Saracens Women couldn’t have hoped for a brighter start to 2018 as they ran rampant at Allianz Park on Saturday to dispatch Worcester Valkyries 105-0. A total of seventeen tries were notched up including a sensational four tries from winger Emma Uren and a hat trick from Bryony Cleall. Added to this, a brace from sister Poppy Cleall, Marlie Packer, Helena Rowland and Cara Wardle and scores from Helena Rowland, Sonia Green and captain Lotte Clapp gave Sarries their biggest victory of the season.
Sarries struck within sixty seconds and never looked back in a clinical performance from Rob Cain’s side against a young Worcester side. Pressure from debutant Jude Stephenson and Marlie Packer forced an early turnover and fly half Rowland was on hand to get Sarries off the mark.
The Cleall sisters were on fine form in the loose, proving a constant threat as they linked up for Sarries second score demonstrating some slick handling skills after six minutes. Poppy was involved in the build up for try number three, carrying from the base of a solid scrum to Georgie Gulliver who shipped it to Emma Uren to finish in a move straight off the training ground. The bonus point was secured after only seventeen minutes as Poppy Cleall spotted an opportunity to rumble over from a quick tap penalty to extend the lead to 22-0. In a Cleall masterclass, Bryony was next on the board as Sarries exercised their deadly catch and drive game for the flanker to charge over the whitewash. Sonia Green was next in on the action as Kat Evans put her away for a score under the sticks to make it 34-0 following Rowland’s conversion.
Valkyries could not contain Saracens blend of direct bludgeoning play coupled with an ambitious offloading game as the home side racked up another three scores in the first period. Cara Wardle got herself on the scoresheet along with second scores for Uren and Bryony Cleall to give Sarries an impressive 53-0 lead going into the break.
Player of the Match Bryony Cleall secured her hat trick on the 43 minute mark, making no mistake from close range. Rob Cain rang the changes shortly into the second half and will be buoyed by the positive impact of his bench with Garnet Mackinder and Scarlett Cooper-Wall getting early touches. Birthday girl Lotte Clapp got a present of her own as Sarries were rewarded for periods of extended pressure on the line.
Emma Uren showed no sign of rustiness on her return from injury as she dotted down for her hat trick after 63 minutes to take the score to 70-0. Despite the score line Worcester continued to battle and strong carries from Akina Gondwe and Lark Davies gave the visitors some decent field position but just couldn’t capitalise on. Marlie Packer came into her own in the final quarter as Valkyries struggled to contain the effervescent flanker. A powerful break set up Helena Rowland for a simple walkover try adding to her thirty point solo haul. The England powerhouse then crossed for two of her own to extend her lead as the club’s top try scorer this season and take the back row try tally to seven on the day. It was the lively Uren who clocked up her fourth try in the final play to take the home side past a century of points and round off proceedings with an impressive 105-0 win.
Speaking after the match head coach Rob Cain said: “Full credit to Worcester – they kept throwing everything at us for the full 80 but they came across us at our clinical best. Our ball carrying, willingness to work to get two touches on the ball and support line breaks was exceptional today. It was so pleasing to see so much attention to detail in our tries today. Our core skills and appetite for work off the ball culminated in so many of our scores.
“It was great to see Emma back to her threatening best, finishing off some great work by the players inside her. To see so many touches from all players with offloads and putting the ball into space with go forward bodes well with the possibility of lots more excitement ahead.”