MATCH REPORT | Leicester Tigers Women 17-60 Saracens Women (PWR Rd 5)
Saracens Women ran out comfortable winners, as they scored 10 tries on a clinical afternoon in Leicester.
The final score in the end was a fair reflection of Saracens’ dominance, but that doesn’t tell the full story, as Leicester pushed Sarries hard in the opening 40 minutes.
It was the hosts who made the faster start, as they forced Saracens into uncharacteristic errors with ball in hand.
With barley five minutes on the clock, they opened the scoring too, as Francesca McGhie finished off a Meg Jones break.
Sarries though, responded quickly, with Amelia MacDougall finding a pinpoint 50:22, from which the pack did the rest.
The Saracens driving maul has been a real weapon so far this season and its sheer strength was on full display here, as Sharifa Kasolo powered over to close the gap.
Tigers were continuing to stick to task though and they scored their second shortly before the twenty-minute mark, with Morgan Richardson crashing over after her side had initially been held up.
Sarries needed a response and they found it thanks to a crunching tackle from Sydney Gregson and a well-earnt breakdown penalty. With the ball kicked deep into Leicester territory, there was only going to be one outcome, with Marlie Packer the player to rumble over this time.
The away side were motoring now, as they began to pick holes in the Tigers defence at will. After a barrelling run from Kasolo, Sarries built their way up to the line, with Gregson spotting a gap and wriggling over to mark her 50th appearance for the club in style.
Sophie de Goede added the extras and Sarries continued to put their foot to the accelerator, as Donna Rose popped up with another crunching tackle to put the Tigers under pressure deep in their own 22.
Again, it was the maul that did the damage, with Kelsey Clifford bursting off the base to power over for the bonus point score.
Whilst the first half had been tough going, Sarries raced out of the blocks in the second period, with Lotte Clapp finishing off a flowing backs move, before Jess Breach added a second in as many minutes. This one was all down to the work of Paige Farries, who toyed with the Tigers defence and raced through, feeding her fullback for a lovely score.
The tries were continuing to flow and the next one was even better. After de Goede had stripped the ball on her own line and powered up the field, Sarries then looked to keep momentum going, spreading the ball wide, before Gregson coasted in for her second of the afternoon.
Having moved to fullback, Farries was continuing to find space at will, and it was her break that set up Clapp’s second of the afternoon on the hour mark. The Canadian carved her way through the Leicester defence, before a floated ball wide to Clapp saw the USA international dot down out wide.
With changes for both sides, the scoring spree petered out until the final 15 minutes, but Sarries still had more to find.
Unsurprisingly, the score came from a powerful break from Farries to put her side in range of the line, with debutant Tori Sellors doing well to keep up and support. From there, the pack kept it tight, with de Goede dotting down for another score.
Tigers added a third through Tess Feury but Sarries had the final say as Farries capped her superb showing with a deserved try, as she put her foot to the floor and raced clear, with de Goede’s conversion taking Sarries up to the 60-point mark come the final whistle.