Firwood Waterloo Women loose season opener 5-38 to league champions Saracens
The development of the side through the pre-season under the direction of new head coach Giles Heagerty was evident in the teams opening Tyrells Premier15s game against league Champions Saracens.
The Merseyside team had more structure in the backs and showed flashes of brilliance in attack, demonstrating how dangerous they could be. However, the side was unable to stop the free-flowing attacking rugby of the well drilled Saracens side.
Opening play saw the ball change directions several times with both sides testing each other’s defence. However, Saracens maximised on the discipline mistakes by the home side and a catch and drive from the lineout saw Poppy Cleall go over the line for the opening try of the game at 12 mins, 0-5. She was able to go over the whitewash in quick succession and make her second try of the game this time converted to 0-12.
Firwood Waterloo pushed back and managed to camp out in Saracens half but once they had ball in hand they quickly gained ground. There were moments of gifted play from the Blundellsands side including the try saving pass interception by Perris-Redding but as the pressure built the visitors were able to make the score 0-19 by half-time.
The team talk must have made a difference as the Firwood Waterloo came out -eager to get underway making Saracens work hard for the ball and forcing handling errors with knock-ons, forward passes and balls being thrown into touch ensuring turned over possession. But the home side could not provide a solid base for play from their set-pieces and on many occasions, Saracens retained possession.
By 75mins Saracens had scored twice more,0-31, but too late Firwood Waterloo Women came alive. A knock on from Saracens and solid scrum from the home-side ensured the ball pass quickly through substitute scum-half Porter’s hands down the line through Delany to Perris-Redding who sprinted 40m down the line, handing off Saracens players, scoring the first try of the season. Unfortunately, Stott’s kick hit the woodwork and the score stood at 5-31.
The team quickly attacked from the re-start and a solid catch and run by centre Perrin quickly gained Firwood Waterloo 50m. A quick pass out the tackle found winger Temple’s hands, whose chip down the field was grounded by Saracens, given them the 22m drop out. Now in injury time the visitor’s depth and pace resulted in a breaking run by Clapp allowing Lingham to score to closeout the game. At the final whistle Firwood Waterloo Women 5 – Saracens Women 38.
Head Coach Giles Heagerty said following the game:
“It was a frustrating performance as we showed glimpses of what we were capable of but were far too inconsistent particularly at the set piece and in our ball retention. But, those glimpses give us something to build on as we prepare for Richmond next week.”
Saracens Women got their season off to the perfect start with a bonus-point 38-5 win over Firwood Waterloo Ladies at the Memorial Ground.
Poppy Cleall crossed twice in the first half alongside Rosie Galligan to give the Women in Black a commanding half-time lead, before Kat Evans, Bryony Cleall and Georgie Lingham made sure of the emphatic victory.
Waterloo’s Georgie Perris-Reading made sure the hosts had something on the board with a late score.
Alex Austerberry would have been pleased with side’s blistering start in his first game as Sarries head coach.
Forcing mistakes and winning penalties at set-pieces, the visitors stamped their authority on the match and Poppy Cleall snuck over from a textbook catch and drive on 12 minutes.
Soon after the England star had her second, profiting from an impressive line-break from sister Bryony.
Just prior to the half-hour mark, Saracens went over again. Ellena Perry showed great gas to set lock Galligan on a sprint to the line; Lauren Cattell adding the extras to give the champions a 19-0 advantage at the break.
Saracens’ dominance at the line-out continued into the second period with Evans going over for an early try before Bryony Cleall got in on the action to go with her assist.
However, with the large scoreline, Sarries invited Waterloo pressure and following several penalties, quick hands released Perris-Reading who beat three Women in Black before touching down in the corner.
The Merseyside outfit’s consolation was wiped out in the closing stages. Good footwork and speed from captain Lotte Clapp allowed winger Lingham to dot down and ensure top spot for Saracens after round one.
|08/09/2018||5:00 pm||Premier 15s||2018-19|