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Cleall sisters star as Saracens set up Premier 15s final with Harlequins

Poppy Cleall Try of the Round

Twin sisters Poppy and Bryony Cleall scored two tries each as Saracens booked their place in the Premier 15s final with a 28-24 win against Loughborough Lightning.

Saracens were 21-19 to the good at the end of an enthralling first half and held on to set up a third straight final with rivals Harlequins next weekend.

The Cleall sisters were at the heart of England’s Women’s Six Nations triumph last month, with Poppy named Player of the Championship, and they were once again the stars of the show here.

Poppy Cleall

However, it was Lightning who scored first as Megan Davey powered off the back of a driving maul to help put Lightning 7-0 up.

Saracens struck back a minute later though as Poppy Cleall muscled her way over the line from a metre out after the Sarries pack shoved their Lightning counterparts backwards from a scrum.

Undeterred, the visitors regained the advantage when Rhona Lloyd broke through the Saracens defence to dot down, but mid-way through the first half Bryony Cleall got in on the act from close range, while another England player – Zoe Harrison – nailed the conversion to make it 14-14.

The prop added her second just four minutes later, breaking through from just five metres out, but Lightning responded through England hooker Lark Davies from a driving maul.

Poppy Cleall pounced on a loose ball following a Marlie Packer break to stretch Saracens’ lead in the second half and, though Lighting set up a tense finale with their third try of the game through Bryony Field, it was enough for Saracens to progress.

Harlequins had it slightly easier in their semi-final as England winger Jess Breach crossed for a brace in a 25-14 win against Wasps.

Both of the 23-year-old’s tries came from scything runs but her place in the final is in doubt after she suffered a leg injury with ten minutes remaining.

Jess Breach scores for England

Harlequins led through Ellie Green’s penalty and a Vicki Cornborough try before Breach scored her first try in the opening 40.

The winger collected Lagi Tuima’s pass, stepped in off her right foot and sprinted to the line as the hosts established an 18-point half-time advantage.

Wasps were much improved after the break and scored their first try through Breach’s fellow England winger Abbie Dow but Quins struck again when Breach outfoxed the Wasps defence with a smart dummy and dotted down.

Andrea Stock’s converted try kept Wasps in touch but they ran out of time and Quins progress to next week’s final at Kingsholm.