Alex Austerberry saluted ‘world-class’ Marlie Packer after her dynamic double propelled Saracens to an emphatic 43-21 win over Exeter Chiefs in the Allianz Premier 15s final.
Packer, Vicky Fleetwood, Mackenzie Carson, May Campbell and Alysha Corrigan all crossed as Saracens reclaimed their domestic crown at Sixways Stadium.
Patricia Garcia, Jennine Detiveaux and Ebony Jefferies struck for Chiefs but Saracens never relinquished their grip on the contest in front of a record 3,238-strong crowd in Worcester.
Rugby
Power of Sport: 'It allows us to inspire others' - The growth of women's rugby in Kosovo
21/07/2022 AT 10:14
Packer racked up four tries as England stormed to Six Nations Grand Slam glory and Austerberry says he’s loving working with one of the leading lights in the women’s game.
He said: "I've been very lucky that my time in rugby has coincided with Marlie.
"From the 2014 World Cup, she's been outstanding and is blowing people away.
"The difference is now that she's doing that for 80 minutes, whether she's wearing a Saracens shirt or an England shirt.
"And that for me is the sign of a world-class player - she's in the form of her life and not breaking it.
"It's immense pride that come flooding through - they were outstanding for 80 minutes today with bodies on the line, and they kept getting back up.
"It's been a long season and a lot of hard work to be here but it comes down to one game and to perform like that on this stage is amazing.
"Irrespective of the results today it would not have changed my opinion of them, they were outstanding to work with and they are an extension of my family, you get up in the morning and you go to work with these guys just puts a bounce in your step.
"We feed on their enthusiasm and it sparks the next person to take it that step further."
Saracens required just six minutes to race into an early lead as Poppy Cleall freed Packer, 32, who stormed around the outside to dot down.
And they extended their advantage just moments later as Packer’s hand-off led to Fleetwood crossing once again.
Exeter refused to be silenced, however, as Garcia charged over for a converted try after a quick tap-and-go.
Packer grabbed her second just before the break before Carson continued the rout after half-time to extend the lead to 31-7.
Detiveaux and Jeffries reduced the deficit in the second period but it was not enough to stop the Saracens swarm as Packer began a series of offloads to keep the ball alive in a frantic scramble for the line.
And it was Campbell who secured their fifth try, with a video referral ruling making it 38-14 with just under 20 minutes to go.
Canadian star Corrigan then struck another thorn in Exeter's side and made it six for Saracens just three minutes later, keeping on her feet inside her opponents’ 22 to a secure the victory.
Chiefs did score again through Jeffries but it was not enough to spark a miraculous revival as Saracens soared to a brilliant victory in the Midlands.
Exeter boss Susie Appleby said: "I'm really proud - we've probably achieved more that we could ever in our second season but it doesn't take away from the disappointment today, where we made very uncharacteristic errors.
"But you've just got to get back into it - I think we haven't played at that intensity for quite a while.
"We've had close encounters but we haven't had that intensity of close collisions coming at us for quite a while.
"Upon reflection we will be really pleased - we went in targeting top four and we've built momentum against good sides with good performances and that has to count for season three."
Rugby
World Rugby increases concussion stand-down from 7 to 12 days
21/06/2022 AT 09:41
Rugby
‘It was disgusting’ – Castets on eco-anxiety
15/06/2022 AT 23:01