By Tom Branston
Worcester Valkyries produced a hard-fought display but fell to a 22-8 defeat against Saracens in the Women’s Senior Cup at Allianz Park on Sunday.
First-half tries from Emma Uren, Garnet Mackinder and a converted Zoe Harrison score gave the hosts a convincing 17-0 lead at the break.
Harriet Dunn crossed the whitewash for Worcester but a late try from Nina Vistisen destroyed any hope of Valkyries overturning the score.
Saracens began the game the stronger side with early possession and territory in the Valkyries half and they opened the scoring in the 26th minute as the ball was recycled into the path of Uren who scored in the corner.
Three minutes later Sarries added a second when Mackinder flew past the Valkyries defence and the hosts then had their third as fly-half Harrison dummied a pass and found a gap to score before converting.
The Valkyries defence held out for the remainder of the half as Saracens went in at the break with a 17-0 lead.
Worcester burst into life in the second-half producing more attacking play which was soon rewarded with Dunn crashing over the whitewash for the first time in a Valkyries jersey.
The powerful prop profited from a quickly recycled ball and the Worcester pressure took its toll.
Valkyries looked close to scoring another when Large received the ball just metres out but the fly-half was tackled into touch.
Lark Davies was a battering ram throughout the game and produced several holes in the Saracens defence, while Dunn and Rosie Haigh were also causing problems.
However, Valkyries were caught out against the run of play when Vistisen produced an excellent solo try from inside her own half.
Depleted by the score, Worcester looked to get straight back at Saracens with Stacey Hiscox and Steph Clarke bringing the ball forward before Megan Goddard chipped over a penalty in the last play of the game.
Valkyries return to Women’s Premiership action this Saturday 26 November at Sixways (kick-off 2pm).
26m | Uren try 5-0
29m | Mackinder try 10-0
33m | Harrison try 15-0
34m | Harrison con 17-0
46m | Dunn try 17-5
67m | Vistisen try 22-5
80m | Goddard pen 22-8
Valkyries | 15 Sam Bree (C), 14 Megan Sampson, 13 Charlie Byrne, 12 Ceri Large, 11 Sam Parker, 10 Megan Goddard, 9 Bianca Blackburn, 8 Courtney Gill, 7 Sarah Davey, 6 Rosie Haigh, 5 Chelsey Snead, 4 Stacey Hiscox, 3 Steph Clarke, 2 Lark Davies, 1 Harriet Dunn
Replacements | 16 Paula Robinson, 17 Katie Phillips, 18 Rhi Donnahey, 19 Jo Richards, 20 Josie Symonds, 21 Lyndsay O’Donnell