Saracens, Villorba and Combined Provinces the big weekend winners

Header image
The 2023 TikTok Women’s Six Nations is just over four weeks away, with players looking to impress ahead of squad selection.

The 2023 TikTok Women’s Six Nations is just over four weeks away, with players looking to impress ahead of squad selection.

The weekend saw the Allianz Premier 15s, the Eccellenza Femminile and the Celtic Challenge all host some excellent rugby, featuring a plethora of internationals.

Over in the Premier 15s, Exeter Chiefs nabbed top spot with an impressive 57-5 victory over Worcester Warriors.

Colorno fell short at home to Arredissima Villorba in the Eccellenza Femminile as the visitors jumped to second in the league.

Finally, Ireland#s Combined Provinces XV claimed the Celtic Challenge title with their third win of the competition as the Elite 1 Féminine took a week’s break.

Derby day delight for Saracens in The Duel

Saracens eased themselves into third after overcoming arch-rivals Harlequins in a fine display of international talent on the domestic stage.

Jess Breach started brightly and was rewarded for her efforts when she broke through Harlequins’ defence, touching down in the corner against her former team.

For Harlequins, Lagi Tuima showed character when she scored after the break, intercepting a pass in Saracens’ in-goal area.

But Saracens reign over London and managed to secure themselves a bonus point with their 32-12 winning performance.

Elsewhere in the Premiership, Exeter went top after they demolished Worcester a 57-5 win over Worcester Warriors, taking advantage of Gloucester-Hartpury not being in action.

Claudia McDonald led the way for Chiefs with a nifty hat-trick that sent them on their way to yet another bonus-point victory.

Bristol Bears’ 55-7 win over DMP Sharks was guided by the experienced Amber Reed who did all the leg work when she scored and converted her own try after ten minutes.

And Loughborough Lightning came from behind to claim a 17-10 victory over Sale Sharks with two late mauling tries – boosted by a fine performance from Helen Nelson at 10.

The return of the Eccellenza Femminile

Following an international break and Italy’s pre-Championship friendly win against Spain in Barcelona, the Eccellenza Femminile resumed as Colorno hosted Arredissima Villorba.

The visitors took a 14-0 lead by half-time with Alyssa D’Inca opening their account.

But by the 68th minute, Azzurre teammate Giada Franco had levelled things up after her try was successfully converted by Veronica Madia.

Villorba held their nerve though and came away with a hard-fought 21-14 victory thanks to a late try from Micol Cavina, taking them to second in the table, pushing their opponents into third.

Celtic Challenge triumph for Ireland

Ireland’s Combined Provinces XV claimed the Celtic Challenge with a game to spare in their 19-0 win over Wales Development.

The Combined Provinces XV proved themselves in tough conditions where they remained stubborn in defence, stopping a Welsh attack just before half-time.

Aoife Doyle’s interceptions proved crucial in a tight contest where Wales dominated possession in the early stages, Doyle denying them a try with barely two minutes gone.

Just before the half-hour, Ireland hit the front as Deirbhile Nic a Bhaird went over from a quick tap penalty.

The hooker was sin-binned before the break, paying the price for a string of penalties as the home side tried to keep Wales Development at bay.

Despite being down to 14, the Combined Provinces kept their opponents out, and then extended their lead through Kayla Waldron on the hour.

And Aoife Wafer put the game to bed in the 72nd minute, scoring a brilliant individual try from deep in her own half.