MATCH REPORT | Warriors Women 21-43 Saracens Women (Pre-Season)
Saracens Women put in an impressive showing, to secure victory over Warriors Women in a pre-season friendly at Sixways.
With both sides naming extended squads ahead of the start of the Allianz Cup next week, this was a chance for both teams to test their depth and give much needed minutes to the playing group.
With both sides looking to play with pace and intent from the off, it was Sarries who struck first, with the impressive Amelea MacDougall putting in a delicate crossfield chip, for Lucy Biggs to saunter over.
With two young guns combining early doors, the confidence began to grow within the Sarries ranks.
Minutes later, it was a case of copy and paste, this time with Sarah McKenna putting in the kick out wide. Biggs again gathered and, despite being held in contact, the winger had the wherewithal to offload to the onrushing Isla Alejandro for a second classy score.
With the first quarter going all Saracens’ way, the offloading game was really coming to the fore, as Alejandro again burst through into the Warriors 22.
Seconds later though, the ball had been intercepted by the hosts, with Abi Kershaw racing the length of the field to get the home side on the board.
Saracens continued to press, but they were lacking a bit of a clinical edge, with Sharifa Kasolo held up over the line.
Warriors though, were guilty of offending at the breakdown on multiple occasions, as the referee’s whistle continued to shunt them backwards. After another sharp whistle from the man in the middle, Leanne Infante wasted no time, spotting a gap and darting through quickly to extend the advantage.
The game was ebbing and flowing now, with Warriors hitting back through Tori Sellors, to cut the gap to three.
It would be Sarries who had the final say of the half though, as Alejandro charged through the Warriors defence for a second score of the afternoon. It was an impressive showing from the fullback and this was a classy score too, as she powered straight through the middle of the defensive line and over the whitewash.
Both sides made wholesale changes at halftime, with Emma Taylor, Nic Haynes and Chloe Broom all making their Saracens bows.
MacDougall was continuing to find space in the backfield, with a series of impressive kicks and eventually, Sarries scored their fifth from the territorial pressure.
In the end, it was a simple score too, as Cara Wardle picked a beautiful line to power through for a try on her birthday, with MacDougall again adding the extras.
With the rain beginning to fall, the match turned into something of a stop-start affair, and it was the Warriors who adjusted faster to the greasy ball. It was Evie England who scored her side’s third of the afternoon, as she broke free down the wing to close the gap.
It was all Warriors now, with Sarries having to rely on impressive breakdown work to secure a series of crucial turnovers and halt the Warriors charge.
Last season, Sarries developed a knack of scoring from driving mauls, and they picked up where they left off in the final ten minutes, as Nic Haynes marked her first appearance in Sarries colours with a try from the back of the maul.
With the rain continuing to lash down, Sarries went on the hunt for a final try, which they found through Emma Taylor. The Canadian showed all her international experience during her time on the field and she marked her second spell at the club with a try from close range, to gap a fine afternoon for Sarries.
Heading into Quins next week, there is plenty to build on for this group, after a performance that showed some flashes of real quality throughout.