The Game Changer! Previewing Harlequins Women’s other big game
The Game Changer, Harlequins Women’s annual showpiece event is probably the biggest league game in the Allianz Premier 15s. Certainly it comes with more hype and fanfare than any other standalone women’s game. This year will be no different as Quins face off against Saracens Women at the Stoop tomorrow.
The Season So Far
To the surprise of nobody, both teams are comfortably sat in the top 4. Saracens topping the table and clear by 7 points, while Harlequins are in fourth but have a game in hand on the teams above them. Both teams have had their stumbles in the league but right now you’d not bet against them meeting in the final again once the time comes.
Kicking off at 2pm, the weather forecast looks good, dry and not too cold for the time of year, the wind shouldn’t be too much of a factor either, handy as gusts can whip through the gaps between stands at the Stoop and cause kickers all sorts of fun and games. With Scotland v England kicking off an hour or so after the final whistle and plenty of tickets already sold, the post-game atmosphere is bound to be great.
Ones To Watch
I’ll have my eyes on Saracens latest signing, the 7s series superstar Alev Kelter is a world class talent who seems to already be fitting in well in North London. For the home side Emily Scott is a player I often find myself bringing up, and with good reason. She lights up the pitch like few others do and if she is firing the whole Quins backline will be a deadly threat. I’ll be keeping an eye on Freya Aucken too, a scrum half by trade, she’s been moonlighting at full back to great effect for the hosts, showing that her future might be a little further back up the park!
This game will probably be won in the forwards though so keep your eyes on Sarah Beckett, she finds herself in unfamiliar territory in the second row for set pieces but Quins and Red Roses fans now she is a devastating carrier with a nose for the try line. Another player wearing a different number on their shirt than we might expect is Mackenzie Carson, best known as a front row, the Canadian is a threat wherever she slots into the Saracens pack.
It’s almost too close to call, but with the crowd at their backs I think Harlequins will edge it. The nous of Rachael Burford, the skill of Amy Cokayne and the talent throughout their team leave me expecting they’ll take the game by around 5 points… but I’ve been wrong plenty of times before so if you can get along to the Stoop yourself or failing that tune in on iPlayer and Premier15s.com to check out the game for yourself.