Worcester Ladies close in on league title

By Geoff Berkeley Tuesday 15 January 2013 Updated: 16/01 10:07

WORCESTER Ladies took a giant stride towards capturing the RFUW Premiership title as they opened up an eight point lead at the top after a 20-0 victory over closest rivals Richmond on Sunday.

The first step towards seeing off the reigning champions came within the opening four minutes. After coming under plenty of early pressure, Kat Merchant made a timely intervention before offloading to Sarah Guest, who out-stepped and out-paced the Richmond defence to score.

The home side continued to put Worcester under pressure, but the visitors always looked the better side when they did break into attack.

And it was no surprise when the leaders doubled their advantage. This time, Laura Keates was on hand to slip through a gap to go over.

Richmond finished the first half on the front foot as they forced Worcester back, but it was the away side who returned to the changing rooms with the spring in their steps.

And Worcester looked the more composed outfit after the break and good work from Rochelle Clark saw the visitors over for their third try. The scrum half took a quick tap penalty before releasing Keates to go over for her second of the game.

With a 15-0 lead, Worcester now had their sights set on a winning bonus point, while Richmond were determined to get on the score sheet.

But the hosts could not find a way past Worcester, who finished the game off in style with a well-worked try from Merchant as the England wing benefited from good vision from Ceri Large to score.

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