A resurgent second-half comeback was not enough for Sale Sharks Women as Sacarens claimed victory in round 16 of the Allianz Premier 15s
A difficult first half followed by an inspired second equated to narrow defeat for Sale Sharks Women at Saracen’s StoneX Stadium.
The league leaders struct early and mercilessly, scoring two tries through Corrigan and Miel, the first coming from a picturesque chip-and-chase, and the second involving multiple missed tackles on Sharks fringe.
When Sharks fumbled the ball off the first phase of a defensive scrum, the hosts struck again, this time through Clapp who powered over the line in the narrow.
Sarries scored their fourth and fifth before the break via some searing and concerningly comfortable offload play, Jacobs and Aitchison adding their names to the scoresheet.
The first spark of Sharks resistance ignited before the break however, as Jodie Ounsley claimed her first score since returning from injury – cutting in from space out wide with power and pace for a clinically taken effort.
Lizzie Duffy’s boot meant Sharks entered the break 31-7 behind.
Kelter scored for Sarries soon after the break, but that was to be their last try of the match.
A yellow card for Kelsey Clifford after multiple team offences gave Sharks the tilt in momentum they needed. From the ensuing scrum, Jodie Ounsley worked her magic once again, weaving through and claiming her double in style.
Sustained pressure saw Catie Benson cross soon after as Sharks’ pick-and-go paid dividends, with Duffy slotting the two.
If Sarries had been unrelenting in the first-half, Sharks were relentless in the second, and, from another powerful scrum, substitute Sarah Law collected Jess Roberts offload to add her name to the scoresheet.
An exquisitely taken conversion from Duffy later and Saracens had seen enough. The hosts regathered and when offered a penalty in front of the posts opted to take the points, taking the score to 41-26.
A final try from Vicky Irwin – leaping over from close range – put Sharks within touching distance of a losing bonus point, but Duffy’s conversion was to be their final points of the noon.
A tale of two halves against the league leaders, Sharks next game is against DMP Sharks in May.
BOL Foods Player of the Match: Rachel Woosey
Sale Sharks Women:
15. Rachel Woosey, 14. Evie Tonkin, 13. Hollie Bawden, 12. Katana Howard, 11. Jodie Ounsley, 10. Lizzie Duffy, 9. Jess Roberts; 1. Catie Benson, 2. Joanna Kitlinski, 3. Nick James (C), 4. Molly Morrissey, 5. Katie Houghton, 6. Vicky E Irwin, 7. Lucy Winter, 8. Daisy Hibbert-Jones
16. Molly Kelly, 17. Gwenllian Pyrs, 18. Leah Lyons, 19. Amy Orrow, 20. Rachel McLachlan, 21. Mhairi Grieve, 22. Sarah Law, 23. Lisa Thomson
1 Mackenzie Carson
2 Kat Evans
3 Donna Rose
4 Fiona McIntosh
5 Catha Jacobs
6 Jodie Rettie
7 Vicky Fleetwood
8 Marlie Packer (cc)
9 Ella Wyrwas
10 Holly Aitchison
11 Lotte Clapp (cc)
12 Alev Kelter
13 Hannah Casey
14 Alysha Corrigan
15 Chantelle Miell
16 May Campbell
17 Kelsey Clifford
18 Alex Ellis
19 Sophie Tansley
20 Sonia Green
21 Carly Waters
22 Lisa Martin
23 Rachel Laqeretabua