Next weekend's final at Kingsholm will be a repeat of the previous two in this tournament
Harlequins and Saracens reach Premier 15s final
Harlequins and Saracens will meet in next weekend’s Allianz Premier 15s final.
Wasps and Loughborough Lightning were both hoping to reach the Premier 15s showpiece for the first time, but they couldn’t overcome the two sides that have dominated this competition since it was launched in 2017-18.
Saracens have beaten Quins in both the previous Premier 15s finals and will meet again at Kingsholm next Sunday. Here’s how they reached the final…
Harlequins 25-14 Wasps
Jess Breach scored two tries as Quins beat Wasps at the Stoop, but the England winger is a major doubt for Sunday’s final at Kingsholm after being carried off on a stretcher in the closing minutes. She reappeared at the final whistle to join her team-mates in applauding the crowd but she was on crutches with her ankle heavily iced.
Quins had built a comfortable half-time lead as they built territory through penalties and used their powerful forwards to get across the gain-line.
Vickii Cornborough scored the opening try from close range and Breach cut a beautiful line off Lagi Tuima’s shoulder to scythe through Wasps’ defence and touch down. A couple of Ellie Green penalties, plus a conversion from the fly-half, made it 18-0 at the break.
Wasps, who were without first-choice half-backs Meg Jones and Claudia MacDonald, came back stronger in the second half, bringing more tempo to proceedings and stretching Quins on the edges.
Then Abby Dow used her footwork close to the line to get around Leanne Riley and then drove over Shaunagh Brown to get Wasps’ first try.
Then Breach restored Quins advantage with her second try. Brown carried strongly, the ball was recycled and then Rachael Burford put Breach away under the posts.
Dow was presented with another opportunity out wide but she was tackled into touch by Breach and Tuima – the former suffering an injury in that moment.
Wasps front-rower Andrea Stock drove over from a couple of metres out soon after to make it 25-14 but the visitors couldn’t close the gap any further.
Saracens 28-24 Loughborough Lightning
Less than 20 miles north at StoneX Stadium, it was nip and tuck in the first half between Saracens and Loughborough, with the Cleall twins to the fore.
The visitors took an early lead when Lark Davies touched down from a driving maul – her 20th try of the season – but Poppy Cleall pulled Saracens back level.
Then Rhona Lloyd was released by a neat pop pass from Emily Scarratt to get Lightning’s second.
Two tries from Bryony Cleall then gave Saracens the lead for the first time.
Davies added yet another try to her tally before the break but this time Scarratt couldn’t convert so Saracens held a narrow 21-19 lead at half-time.
The hosts extended that lead early in the second half with another Cleall try – Poppy this time – and despite plenty of possession Lightning couldn’t get across the whitewash until the final minutes.
It was in the 68th minute, after Vicky Fleetwood was sin-binned, that Bryony Field powered over from a maul. The visitors launched one last attack but Saracens crucially turned the ball over in the final seconds to reach another Premier 15s final.
Allianz Premier 15s final: Harlequins v Saracens, 4pm, Sunday 30 May, Kingsholm – buy tickets here.
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