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Harlequins down Saracens to be crowned Allianz Premier XVs champs

By RugbyPass
Rachael Burford lifts the trophy after her teams victory in the Harlequins Women v Saracens Women Allianz Premier 15s Final at Kingsholm Stadium on May 30, 2021 in Gloucester, England. (Photo by Naomi Baker - RFU/The RFU Collection via Getty Images,)

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Harlequins have been crowned the new Allianz Premier XVs champions after defeating Saracens 25 – 17 in a thrilling final at Kingsholm Stadium.

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Harlequins came bursting out of the blocks, and instantly found themselves dominating territory and possession.

After a number of promising breaks, it was a penalty from infront of the sticks that gave Quins their first points of the afternoon from the boot of centre Lagi Tuima.

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Another three points came shortly after, with a Harlequins raid into the 22 giving Tuima the opportunity to slot the ball through the sticks again.

Quins didn’t relent on their early pressure and after Tuima’s boot had pinned Saracens into the corner, the trademark driving maul was set up and hooker Amy Cokayne touched down for the first try of the game, with the conversion being edged wide.

In an almost carbon copy of the first try, it was Cokayne at the back of a driving maul that gave Harlequins’ their second score, and a 16 point lead.

Determined to fight back, Saracens replied almost instantly with a spilled ball in the 22 allowing them to gain possession and build the phases, with Marlie Packer barging over from short range and Zoe Harrison adding the extras.

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Harlequins hit back however, with Tuima quickly slotting a penalty to keep the scoreboard ticking over.

Despite a Saracens lineout deep inside the 22, Harlequins defence caused havoc and forced Saracens to spill their ball, and clear it to hear the half-time whistle.

Both sides kept the intensity up after the break but it was Quins who managed to extend their lead, with Tuima’s boot once again finding the target.

Saracens, determined to find their way back into the game, secured territory inside the 22 and after finding their mark at the lineout built the phases to allow Packer over for her second of the game, with the conversion edging wide, narrowing Quins’ lead to 5.

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With a sniff of a comeback Saracens threw everything at the Harlequins defence, camping deep inside the 22.

After Cokayne was sent to the bin for a deliberate knock on, with lock Abbie Ward following shortly after, Quins found themselves defending their slender lead with 13 players, but continued to repel the Saracens attack.

Determined to keep their grip on the lead, some spirited work from the forwards kept Harlequins inside the Saracens half, and when a penalty was given out on the touchline, Tuima slotted a brilliant penalty to put her side eight points ahead.

Saracens continued to throw everything at the Quins defence, but despite a mammoth effort they could not break through.

As the clock went red, Harlequins kicked the ball dead to secure the Allianz Premier 15s trophy.

Match report: Harlequins

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Harlequins down Saracens to be crowned Allianz Premier XVs champs

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