MATCH REPORT | Saracens Women 33-10 Wasps Women
It may not have been pretty, but Saracens Women stood firm, as they secured a second successive bonus point victory in the Allianz Premier15s.
A week on from an arm wrestle against Loughborough Lightning, Wasps proved to be another tough assignment for Saracens, as they refused to give an inch.
With the rain pouring down, both sides looked to use the aerial game in the opening exchanges, as they hunted for opportunities and field position.
In truth though, the early exchanges were a pretty scrappy affair, with both sides failing to get the final pass to connect.
It was Saracens who went closest, with some deft handling allowing Cara Wardle to power up towards the line, only for the centre to be held up at the final moment.
That seemed to spur the visitors into life, as Amy Layzell raced clear following some miscommunication in the Saracens defensive line. The Wasps centre looked to be clear and free, only for a timely intervention from Georgia Evans to deny her and force a turnover.
From there, Saracens began to hit their straps, as they marched their way down the field with a series of penalties, setting up a driving maul in the Wasps 22. Whilst the initial drive became splintered, there was no stopping Jeanina Loyola, who burst free and reached out over the line for her side’s opening try,
Straight from the restart, Saracens were on the front foot again, as Jodie Rettie showed a clean pair of heels to burst free, only for Wasps to recover in time and stunt the Saracens attack.
With little under half an hour on the clock, Saracens looked to up the intensity, with Grace Moore carrying hard into contact and Isla Alejandro showing some impressive ball control to gather her own chip through in slippery conditions.
As Wasps conceded a penalty and Saracens kicked to the corner, there was only going to be one outcome, as Rettie picked up where May Campbell left off last week, so pushover for the try.
Wasps would respond with a Hannah Edwards penalty, but Saracens would have the final say of the half, as Louise McMillan on her first start for the club, spotted a gap in the defence and powered through.
McMillan was impressive throughout both in attack and defence, and her side had to be on red alert early in the second half, as Wasps continued to press and probe.
They were given a boost though, as Edwards saw yellow as her side were beginning to threaten near the Saracens 22.
Saracens were seemingly hellbent on securing the bonus point score and they looked for all money to be in when Hannah Casey burst free in the middle of the field. However, the Wasps defence again held firm.
The pressure was mounting though and with Ella Wyrwas’ clever kick forcing Wasps over their own 5m line, the pressure was beginning to mount.
Wasps were soon down to thirteen players as Caitlin Simpson saw yellow after repeated scrum infringements and eventually, Saracens made the pressure count. In the end, it was Georgia Evans who powered over from the base of the scrum for her second try in as many games.
The visitors though, refused to give in and they deservedly crossed for a try through captain Liz Crake. This was a fantastic try as well for the visitors, as they went through multiple phases to eventually cross.
Penalties were mounting against them though at scrum time and, after a stunning break through the middle of the field from Kat Evans, Saracens eventually crossed for their fifth.
There was no surprise who the try scorer was either, with May Campbell crossing for her tenth try of the season in league and cup.
Flo Williams expertly converted from the touchline for her fourth of the afternoon against her former side, as Saracens saw the match out to secure their second successive home victory in the league.
Make no mistake, there will be plenty for Alex Austerberry’s side to work on ahead of Harlequins next week. However, this was another important five points at this early stage of the season.