London club beat Exeter 43-21 in women’s top-flight final at Sixways
Marlie Packer stars in Saracens’ Premier 15s win
The Saracens co-captain scored two tries in the 43-21 win over Exeter Chiefs at Sixways but there was far more to her display across the park.
Her powerful carries, uncompromising tackles and bruising breakdown work continually lifted her team-mates, while her standout moment was arguably the turnover on opposite number Kate Zackary just before the break.
After playing a central role in this victory, which saw Saracens regain the trophy they last won in 2019, she said: “We’re number one. We chomp at the bit to be the best.”
Packer has certainly shown this season that she is one of the best players in the world. The England back-row has been in phenomenal form and the Red Roses coaches will be hoping she can maintain that all the way to New Zealand for the Rugby World Cup later in the year.
Plenty of players involved in this final are sure to be starring at the World Cup but it was those in Saracens colours who came out on top against a Chiefs side who had reached their first league final only a couple of years after being formed.
Watch: Saracens’ Premier 15s win
Sarries were quick to make their mark in the final, Packer surging over from close range after a tap-and-go penalty from Poppy Cleall in the sixth minute.
Chiefs had a couple of penalties of their own but were repelled by Saracens and then the Londoners got their second try in the 22nd minute, Vicky Fleetwood springing over from a low position at the back of a ruck close to the line.
Patricia Garcia – playing her final game of pro rugby – reduced the deficit for Chiefs as she weaved over with a quick tap penalty before Alev Kelter slotted a penalty to make it 17-7.
Two tries either side of half-time put Saracens in control, though.
First Packer pinballed her way over the line to score her second and then Mackenzie Carson powered over after Sarries regained possession from the restart.
Approaching the hour mark, Jennine Detiveaux was sent over by Garcia after Gabby Cantorna’s break had put Chiefs in a scoring position. Yet Saracens came again.
An initial surge from Packer followed by another from Kelter allowed Sarries to set up a series of pick-and-goes on the line and May Campbell – another impressive performer at hooker – burrowed across close to the posts.
Alysha Corrigan was next on the scoresheet. The winger was tackled on the 22 but released the ball, regathered and burst towards the line. The fact Kelter was timed out for taking too long with the conversion was one of the few things Sarries got wrong across the 80 minutes.
Ebony Jefferies scored a late try for Chiefs when she broke off the back of a maul, but it was Saracens who were lifting the trophy at the final whistle. They are the dominant force in the English women’s game – and Packer is the dominant force within that team.
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