Saracens Women continued their unbeaten Tyrrells Premier 15s run as they ran in eight tries at Allianz Park notching up a 44-19 win over Darlington Mowden Park Sharks. Two tries a piece from the Cleall sisters plus scores from Rowan White, Cara Wardle, Rosie Galligan and Helena Rowland completed a fine afternoon for the home side.
Allianz Park has become a fortress for the Women in Black as they are undefeated at home in this first round of matches and Sarries showed no sign that they wished to let this record slip against the northern outfit. No.8 Poppy Cleall was first on the score sheet taking advantage of a dominant scrum to pick blind and cross in the corner after six minutes.
Sarries blend of power up front through the carries of backrow trio Poppy and Bryony Cleall and Harriet Austin, plus the balanced running of Helena Rowland and Cara Wardle asked questions of the DMP defence all game allowing opportunities to open up. Loz Salisbury showed that dancing feet aren’t just reserved for the backs as she stepped through the DMP defence to put Sarries on the front foot. Zoe Harrison floated the pass out to full back Rowan White who was on hand to put away an easy score.
The home side exerted immediate pressure off the kick off to get their third of the day through Bryony Cleall – the flanker brushing off defenders to power over after fifteen minutes.
DMP Sharks began to grow into the game, feeding off some ill discipline from Sarries, and through Katy Maclean had some opportunities as she played the advantage and put in some challenging kicks which they couldn’t quite finish off. It was upfront where they struck through a cheeky lineout move thrown low to the experienced Tamara Taylor, who needed no second chances to pile over from five metres out.
Saracens pack continued to challenge DMP Sharks, winning several scrums against the head and looked to be in for the fourth try on the 36 minute mark following a strong surge off a lineout, however DMP Sharks held them up on the line. It didn’t take Sarries long to register the bonus point though as they stretched the DMP defence and eighteen year old Ella Wyrwas skilfully flicked a pass out the back door for her teenage team mate Cara Wardle to finish in the corner and bring the half time score to 20-5.
Rob Cain’s side showed no signs of slowing up in the second half as Poppy Cleall capitalised on the surging scrum to dot down for her second score with the help of her forward pack.
DMP Sharks continued to fight and were rewarded for their efforts as a blistering break from centre Claudia Macdonald took the visitors deep into the opposition half. The ball was quickly recycled out for Heather Kerr to crash over for DMP’s second.
Sarries responded quickly through Bryony Cleall as she smashed through the DMP defence and had the strength to muscle over from twenty metres out for her second – the Cleall sisters securing a bonus point between them!
The home side now firmly in control with a score line at 34-12 rang the changes allowing the bench to freshen things up. May Campbell made her impact felt after seventeen months out on the side lines from a knee injury and flanker Anna Stodter was also impressive in the tight.
Rachel Woosey found her way through for DMP Sharks as she brushed off a few wayward tackles for their third of the afternoon with twelve minutes remaining.
Sarries struck again as prop Hannah Botterman jackled over the ball for an important turnover giving Saracens a shot for a lineout in the corner and Rosie Galligan crossed for Sarries seventh try.
Sarries never let their foot of the pedal as April Brown put boot to ball and Helena Rowland plucked it out of the air to gas down the wing and round the score off at 44-19.
Speaking after the match, head coach Rob Cain said: “There are so many positives to take away from today. I thought our attacking mind set and our work in contact, with and without the ball, was the big difference. To think that we had a squad containing ten teenagers, scoring forty plus points against a team containing so many established internationals shows how much depth and talent we have at the club.
“Darlington were aggressive in defence but our ball carrying ability really shone through and for the most part we choose the right option at the right time. It’s great to see so many players take their opportunities today and keep on creating so many chances to score. The challenge for us is to keep trying to play the type of rugby we want for longer periods of time.”
Saracens Women: 15 Rowan White (Lingham 40) ;14 Ella Wyrwas; 13 Cara Wardle; 12 Helena Rowland; 11 Lotte Clapp © (Bloomfield 63’); 10 Zoe Harrison (Goddard 49’) ; 9 April Brown; 1 Loz Salisbury (Perry 57) ; 2 Kat Evans (Campbell 57) ; 3 Hannah Botterman; 4 Rosanna Moynihan; 5 Rosie Galligan; 6 Bryony Cleall; 7 Harriet Austin (Searcy 63’) ; 8 Poppy Cleall (Stodter 49’)
Replacements: 16 May Campbell; 17 El Perry; 18 Anna Stodter; 19 Kay Searcy; 20 Anna Goddard; 21 Georgie Lingham; 22 Eloise Bloomfield
Tries: P Cleall (7’, 45’); White (13’); B Cleall (15’, 55’); Wardle (39); Galligan (73’); Rowland (76’)
Cons: Harrison 1/5, Rowland 1/3
Report courtesy of Saracens Women