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Premier 15s Round-up: Bristol and Saracens maintain unbeaten starts

Premier 15s Round-up: Bristol and Saracens maintain unbeaten starts

Bristol Bears continued their unbeaten start to the 2021-22 Premier 15s season with an impressive 24-5 win over defending champions Harlequins.

While Bristol found themselves down to 14 following repeated breakdown infringements, they opened the scoring inside the first 10 minutes of action at the Stoop through Courtney Knight.

Quins responded through Emily Robinson and after both sides missed their conversions, the scores were level at the break 5-5.

After the interval, a break from Bears forward Sarah Bern saw her up into the Quins 22, before popping the ball off to Grace Crompton who finished with ease.

Then for Bristol’s third try of the afternoon, Crompton turned provider, this time setting Wales winger Jasmine Joyce away.

The Bristol flyer scythed her way through the Harlequins defence, beating Ellie Kildunne’s last-ditch effort to touch down.

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And Hannah West rounded off proceedings for the Bears with their fourth try of the afternoon which marked a famous day for Dave Ward’s side in south-west London.

Elsewhere, Saracens continued to match Bristol for pace with a fifth consecutive league win of their own against Exeter Chiefs.

While Exeter took the lead through Brooke Bradley, Saracens replied through Chantelle Miell before Poppy Cleall then crashed over to give them the lead.

A penalty from Zoe Harrison coupled with a try from Hannah Botterman down the right-hand flank gave Saracens a 22-7 lead at half-time.

And after the break, they continued their onslaught when Cleall went over for her second of the game following a great line break from Lotte Clapp.

Tries from Ebony Jefferies and Flo Robinson did offer Exeter some hope, but Harrison’s boot kept the points ticking over for Sarries, with the contest finishing 32-19 in their favour.

Worcester Warriors pulled off an impressive 18-14 away win against one of last season’s Premier 15 semi-finalists, Loughborough Lightning.

At the break, the scores were level at 0-0 with neither side able to break the deadlock during the opening 40 minutes of action.

A Minori Yamamoto penalty on 44 minutes for Worcester got the party started, with Loughborough responding with a try through Lark Davies who crossed on the back of a superbly executed rolling maul.

The Warriors then went ahead when Alycia Washington crashed over in the corner before Laura Keates extended their lead with 10 minutes to go.

Another try from Davies followed by a conversion from Helena Rowland made it a one-point game with four minutes left, but thankfully for Worcester, Ellen Murphy’s penalty wrapped things up for the Warriors to give them their second win of the season.

In the battle at the bottom, Sale Sharks bested DMP Durham Sharks 31-0 at the Darlington Arena.

A brace of tries from Catherine Benson, scores from Lauren Delany, Leah Lyons, Lisa Neumann and the boot of Sarah Law saw Sale on their way to their first win of the season.

DMP meanwhile sit rooted to the bottom of the table having lost all five of their opening fixtures.

In the final game of round five, Wasps and Gloucester-Hartpury played out an entertaining 34-25 contest that saw the former come out on top at the CBS Arena.

A penalty from recent England training squad call-up Emma Sing saw Gloucester-Hartpury take the lead on six minutes before a converted score from Maud Muir swung the early stages in Wasps favour.

Florence Williams was on target with her 22nd-minute penalty to extend Wasps lead but Gloucester-Hartpury hit back before the break thanks to a try from Natasha Hunt and another Sing penalty.

With the game in the balance 11-10 to Gloucester-Hartpury, Wasps needed something to put them over the top.

Thankfully for them, they had Abby Dow on their side, with the England winger producing a stellar 14-minute hat trick that put Wasps comfortably in control of the game.

Gloucester-Hartpury offered some resistance with tries through Bethan Lewis and Ellie Underwood potentially threatening Wasps late on.

But Dow’s hat trick and a score from Claudia Macdonald wrapped things up for Wasps to seal an impressive win.