);
Cons: Chamberlain 2/2
Replacements used: Lose for Matthews (60); Kapo for Cantwell (65); Zdunek for Scott (65);
Yellow card: Burnfield (33)
Saracens Women team to face Richmond Ladies
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