Harlequins Women clinch Allianz Premier 15s title after beating Saracens in final

Shaunagh Brown was part of winning Harlequins side
Shaunagh Brown was part of winning Harlequins side
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Saracens 17-25 Harlequins

Harlequins managed to overcome Saracens dominance in the Alliance Premier 15s as they secured the title for the first time with a 25-17 win in the final.

This is also the third time these two teams going on to lock horns in the final of the competition with the Saracens emerging victorious in the 2017/18 and 2018/19 seasons as the Quins finally went on to win the tournament for the first time.

Harlequins got an early opportunity to open their account after Saracens went offside at the breakdown and Lagi Tuima kicked a penalty goal to start the proceedings before they lost skipper Rachael Burford to injury with Izzy Mayhew replacing her.

Another Saracens infringement at breakdown allowed Quins double their tally in the 11th minute with Tuima getting the kick right for the second time. Saracens also had their injury blow with Hannah Casey replaced in the 13th minute after taking a knock while being tackled.

Harlequins further extended the lead when Amy Cokayne dived at the back of a driving maul but the conversion went wide as the scoreline became 0-11. It became 0-16 six minutes later after Cokayne completed her second which was similar to her first try and once again Tuima's conversion went wide.

The response from Saracens came in the 26th minute after Emma Taylor made the charge down and eventually Marlie Packer dived from close range and Zoe Harrison that reduced the gap down to nine points before Tuima restored 12-point lead for the Quins with her third penalty kick around the half-hour mark.

The second half started with Quins leading 7-19 and their momentum took a further boost with Saracens losing Bryony Cleall to the sin bin for an infringement at the breakdown in the 41st minute and Tuima got her fourth penalty kick right making it 7-22.

The Sarries did not relent under pressure as they clawed their way back into the game with Packer scooping after Poppy Cleall was stopped just short to dot down in the 50th minute but Harrison misses out on the conversion as the scoreline became 12-22.

Sarries were handed a big lifeline as Quins lost Cokayne to sin-bin for a deliberate knock on in the 56th minute and replacement Abbie Ward followed her seconds later. With the numerical advantage on their side, Saracens got the opportunity to narrow down the gap and Sophie de Goede plunged forward to cross the whitewash but once again Harrison's conversion went wide as the scoreline became 17-22.

In the 60th minute, Quins had an opportunity to extend their lead with Tuima kicking a nerveless penalty goal making it 17-25. It was also the 18th penalty conceded by Saracens in the first three quarters and it costed them the title as Quins held their defence to complete a fantastic win.

Team news:

Saracens: McKenna; Gregson, Casey, Aitchison, Clapp (capt); Harrison, Swords; Botterman, Campbell, B Cleall, De Goede, Taylor, Fleetwood, M Packer, P Cleall.

Replacements: Rettie, Clark, Rose, Galligan, Evans, Hayward, Corrigan, Laqeretabua

Harlequins: Rollie; Cowell, Tuima, Burford (capt), Wilcock; Scott, Riley; Cornborough, Cokayne, Brown, Ward, Fletcher, Brooks, Mew, Beckett

Replacements:Dobson, Viksten, Edwards, Eddie, Robinson, L Packer, Green, Mayhew.

Heather Cowell replaces the luckless Jess Breach after she injured her ankle late on in the semi-final, after she'd scored two fine tries.