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Merchant scores brace in Worcester try spree
10:10am Thursday 25th October 2012 in Sport
FOR probably the first time in their long women’s premiership history, Worcester arrived at Saracens with the prospect of a securing a win — but the 56-7 triumph must have been beyond their wildest dreams.
However, for the first 20 minutes, the visitors committed a series of uncharacteristic handling errors but Saracens were unable to capitalise as Worcester’s tenacity in the tackle kept the home side on the back foot.
The opening exchanges gave the impression that Saracens were the league leaders and it certainly provided Worcester with a test of their resolve, more so when they were reduced to 14 players when the dynamic Heather Fisher received a yellow card.
Despite this setback, Worcester settled and started to produce the exciting and fluent rugby that has been the hallmark of their season so far.
Ceri Large opened the scoring on 25 mintues with Megan Goddard adding the extras with a difficult kick.
Danielle Waterman then linked well with the creative Sarah Guest two minutes later with Goddard again converting.
Worcester’s backs were now rampant, imposing a pattern of constant pressure and quick handling which resulted in further tries from Kat Merchant (2) and Fisher, giving Worcester a seemingly unassailable 29-0 lead at half-time.
Head coach Luke Fisher made positional changes and also introduced all the replacements early in the second-half and former Saracens player Darryl Poole made an immediate impact on her debut.
It took a little time for the restructured visitors to pick up the momentum but, once settled, tries came from player of the game, Samantha Bree (2), Waterman, Karen Jones and Laura Keates. Poole converted one to open her Worcester account.
In the final minutes of the game, Worcester were caught relaxing and the hard working Mandy Marchak, the pick of the Saracens players, was rewarded with a deserved try which she also converted.
Sixty-three points were scored in 55 minutes in the game which gives an indication of the ferocious pace that ensued after the slow start.
Worcester entertain Wasps at Weston’s Farm on Sunday (2.15).