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Domestic Review: Huge results across Europe

Rhona Lloyd

Another weekend finished, another week closer to the start of the TikTok Women’s Six Nations and there was plenty of drama and action involving stars from all six teams in the domestic leagues this weekend.

In England and France there were massive results at both ends of the table, while Scotland had their finals day on Saturday and Ireland produced two more thrillers in the Energia All-Ireland League.

In the Allianz Premier 15s, Saturday proved to be a thrilling day, with four fixtures of incredible importance.

In the game of the weekend, Wasps drew 15-15 with Exeter Chiefs Twyford Avenue Sports Ground.

The Chiefs led 15-7 before England’s Bryony Cleall scored and a late penalty from Welsh fly-half Florence Williams drew the scores level.

Elsewhere, top of the table Saracens edged Worcester Warriors 39-28 in a classic at StoneX Stadium.

Saracens led Worcester 26-11 at half-time with England star Hannah Botterman scoring and Zoe Harrison converting three of the four Saracens tries, while England winger Lydia Thompson dotted down for the Warriors.

But the Warriors came flying out of the blocks in the second half when Wales hooker Carys Phillips scored, and it was 32-28 before Marlie Packer scored her second of the afternoon to seal the win.

Elsewhere, reigning Champions Harlequins beat top four rivals Gloucester-Hartpury 26-12 at the Stoop, with England prop Shaunagh Brown scoring early before fellow Red Rose front rower Amy Cokayne scored a brace for Quins.

On Sunday, Sale Sharks could not stop Bristol Bears from continuing their good form, as Welsh winger Jasmine Joyce scored two quick tries midway through the second half to take the game away from Sale in a 36-5 win.

Over in France, the Elite 1 competition continued to thrill.

In the biggest game of the season so far, it was to be top of Pool 1 Toulouse who would narrowly saw off reigning champions ASM Romagnat Rugby 14-12, as scrum-half Pauline Bourdon and France captain Gaëlle Hermet got one over their French teammate Jessy Trémoulière.

Elsewhere in Pool 1, FC Grenoble Amazones defeated Stade Rennais 22-11 to overtake their opponents and move up to joint fourth.

And Pau got their second win of the season with a 12-0 win over Stade Français to move off the bottom of Pool 1.

In Pool 2, unbeaten Stade Bordelais went top with a 24-9 win over Lille Metropole, with Scottish star Rhona Lloyd scoring for the Bordeaux-based side.

Montpellier lost the top spot after they fell to third-placed Blagnac Sporting Club 21-8 with France winger Melissande Llorens crossing twice but there was a worrying sight for French fans as Caroline Boujard went off injured right at the death.

In Scotland, the Tennent’s Premiership final proved to be very one-sided as Watsonian FC eased to a 67-0 win over Hillhead Jordanhill RFC.

In the third-place play-off earlier on in the day, Corstorphine RFC defeated Stirling County RFC 36-7.

Fans were treated to a closer spectacle in the fifth-place play-off, as Heriot’s Blues Women defeated Cartha Queens Park RFC 24-22.

And over in Ireland, Railway Union bounced back from defeat against Blackrock College, to win 11-10 against Old Belvedere with Lindsay Peat scoring Railway Union’s only try.

Meanwhile Blackrock College remain unbeaten, as they defeated UL Bohemian 31-22 with Irish centre Michelle Claffey scoring the crucial bonus point score.

There was also some good news for Ireland’s women in sevens as they reached the final of the World Rugby Sevens Series event in Seville, falling to Australia as 15s star Beibhinn Parsons played a major role in helping the side to their best-ever result on the circuit.