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Women’s Premiership Review – Round Four

08 October 2012

  • Wins for Worcester, Richmond, Lichfield and Wasps in Women's Premiership
  • Worcester Ladies top the table after four rounds

Worcester 72 Thurrock 5

Worcester Ladies continue to lead the way in the RFU Women’s Premiership after an emphatic 72-5 victory over league newcomers Thurrock on Sunday.

Despite being several players down through injury, Worcester were in impressive form with England stars Heather Fisher and Danielle Waterman each grabbing a hat-trick of tries. Ceri Large, Katherine Merchant, Samantha Bree and Zoe Bennion also touched down as the visitors dominated. Megan Goddard and Large then added six conversions between them.

Worcester, however, will unquestionably face a much tougher test next weekend when they take on league champions Richmond, who currently sit second on the league ladder.

Richmond 29 Darlington MPS 5

England Women's Claire Allan trys to evade a tackle

Photo: Scrumpix

Defending champions Richmond retained the pressure on Worcester at the top of the table with a 29-5 victory over Darlington Mowden Park Sharks at home.

The match was initially a closely fought contest with only a penalty from Richmond’s Abigail Chamberlain separating the two sides early on.

Eventually, the home side’s Lynne Cantwell spotted a gap and made a darting run. With Holly Myers in support, she took the pass and touched down to score her first try for the London club. That score opened the way for a second touch down for Richmond before the break, again courtesy of Myers. Chamberlain added the conversion, making the score 15-0.

The two sides again locked horns after the break, and were at deadlock for the next 20 minutes. Darlington’s Sophie Spence burst through pulling back a try but Richmond were soon back on top with Chamberlain cutting through the Sharks defence to score under the posts. This time Jackie Shiels converted to give Richmond a 22-5 lead.

In the final phase of play, Richmond rounded off the match with a penalty try, converted by Shiels to take a 29-5 win.

Wasps 24 Bristol 5

Bristol Ladies found their trip to west London hard going when Wasps inflicted a 24-5 defeat on the West Country side at Twyford Avenue.

Wasps dominated possession in the early stages but it was Bristol who scored first with a counter attack move which saw Sally Tuson break free and power over the try line to score.

The home side, however, soon turned the tables with Michaela StanifordSarah McKenna and Liz Riley all coming close but it was England’s Jane Leonard who scored a crucial try just before the break. With McKenna converting, Wasps led 7-5.

The one way traffic continued after the break with wing Lynsey Douglas scoring a try on the blindside from a scrum. A fantastic phase of play from the kick off also saw McKenna touch down for a try which she converted.

Bristol continued to show spirit and play some exciting running rugby, but a fantastic defensive effort by Wasps kept the visitors from scoring. Wasps instead added one more try from Danielle Powley on her first team debut to make the final score 24-5.

Saracens 15 Lichfield 17

England Women's Rowena Burnfield attempts an offload

Photo: Scrumpix

Saracens’ clash with Lichfield proved one of the thrillers of the weekend with a late comeback by the Londoners pushing their visitors all the way, but in the end Lichfield took a 17-15 victory. 

The class of Lichfield's international half-backs Natasha Hunt and Emily Scarratt ensured the visitors played in the right areas of the park and it was the quick thinking of the former who took a tap penalty to create an overlap for hooker Becky Williams who dived over in the corner for the first score of the afternoon.

In a relatively scrappy game, much of the play was found around the half way area until a break for the lively Lichfield centre Vicky Jackson allowed some power play by the forwards and Harriet Millar-Mills edged herself over to take the score to 10-0 with 25 minutes played.

Saracens found their own power game, and relentless charges by the front row of Kat Evans and props Kelly Wallis and Hilary Leith, eventually led to the latter barging her way over from close range, making the score 10-5 at half time.

The second half saw many tit for tat exchanges with both sides showing similar forward led momentum. The hard work of Lichfield’s pack was to be rewarded when space was created out-wide for Jackson who touched down for a well-deserved score. Scarratt was spot on with the conversion to make the score 17-5.

The final 25 minutes of the game was all Saracens and they responded positively despite some resolute fringe defence by Lichfield. Leith, having a great game, burst her way over again to take the score to 17-10 with 15 minutes on the clock.

With Scarratt and Hunt leaving the field, Lichfield found themselves unable to ease the Saracens pressure and strong breaks by Morely, Mandy Marchak and Leith opened the door for scrum half Leanne Riley to score a crucial try wide of the posts. But with the conversion sneaking wide of the uprights, the score remained 17-15 and Saracens had to settle for defeat.