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Saracens Women return with win at Wasps

PUBLISHED: 08:52 01 December 2019 | UPDATED: 08:52 01 December 2019

Zoe Harrison attacks for Saracens Women (pic Matt Impey/Wired Photos)

Zoe Harrison attacks for Saracens Women (pic Matt Impey/Wired Photos)

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Saracens Women made a winning return to Tyrrells Premier 15s action with a 32-21 victory over Wasps FC Ladies at Twyford Avenue on Saturday.

Hannah Botterman scores for Saracens Women (pic Matt Impey/Wired Photos)Hannah Botterman scores for Saracens Women (pic Matt Impey/Wired Photos)

Tries from Hannah Botterman (2), Mackenzie Carson, Rocky Clark and Poppy Cleall and seven points from the boot of Lisa Martin helped maintain their winning start to the season.

And, in a campaign characterised by slow starts, they got off to a flying start this time as fly-half Martin scored a penalty after a strong multi-phase attack.

A few minutes later Carson got Saracens first try of the day as Lotte Clapp and Rachel Laqeretabua made the initial incisions to get into the Wasps 22 before the Canadian international finished off a series of carries by the pack to go under the posts.

Martin added the extras and Saracens had 10 points on the board in almost as many minutes.

However, Saracens failed to hold onto the ball from the restart and Wasps gained possession, resulting in a penalty from fly-half Lizzie Goulden.

The first half, and the match as whole, was a stop-start affair with neither team really able to gain much momentum, but Saracens were next to score just after the half-hour mark.

It came through slightly fortuitous circumstances as Wasps challenged a Saracens lineout a few metres from their line and the ball fell to prop Botterman who wasn't going to be stopped with that sort of opportunity.

Martin's second conversion of the day stretched the score to 17-3 in the visitor's favour but a dropped ball gave Wasps possession in their 22 and, after a number of penalties, the home team opted for a kick at goal and Goulden added another three points.

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The home team got the first points of the second half as Saracens went in at the side at the breakdown and Goulden kicked her third penalty of the game.

But Saracens' forward power led to back-to-back penalties against the home team and a line-out just five metres from the Wasps line, with a driving maul stopped just short before Rocky Clark spotted space on the blindside to pick and go and score against her former club.

The next score came just a few minutes later, as Wasps took advantage of Saracens indiscipline to gain a foothold in the visitor's 22.

Saracens did well to stop an initial drive but Wasps set up another maul and showed good control to get their first try of the game, with Goulden adding the extras to make it a six-point game.

The tit-for-tat scoring continued with Saracens securing the bonus point try with little over 10 minutes left as inside centre Harrison's break proved decisive to take them towards the line.

The forwards took over from there and a nice tip on from Clark gave Botterman a bit of space and she was too strong for the defence that close to the line.

That made it 27-16 with 10 minutes to go, but the pattern of the half had been set and Wasps were next to score as Abby Dow showed her pace to finish in the corner.

The home team's position had come about due to indiscipline by Saracens and after repeated infringements by the team, Martin was shown a yellow card which meant the visitors would finish with 14 players on the pitch.

With the score now 27-21 and still time left, territory would be key and Harrison's deep kick-off ensured the final minutes would be played out in Wasps' territory.

Cleall put the game to bed as she picked off the base off a scrum just a few metres out from the Wasps line and showed her power to bump off the defence and score in the corner.

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