- Richmond secure fifth straight Premiership win with defeat of Bristol
- Lichfield pick up their first win of the season
Richmond recorded their fifth straight win on Sunday to retain top spot in the Premiership table, with Bristol the latest to succumb to a 24-5 defeat at the hands of the Londoners at the Athletic Ground.
Richmond dominated from the opening stages, and after 15 minutes Vicki Cornborough broke through the visiting defence and offloaded for Jo Watmore to finish off the move.
In trademark determined fashion, Bristol's defence was impenetrable for long periods, and in the end the home crowd had to wait until minutes before half time for Annabel Sergeant to score and put Richmond into a 12-0 lead.
Bristol hit back after the break with Claire Molloy scoring early on but England lock Rowena Burnfield and Watmore put Richmond back in control with two further tries to maintain their unbeaten record this season.
Defending Premiership champions Worcester, meanwhile, continue to struggle, suffering their third defeat of the season with an 32-8 loss to in-form Saracens.
Saracens' dominance left Worcester playing the majority of the game in their own half, frequently holding out in their own 22. Saracens surged forward from the opening whistle and it was surprising that it took 13 minutes for them to convert their advantage into points with captain Maggie Alphonsi eventually scoring in the corner.
Worcester were given heart some ten minutes later when, totally against the run of play, the ball was worked wide for Kat Merchant to finish with a powerful run, outpacing Saracens’ defence to level the scores.
But Saracens continued to stamp their superiority on the game and increased their lead in the 29th minute when their dominance rewarded with a penalty try. Lynsey Wheeler successfully added the extras.
Rare indecision from the visitors led to an even rarer spell of Worcester possession in the opposition half, with Darel Poole taking advantage with a well struck penalty to reduce the deficit to 17-8 at half time.
But Worcester’s afternoon worsened after the restart and replacement Hannah Gallagher crossed the line on 57 and 79 minutes while Wheeler completed what could have been a rout seven minutes from time.
A bottom of the table clash between Aylesford Bulls and Lichfield saw Lichfield come out on top on Saturday as they picked up a much needed first win of the season with a 50-0 victory.
The Bulls struggled in the early stages and Lichfield capitalised by scoring two early tries through England No. 8 Sarah Hunter.
South Africa internationals Janine Felix and Charmaine Kayser were solid on their first starts for the Bulls but missed tackles, a couple of turnovers in the wrong place and fly half Florence Williams being sent to the sin bin allowed Lichfield to run in three more tries through Vicky Fleetwood, Kaz Harris and Emma Garbage.
Going into the break 31-0 down, the second half was much stronger for the Bulls in terms of possession and territory. But after 25 minutes of pressure Lichfield added three more tries through hooker Fleetwood (2) and Emily Braund
Darlington Mowden Park Sharks picked up their second win of the season with a 38-10 victory at home to Wasps on Sunday
The Sharks started strongly and after 15 minutes pacy England wing Ruth Laybourn crossed.
Wasps responded to Sharks’ attacking pressure with some strong attacks of their own with Claire Purdy and Michaela Staniford running well with the ball. Their ball-carrying ability eventually led to a Wasps penalty, which was converted by Hannah Edwards.
Sharks came out firing after the penalty and great attacking vision by Katy McLean and Fiona Davidson set Laybourn away to score her second in the corner. This time McLean nailed the conversion to make the score 12-3 at half time.
The Sharks started the second half as they finished the first. Prop Sally Austen got on the end of a great drive to touch down within the first two minutes. Ruth Nash was next to score for the home team, again from some great work by the Sharks pack, and McLean slotted the conversion to take a 24-3 lead.
Wasps came back at Sharks with a good score from Lou Meadows, but the home side showed their attacking play once again with Suzanne Todd touching down after an impressive flat pass by Mclean. Nash then rounded off a good afternoon for the Sharks with her second try.