Richmond Ladies head coach Karen Findlay paid tribute to the Athletic Ground club as a whole after her side claimed a record ninth Women's Premiership title at the Stoop on Sunday.

Tries from captain Jackie Shiels, man of the match Emma Croker, Anna Caplice and Holly Myers had Richmond 22-5 up at half time and well on their way to a 28-17 triumph over Saracens.

Lauren Cattell scored a try in each half for the north Londoners and Hannah Gallagher crossed at the death, but it was not enough as Richmond's Abi Chamberlain's two earlier second half penalties had already made the game safe.


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Hands up if you're a champion: Richmond Ladies celebrate after beating Saracens 28-17 at the Stoop on Sunday to claim the Women's Premiership title

The win avenged last season's disappointment at missing out on the title to Saracens on points difference and completed the side's recovery from the loss of a host of star players to the international sevens circuit.

It was a fitting occasion for the inauguaral Women's Premiership play-off final and Findlay admitted the success had been a club effort.

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Go low: Richmond's Zoe Saynor is halted by the Saracens defence in Sunday's Women's Premiership final at the Stoop

"In the last two seasons we have lost out on the title on points difference," she said.

"We have had to manage a lot and rebuilt the club in the last 18 months.Your Local Guardian:

Running girl: Richmond and England hooker Emma Croker delivered an all-action show in a her man of the match performance in Sunday's 28-17 Women's Premiership final triumph over Saracens

"The second team won the Championship South earlier, so to come out with that shows the strength in depth at the club.

"We're one of the few women's clubs where we are a genuine part of the whole club. The board, the finance, the sponsorship - it is all right behind us.

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Rising high: Richmond's Deborah McCormack gets above her opposite number to claim a line-out on Sunday

"Everybody played their part in this. The off-field team as well as the on-field team.

"Twenty two players delivered on the day, but the work and ethos that has gone into this has been huge."

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Get it out wide: Richmond winger Stacey White looks to get round the outside of the Saracens defence

Richmond might have blown Saracens away with a scintillating first half performance, but it was her side's second half defensive effort that left Findlay just as pleased.

"Once we'd bagged the first 40 minutes and the girls delivered on the game plan, we went in at half time and we said forget that 40 minutes now," she explained.

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Touch of class: Richmond centre Abi Chamberlain tries to find some space in a hectic Women's Premiership final at the Stoop on Sunday

"We've played Saracens so many times where it has gone right to the wire. 

"No matter what the gap has been our games always go down to the last five minutes.

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Crucial: Richmond's Holly Myers celebrates scoring Richmond's fourth try on the stroke of half time to effectively put the Women's Premiership title beyond Saracens

"Our second half defence was impeccable. The girls listened to what we asked them to do at half time and they did their job.

"It was hunger. You look at the best teams in the world and they live off the counter attack ball.

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Loving feeling: Holly Myers takes the plaudits from her Richmond team-mates after her interception try

"We could have come out and just dogged it out, but the girls came out and wanted to play and wanted to fight."

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On the charge: Richmond Ladies' impressive forwards - led by try scorer Anna Caplice, centre - laid the platform for their 28-17 triumph over Saracens in Sunday's Women's Premiership final

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Let's get the part started: Man of the match Emma Croker, centre, lifts the Women's Premiership title to spark the celebrations for Richmond 

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Winners are grinners: Richmond Ladies line-up for a team shot after Sunday's 28-17 Women's Premiership final win over Saracens