Saracens women fall short as Harlequins win Premier 15s title

Saracens' May Campbell charges down the kick from Harlequins' Leanne Riley during the Allianz Premie

Saracens' May Campbell charges down the kick from Harlequins' Leanne Riley during the Allianz Premier 15s final at the Kingsholm Stadium, Gloucester. Picture date: Sunday May 30, 2021. - Credit: PA

A Marlie Packer double wasn’t enough as Harlequins defeated Saracens women 25-17 to win their first Allianz Premier 15s title at Kingsholm. 

Amy Cokayne scored Harlequins’ first two tries and Lagilagi Tuima scored nine points from penalty kicks, but Packer scored to give Sarries hope before half time. 

Tuima kicked another penalty after the break before Packer and Sophie de Goede scored, but it was not enough to complete a stunning comeback, as Tuima kicked her fourth penalty of the afternoon to kill the game. 

Quins could have opened the scoring early on after charging down a kick, but Zoe Harrison recovered extraordinarily well to make a try saving tackle. 

However, Harrison could not stop Tuima opening the scoring from a penalty after ten minutes of fierce competition. 

Sarries had to dig deep, but after more heroic defence, they conceded another penalty which Tuima was able to kick to put Quins 6-0 ahead. 

The west Londoners then scored the opening try, after consultation with the TMO, through Cokayne, who crossed the whitewash at the back of a rolling maul to put her side 11-0 ahead. 

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The try was not converted, but their ninth penalty in 30 minutes allowed Quins to kick to the corner again, and from the driving maul that followed Cokayne was able to score her second of the afternoon. 

Again, the try was not converted, and Alex Austerberry’s side finally got themselves on the front foot despite being 16-0 down. 

Then, after a series of pick and goes, Packer crossed the whitewash, Harrison kicked the conversion, and the comeback was on. 

Cokayne kicked another goal shortly after to send Quins into half time 19-7 ahead. 

After half time, Bryony Cleall was given a yellow card, and from the resulting penalty Tuima put Quins 22-7 up. 

Hope seemed lost, but after a free kick was given for early engagement at the scrum on the five-metre line, Packer scored her second from a pick and go from close range. 

Saracens had the spring back in their step, leading to two Quins yellow cards in quick succession, before de Goede scored in the corner to reduce the deficit to five points. 

However, Tuima continued her fine form, kicking another penalty from a tight angle shortly after to end any chances of a Saracens come back.