Comebacks, big hits and resilience - memorable Saracens Women moments in 2019
2019 has been another historic year for Saracens Women, on and off the pitch.
As well retaining their Tyrrells Premier 15s title and winning the Development League for the first time, 2019 saw the investment in Saracens Women double ahead of the current season including the introduction of match fees and greater alignment with the Saracens Men setup.
The club also celebrated 30 Years of Saracens Women with a dinner for alumni ahead of the match against Gloucester-Hartpury in October
With so many options to chose from, we’ve tried to pick out some of our favourite moments from a memorable 2019.
Physical start to Franklin’s Gardens contest
Winning the title is one thing, backing it up and defending it a year later is another.
Saracens Women might have been going into the 2018/19 TP15s Final at Franklin’s Gardens as defending champions, but injuries to England trio Bryony Cleall, Vicky Fleetwood and Marlie Packer meant that some viewed challengers Harlequins as favourites for the big match in Northampton.
Poppy Cleall set the tone for the opening 40 minutes with a massive hit on her opposite number Jade Konkel straight from kick-off.
That set the team’s stall out as Saracens went on to play arguably their best half of rugby that season, racking up a 27 – 0 lead with Cleall and Zoe Harrison bagging two tries each and Sydney Gregson adding another.
Quins came back hard in the second half but never looked like truly troubling the Saracens lead with the women in black running out 33 – 17 winners.
Coolness under pressure
2019 has been just as characterised by Saracens Women’s ability to secure wins despite being behind going into the closing minutes.
A trip to the East Midlands to take on Loughborough Lightning in March demonstrated that to a tee. Saracens Women found themselves 28 – 24 down with just over a minute left on the clock, having previously been 24 – 7 up.
However, the visitors kept their cool and focused on the task at hand. A superb kick-off from Zoe Harrison gave captain Lotte Clapp to regather the ball and win a penalty, which gave them a final attack in the Loughborough 22.
While Loughborough stopped the initial driving maul, they couldn’t hold off the wave of Saracens attacks with Hannah Botterman crashing over for the winning score and a 31 – 28 victory.
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