Premier 15s Weekend Round-Up
Saracens, Bristol Bears and DMP Sharks all banked bonus-point wins in Saturday's re-arranged fixtures, with all three climbing in the Premier 15s table as a result:
Sale Sharks 5-71 Saracens
Reigning champions, Saracens, climbed to third in the league with an emphatic win at The CorpAcq. The visitors' back line produced a blistering opening salvo, with Sarah McKenna, Jess Breach, and a Lotte Clapp brace bringing up a bonus point inside 16 minutes, and eight more points from the boot of Zoe Harrison giving the visitors an early 28-point cushion.
May Campbell and Coreen Grant then crossed twice in as many minutes, before Lauren Delany pegged one back for the Sharks in the 36th minute. But Sydney Gregson reasserted Saracens' dominance moments later, adding a seventh just before half time. Campbell crossed for her second three minutes after the restart, and Jodie Rettie snuck over twice in quick succession just after the hour mark.
Alex Ellis scored late on to put the seal on another eye-catching Saracens performance, as Alex Austerberry's charges now prepare to face long-standing rivals, Harlequins, in The Duel at The StoneX next Saturday.
Worcester Warriors 28-38 Bristol
Bristol Bears extended their recent winning run against the University of Worcester Warriors with another strong performance at Sixways. Dave Ward's side had come out on top of their last three league fixtures against Worcester by two-point margins, and will take plenty of encouragement from Saturday's six-try, bonus-point win. Lark Davies rumbled over with just three minutes on the clock, and Ella Lovibond added another soon after. The in-form Carys Phillips, having bagged a hat-trick against Sale Sharks last week, responded for the hosts with a try in the 19th minute, and Jade Shekells - back in a Warriors shirt for the first time this season - followed that up with another, with Vicky Foxwell and Amber Reed's successful conversions taking the score to 14-14.
The Bears finished the first half with a flurry, though, as Sarah Bern and Grace Crompton crossed twice in as many minutes, and Davies added a second just before the break. Claire Molloy and Natalia John traded tries just before the hour mark, but an attritional final quarter saw neither side able to make further inroads until, with the clock in the red, Cara Brincat stretched over to clinch a last-gasp try bonus point for the hosts. Jo Yapp's side now prepare for another Westcountry visit on Saturday - from the high-flying Exeter Chiefs - while Bristol Bears head to Darlington in Round 11 to face DMP Sharks.
Sharks 30-5 Wasps
DMP Sharks secured a landmark first win of the season at the Darlington Arena in Saturday's late kick off, scoring six tries in yet another improved performance from Mark Luffman's side. The Sharks got up and running in the 15th minute, when Rachel Ehrecke dived over in the corner, before another new arrival, Meya Bizer, broke through a gap in the Wasps defence and glided under the posts to double the hosts' advantage. Kathryn Treder then powered over from a maul just before the break to give the Sharks a 15-point advantage heading into half time.
Two minutes after the restart, Wasps hooker Alana Bainbridge was shown a yellow card, and Kenny Thomas-Roberts capitalised on the numerical advantage to score out wide. Kat Craine followed that up with the Sharks' fifth on the hour mark, but Wasps responded with a well-worked try from Kirsty Hillier in the corner.
With seconds left, Craine picked out an intercept and fed Linzi Taylor, who flew over the line to put the final touch on a memorable afternoon for the Sharks. Wasps now head to the Westcountry in Round 11 to face league leaders Gloucester-Hartpury, while DMP Sharks prepare to host Bristol Bears, which, incidentally, is the team they last beat in the Premier 15s prior to Saturday's victory over Wasps.