MATCH REACTION | Lewis Sones (AC Rd 1)
Women’s Assistant Coach Lewis Sones felt that his side could take a lot of encouragement, despite an opening round cup defeat to Harlequins.
A late surge from Saracens nearly secured the points in a topsy-turvy match, before they were forced to settle for two losing bonus points. Despite the result, Sones was pleased with how the young guns in the squad had acquitted themselves.
“We’re obviously disappointed with the final result and not coming away with the win. But there are loads of positives with where we’re going with this group. We played against a strong Quins team, and I think for us, the number of youngsters who made their first team debuts is a real positive.”
Six of the side were featuring in Saracens colours for the first time, with Emma Taylor making her first competitive appearance since returning to the club. Sones felt that the side created more than enough opportunities to win the game but challenged his side to be more clinical heading into the next cup matches.
“We will learn and build from this one. We’re really creating the opportunities in the way that we want to, but the fix up going into Loughborough and the next few rounds will be about trusting the processes and getting better at executing those moments. We saw glimpses of how physical we can be as a team and where we can create opportunities. The next step now is about being more clinical and sticking to the process. The players really have belief in it, and they are building each week.”
Whilst the young guns and debutants all impressed, it was the senior figures within the group that helped guide them through the occasion. Sones was quick to praise the co-captaincy of Sarah McKenna and Leanne Infante throughout, in a high-octane encounter at StoneX.
“We’re building every week. The way the youngsters have been performing through the pathway and now being in the first time squad, this will be an invaluable experience for them. Having the likes of Sydney, Leanne, Sarah and Sonic in the squad is really helping drive the energy. Leanne and Sarah were outstanding as co-captains at the weekend. They built the confidence of the youngsters but really drove the standards on the pitch too.”