Source: PWR

PWR – Round 7

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Quins take another knock

We ought to call Quins’ home defeat by Lightning the big upset of the day, but their record has been so below par this season, that it fails to shock as it should.

It needed a 78th-minute try from Kathryn Treder, her second, to decide the issue, but the outcome was a fifth loss for the Famous Quarters, who find themselves still one place behind their new London neighbours, Trailfinders.

For Lightning, this may be the turn of the tide. They are far too good an outfit to be languishing in the lower reaches of the league. A yellow for Connie Powell helped them on their way; in her absence they advanced from 12-19 down to 22-19 up, tries to Bo Westcombe-Evans and Hallie Taufoou. It remained desperately tight, but it does help having Helena Rowland on your side. And now they climb two places to fifth.

Trailfinders put on another performance to cheer the freezing fans, falling only one score behind the holders, Gloucester-Hartpury, who showed one vital skill, to gain wins in the tightest corners. But Sean Lynn can’t be happy with this showing under lights; it finished five tries each. True champions have better flood defences.

The Cherry-and-Whites’ next exam will be a humdinger, home to Sarries on the 20th. Sarries confirmed their god-like status, seeing off Chiefs yet again, with quite a bit to spare.

Not many people can claim to have played for a multi-championship-winning club 150 times, but Lotte Clapp can. And she played against three of her Eagles’ team-mates in the process.

Bristol didn’t keep a clean sheet, but they put up a half-century to deepen the gloom in the Tiger’s den. Bears could afford to let Amber Reed show her prowess at No 10 again instead of Holly Aitchison.

Tigers have wisely invested in another test player, Claire Gallagher, the young Canada No 10, but their two scores both came from the forwards close in.

Results

Leicester Tigers 12 Bristol Bears 50
Quins 26 Loughborough Lightning 29 Saracens 39 Exeter Chiefs 26
Trailfinders Women 27 Gloucester-Hartpury 33 (Sale Sharks bye)

Table ​​​

                                    P​     W​      L​      B    Pts

Saracens                  7      7      ​0        7     35
Glos-Pury         ​​       6      6      0        5      29
Exeter​​​                       7     6        2        8     28
Bears       ​​                 7       4      3         4     20
Lightning                7        3     4         4     16
Trailfinders      ​​​       7       2     5          5     13
Harlequins  ​​           7      2       5          5      13  ​
Sale         ​​                 5       1       4         3       7
Tigers​​​                      7       0      7          2       2

It looks as though Sarries won’t need to sign Alev Kelter at the back end of the season to ensure success, as they did on a past occasion. Is it nearly time for PWR to decide which clubs NEQPs are allowed to sign for? You can well understand why they hesitate over such a move. But when multi-capped England players get so little game-time, you have to wonder what’s best for the national team.

Now the league is reduced for the first time to nine clubs, it’s noticeable how stocked with international players they are. But Tigers’ failure to pick up more than a handful of stars is costing them dear.

The top teams always keep half an eye on the end of season positions. Only the top two get home advantage in the play-offs. Chiefs must be concerned that they have now lost two games and conceded second spot to G-H. Next week they have a bye, so they can sit back and analyse all Sarries’ weaknesses. Happy hunting!

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