Wasps march on to Cup Final
Saracens suffer in Semi Final against a resurgent Wasps team.
Wasps and Saracens Ladies met at Twyford Avenue in the Semi-final of the cup. The winner of course would move into the final on April 1st 2017. The teams have met twice this season and on both occasions Saracens came out on top. Wasps knew the challenge that was in front of them but came into the game high on confidence following a perfect group stage with 4 wins from their 4 games.
Wasps began the game strongest and took the lead after just 5 minutes from the boot of Hannah Edwards after some ill-discipline gave Wasps a penalty. Wasps extended their lead in the 11th minute through some sublime individual play from Sammy Wong. Saracens knocked on just outside their own 22, from the resulting scrum Wasps secured possession. Sammy Wong decided a run was the way to go and after throwing an audacious dummy ran through and scored between the posts making the resultant conversion all but done. Edwards duly obliged and Wasps led 10-0.
Saracens fought back and after 20 minutes the game was all square at 10-10. First a mistake 5 metres out from Wasps own try-line gave Saracens an attacking scrum which was strong, Rosie Galligan picked up at the back and powered over to reduce the deficit.
Straight from the kick off Saracens struck again. Saracens secured possession and after a delicious offload from Nina Vistisen, Seraphine Okembe burst through from halfway to make the scores level.
In the 26th minute Saracens were reduced to 14 after Becky Roby was sent to the sin bin for collapsing a maul 5 metres from her try-line. Wasps took advantage of their numerical supremacy. Wasps forced a mistake from Saracens and Liz Crake collected the ball deep in Wasps territory before bursting forward and getting into the Saracens 22, Crake didn’t quite have the pace to finish it off, Wasps built through the following phases before throwing the ball wide to Kate Alder who showed strength and determination to cross in the corner. The conversion was missed. Wasps lead 15-10 after 33 breath-taking minutes. Saracens were again reduced to 14 in the 38th minute when Lauren Newman was sent to the bin for a high tackle on Rose Dixon.
Saracens began the second half with 14 and had an early opportunity to bring the scores level and would have done had it not been for a last-ditch tackle from Rose Dixon with an assist from Kate Alder. This lead to Wasps regaining possession before marching down field for a line-out 5 metres from Saracens try-line. A powerful catch and drive led to Sarah Mimnagh crossing to increase the Wasps lead to 20-10.
Both teams fought for every ball and every ruck and maul was contested with vigour. There were no scores and no real opportunities for either team as both teams were defending resolutely. However, it became very difficult for Wasps in the 65th minute when replacement Jay Sime was sent to the bin for being offside. To compound their problems Wasps were reduced to 13 just 6 minutes later when Kasey Allen was also sent to the bin this time for not rolling away at the ruck. During this period of being down to 14 and 13 the Wasps defence was tested by Saracens. Wasps showed real determination and will to win, putting their bodies on the line to keep out the strong attacking unit of the Saracens.
No sooner had Wasps gone back to 14 players they were again reduced to 13 following the sin bin of Charlie Veale again for offside. Still Wasps held out their opponents and were so close to securing their place in the final. There was still time for Wasps to see another player sent to the bin when Lucy King was given a yellow for a high tackle. Despite their number deficiency Wasps created one last opportunity, unfortunately the final pass was not on the money and the opportunity went begging.
Wasps ran out 20-10 winners in an exhilarating semi-final. Wasps will meet Aylesford Bulls after they defeated Lichfield Ladies. The final will be an exciting meeting between two teams who have definitely earned the right to fight for silverware with neither team having dropped a game so far in the competition.
Final: 1st April, Royal Wootton Bassett RFC, KO TBC