Sarah McKenna has vowed Saracens will learn from their mistakes after the Allianz Premier 15s leaders left it late to secure a thrilling 17-17 draw against title rivals Harlequins.
The lead changed hands several times during a see-saw contest as Poppy Cleall’s try put the hosts ahead before Ellie Green kicked a penalty to make it 7-3 to Saracens at the break.
Fi Fletcher crossed from a driving maul to put Quins in front after the restart before May Campbell’s try saw Saracens retake the lead, only for Leanne Riley to respond for the visitors.
But with the final whistle approaching and Saracens trailing 17-14, Zoe Harrison stepped up to land the equalising penalty and leave McKenna satisfied with a hard-fought draw.
“We knew it was going to be a battle out there but having come off a big game last week we just wanted to put in another good performance,” said England international McKenna.
“I think we stood up again, we didn’t shy away from the physical stuff, we put some really good things into practice and came out with a draw which is a really good result.
“There are things that happen in this game that don’t happen in others so you can easily feel dejected by something not going to plan but you forget about the quality in front of you.
“I think that happens on both sides. Previously where you find success maybe against other teams, you don’t get it here so it’s important that you just stick to processes.
“The international quality, the class out there from 1-15 on the pitch you can’t do stupid things in the game, it’s too fast to make stupid mistakes and you get punished.
“We can’t be losing players to the bin in situations like this so I think that’s all part of it and we’ve got to learn, you can’t learn anywhere better than out there.
“Those two performances that we’ve just put in are exactly where we want to be, we’ve been searching for it all season long and it’s good to finally be touching on those areas.”
The draw means Saracens remain six points clear of Quins at the top of the standings as they took another giant step towards finishing the regular season at the summit.
Elsewhere, third-placed Wasps took advantage of the top two dropping points as they closed the gap with a comprehensive 50-0 thrashing of Sale Sharks at Twyford Avenue.
A first-half double from Liz Crake helped the hosts into a 12-0 lead at the break before Maud Muir scored a hat-trick, Abby Dow crossed twice and Ellie Boatman also dotted down.
Loughborough Lightning were unable to match Wasps, though, as they slipped to a 17-12 defeat against Exeter Chiefs in the battle between fourth and fifth in the Allianz Premier 15s.
Gabby Cantorna struck an early penalty for Chiefs before Rachel Jonson crossed for the opening try and Laura Sheenan added a second to make it 17-0 at the interval.
Tries from Meg Davey and Helena Rowland, plus one conversion from Emily Scarratt, saw Lightning close the deficit but it proved too little, too late as Chiefs claimed another scalp.
Meanwhile, Gloucester-Hartpury kept their top-four hopes alive with a comfortable 38-7 success against DMP Durham Sharks after Ellena Perry opened the scoring early on.
Jessica Dadds struck back for the hosts but further tries from Kelly Smith and Charlie-Mai Manns ensured Gloucester-Hartpury opened up a 17-7 advantage at the interval.
And the visitors never looked back as Connie Powell, Ellie Underwood and Robyn Lock all crossed after the restart, with Emma Sing converting, to secure all the points.
The weekend’s action was wrapped up on Sunday as Carmen Tremelling’s hat-trick helped Worcester Warriors secure a thrilling 29-21 victory over Bristol Bears at Sixways.
Jade Shekells and Paige Farries also dotted down for Warriors, who prevailed despite Alice Lockwood, Lauren Smyth and Simi Pam crossing for the Bears after the break.