MATCH REPORT | Sale Sharks 5-71 SARACENS WOMEN (AP15S RD5)
Saracens Women helped themselves to a second rout in as many weeks, as they dismantled Sale Sharks at Heywood Road.
Alex Austerberry’s side wasted no time in getting up to speed, as Sarah McKenna latched onto a pinpoint chip through from Zoe Harrison with just three minutes on the clock.
One soon became two, as Lotte Clapp grabbed her first of the afternoon. This was a sweeping backs moved, with Clapp eventually putting in a classy dummy to skate over out wide.
The Sharks had barely had time to breathe before Sarries were in for their third.
McKenna was pulling the strings in the centres and, with Harrison’s accuracy from the boot, Sarries were keeping Sale camped in their 22.
It wasn’t long before Clapp was in for her second, finishing off another well-worked move after a searing break from Sydney Gregson and soft hands from Jess Breach.
There were only fifteen minutes on the clock when the bonus point was secured, with Breach the one to power over.
Again though, it came from a brilliant line from Gregson, as the centre broke free of the Sharks defence, drawing the final defender and releasing Breach.
Sale were refusing to give in, as they looked to attack from deep, but Saracens were refusing to take their foot off the accelerator.
After a breakdown steal in the Sharks 22, Harrison went to the corner, allowing the pack to get in on the action, with May Campbell burrowing over from the maul.
There really was not let-up at this stage as, straight from the restart, Coreen Grant gathered and broke free, racing down the wing for a stunning solo score, as Sale struggled to live with the suffocating attacking intent of Saracens.
With thirty minutes on the clock, the Sharks looked to build their way back into the attacking half, with an industrious carry from Nicola Howat. Saracens’ defence though, was as strong as the attack had been, with Marlie Packer stripping the ball in contact.
Sale though, continued to probe and looked to be in from an intercept, only for Jess Breach to track back spectacularly, hunting down two Sharks to force an error and avert a certain try.
Eventually though, the Sale pressure told, as Lauren Delany skipped over out wide ro get her side on the board.
Saracens though, would have the final say in the first half, as Gregson capped an impressive first half with a try of her own, breaking the line and stepping clear for a deserved score under the posts.
As the second half got underway, Saracens continued where they had left off, with Campbell driving over for her second of the afternoon from the back of another well-set maul.
With the half progressing, Saracens seemed to slip slightly off the high standard they had set themselves in the first forty, with several handling errors creeping into the game.
The scrum though, was continuing to remain dominant, with several penalties against the head, with the front row turning the screw.
After a scrum against the head, Harrison put her side into the corner, allowing replacement Jodie Rettie to continue her try scoring exploits from last weekend.
One soon became two for Rettie, as she barrelled over for a second score in as many minutes to take her side past sixty points.
Saracens seemed to have woken up now, as they continued to press and probe. The pack went close several times, with Sale’s defence just doing enough to hold them up, before a last-ditch tackle denied Grant her second of the afternoon.
Harrison then thought she was in, only for the hosts to hold her up as well, but there was to be no denying Alex Ellis, as she muscled her way over under the posts.
Harrison’s conversion took her side past the seventy-point mark for the second week in a row, to set them up for a mouth-watering fixture next weekend in The Duel against Harlequins.