Saracens win third Premier 15s title in four years after swarming Exeter at Sixways - Ruck

Saracens win third Premier 15s title in four years after swarming Exeter at Sixways

BY STELLA MILLS

A sunny Saturday at Sixways stadium sees Saracens lift the trophy to become champions of the Allianz Premier 15’s.

The match had everything a rugby fan could want, stands brimming with vocal supporters, close encounters and some big hits thrown in for good measure.

Supporters from both sides made the effort, but a special shout out must go to the Saracens clan, who pulled out all the stops to ensure the team felt appreciated from the moment they stepped off the coach.

It was Saracens who came out of the blocks firing, making intentions clear from the start. Just six minutes into the match, it was Poppy Cleall who hurtled towards the try line, but was held up. That didn’t matter for teammate Packer, who was on hand to push forward, launching herself over the line and securing the first points on the board for Saracens. Kelter then stepped up to slot the conversion over, making it look simple.

Red Rose Holly Aitchison slots in a little chip, which is promptly collected by Kanako Kobayashi and sent on it’s way to Detiveaux. Exeter star to look like they have something to bring to the party, however the Saracens squad strike again with a break from McKenna. Eventually the ball is shipped to Packer who offloads to Fleetwood. Fleetwood takes a low body position and extends herself over the line, the powerful athlete looking near impossible to stop, and she succeeds in getting points on the board.

It seems something had jarred Exeter, who come back fighting with a tap and go from Garcia that materialised into a try, taking the score to Saracens 17 Exeter 7.

From nowhere, Alev Kelter makes an exceptional run which is finished off nicely by Marlie Packer, who makes top level rugby look like a walk in the park. Kelter smartly takes her time with the conversion, safe in the knowledge that her team will walk into the changing rooms at half time in the lead.

Saracens fan’s have only just sat down into their seats when they jump  back up as Mackenzie Carson treats the stadium to a try barely one minute into the second half, showing the sheer drive and determination of the squad.

Exeter go to capitalise on a penalty, and Hope Rogers attempts to shoot across the try line but is held up in the corner. This brings a notable shot of energy as the crowd starts roaring. Sometime later it looks as if it would be Garcia over the line for her second try, but it was teammate and speedy winger Jennine Detiveaux who finished it off.

With a blink of the eye, any progress made by chiefs is quickly undone as Saracens pop quick hands down the line, and Alysha Corrigan steams over the line taking the team into a strong lead over Exter.

The sheer intensity of the game is reflected by the number of players scattered around the ground receiving treatment, plenty of cramping muscles and sore bodies, but the show must go on.

Just as it looks like Exeter have checked out, with 8 minutes left on the clock, Ebony Jefferies shoots round the corner to score. Megan Foster boots a tough conversion over, which is met by a strong roar from the Exeter fans.

But, it isn’t enough to catch up to Saracens. As Marlie Packer is announced as player of the match, there feels a certain sense of inevitability has fallen over in Sixways, with Saracens taking home the trophy.

One thing is for sure, today at Sixways history was made. For Exeter to disrupt the usual top four and secure a place in the final was brilliant. The future of the women’s game is looking bright, and this is just the start.  

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