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Women’s Premiership Review – Round Three

24 September 2012

  • A look at Round Three of the Women's Premiership
  • Worcester still lead the way after three games
Bristol in action against Worcester

Photo: Neil Kennedy

Worcester still lead the way in the Women’s Premiership after an impressive 52-0 away win against Bristol Ladies and if ever there was a tale of two halves, this was it. Bristol were 8-0 down at half time, yet went on to concede a further 44 points in the second half at the hands of a dynamic, fully-firing Worcester side.

Both teams were closing down the space early, and there were some big hits being made from both sides. As half time loomed, Worcester suddenly had a few chances, but Rhiannon Parker managed to get a hand on their cross field kick and both Claire Molloy and Kate Hancock made last minute tackles to stop Worcester crossing the line.

Worcester continued with a series of well-worked phases and Joanne Watmore breezed through a series of missed tackles for an easy try. The conversion hit the posts and Bristol fired back with some fierce ball carrying from captain Izzy Noel-Smith.

Bristol in action against Worcester

Photo: Lloyd Guy

Unfortunately for Bristol, with a few minutes to go of the half, England flanker Marlie Packer was red carded for showing dissent to the referee. This seemingly, was the beginning of the end for the home side, who looked like a different side in the second half. 

With a player down, the overlap was constantly exposed and Bristol’s execution of one on one tackles was poor. Bristol allowed Worcester to totally dominate the remainder of the game and run in a further seven tries.

Bristol will be looking to draw a line under this performance and regroup to find their winning ways again, when they face Wasps away in October.

Saracens clinch close contest

Wasps in action against Saracens

Photo: Lissy Tomlinson

In a stop-start game reflective of the wet conditions, Saracens came out on top 12-10 away against Wasps in London.

Wasps opened the scoring, finding space around the breakdown to drive forward and Jane Leonard touching down over the line.

Saracens made some excellent line breaks but handling errors in the wet conditions stopped them from scoring but eventually Canadian centre Mandy Marchak broke through the Wasps defence and in an individual effort chipped over the cover defence to collect and score.

The Wasps forwards made ground around the ruck and having created the overlap, Wasps moved the ball out wide. Tash Brennan straightened up on a powerful run to put Wasps back in front, without the conversion the score stood at 10-5 going in to half time.

Saracens spent much of the second half camped in the Wasps half and while the Wasps defence held strong initially, the pressure from the visitors finally told and Kelly Wallis crashed over to score and tie the game up.

Marchak kicked the conversion to put Saracens in a lead which they held throughout the remainder of the game and to give her side their first win of the season.

Richmond rack up important win

Elsewhere, Lichfield welcomed Richmond to a very wet and windy Cooke fields to see if they could repeat last season’s closely fought victory over the visitors, but Richmond were resolute and finished up winning 17-7.

Both teams struggled to make any impact on the game after a number of handling errors in attack. Richmond settled into their stride first and after the first real set of phases they managed to create an overlap in the Lichfield defence with Tess Forsberg finishing off the move and Alice Richardson adding the extras.

The half continued with more mistakes being made by both teams in attack. Richmond continued to put the Lichfield defence under pressure but the Lichfield defence held strong, and from the good work in defence, Emily Scarratt intercepted a pass and ran under the posts, she also added the extras.

With half time fast approaching Richmond struck the killer blow when fly half Alice Richardson spotted a gap in the Lichfield defence to score, she also added the extras.

The second half started the same as the first with both teams looking to assert their dominance on the game however handling errors due to the worsening weather conditions meaning that both teams struggled in the final third as they could not find the final pass  to score.

The Lichfield pack dominated throughout the 2nd half put this set piece pressure did not lead to any points on the score board.

The only points of the second half came from the boot of Richmond fly half Alice Richardson after some indiscipline in the Lichfield defence.