Premier 15s: Harlequins maintain perfect start with win at Wasps

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Shaunagh Brown
Harlequins’ Shaunagh Brown (right) was among the try-scorers in the victory over Wasps

Harlequins maintained their winning start to the Premier 15s season with a 31-12 victory away at Wasps.

The hosts started brightly when Ellie Kildunne scored an excellent long-range try, before Quins took control to earn their second bonus-point win.

Abbie Dow, Amy Cokayne, Sarah Beckett and Shaunagh Brown all scored tries, while Abbie Ward crossed twice.

Next up for Quins, they host newcomers Exeter Chiefs, who have lost their opening two matches.

Chiefs were narrowly beaten 24-22 by Bristol Bears on matchday two after missing a late conversion to tie the inaugural West Country derby.

Exeter took the lead within the opening two minutes but Bristol rallied after going behind to open up a 19-5 lead at the interval, before further extending their lead after the break.

The hosts had scored a last-minute try to reduce the deficit but Bristol held on to claim victory with a bonus point.

Loughborough Lightning also continued their impressive start with a 32-26 win over Gloucester-Hartpury.

Scrum-half Ella Wyrwas scored two tries in the opening 25 minutes but quick thinking from Gloucester skipper Natasha Hunt kept the visitors in it.

Lark Davies powered over to extend Lightning’s lead before Gloucester-Hartpury scored with the final play to reduce the deficit.

Newly-formed Sale Sharks led 10-7 after the first quarter against Saracens, before the two-time winners began to assert their authority.

Chantelle Miell, May Campbell, Marlie Packer, Zoe Harrison, Lotte Clapp and Poppy Cleall all scored for Sarries, who won 40-10 to claim their second successive bonus-point victory.

Worcester Warriors enjoyed the biggest win of the day with a thumping 58-5 win over DMP Durham Sharks.

The Warriors sealed the bonus point in the first half, before scoring another five tries after the interval.

Analysis

Women’s rugby journalist Adam Zoltie at Wasps v Harlequins

After their first-round match was postponed before the start of the new Premier 15s campaign, there was much anticipation to see Giselle Mather’s Wasps Ladies in action heading into this game against London rivals Harlequins. With over a dozen new signings, including an influx of England sevens players, there had also been much expectation to see them rise up the table with open, attacking rugby.

It was two of those new signings who made immediate impacts for the home team, with Meg Jones pulling the strings at fly-half and Ellie Kildunne’s slaloming runs enough to cause their guests a multitude of headaches. After the youngster’s dazzling opener was countered by Amy Cokayne’s bulldozing try, Kildunne nearly scored again only for Abby Dow to pick up the pieces and extend Wasps’ lead.

This was the last time the hosts would be on the scoreboard and a breakneck first 35 was punctuated by Ellie Green converting off Abbie Ward’s first try of the day.

The quick pace appeared to suit the West Londoners more and if the match had continued in the same vein as the first half there was every possibility they would have gotten on the scoreboard again. However, Harlequins are experts in the close and despite commendable efforts by the home team in withstanding a barrage of attacks on their line Sarah Beckett, Shaunagh Brown and the excellent Ward ensured Quins extended their unbeaten start to the season.

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