Weather conditions may have played their part, but head coach Alex Austerberry was satisfied Saracens could return to the summit of the Tyrrells Premier 15s after their victory over Richmond.

The hosts got off to a flying start when second row Rowena Burnfield crashed over, but Saracens eventually found their rhythm.

Two tries from Jodie Rettie and scores from Rocky Clark, Hannah Botterman, Vicky Fleetwood and Poppy Cleall ensured the visitors came away with a bonus-point win.

Saracens now sit at the top of the standings after triumphing in the rearranged fixture and Austerberry conceded the match was ‘never going to be the perfect game of rugby’.

“We had a different looking pack today and it did the job we wanted, which was to be confrontational,” Austerberry said.

“The conditions certainly lent themselves to using the strengths that we had up there, and on a different day we might have played a little differently but today it was the right way to go.

“It was never going to be the perfect game of rugby but ultimately we’ve come away with five points that’s put us top of the league so we’re happy but there’s a lot more to come.”

Burnfield crashed over within five minutes for Richmond while Abi Chamberlain added the extras and Sarries dominated territory but lacked clinical edge in large swathes of the first half.

With 18 minutes on the clock, Rettie finished from a driving five metre scrum to get her side’s first points of the game while Lisa Martin successfully kicked the conversion to level the score.

Sarries continued to press and with seven minutes left in the half Clark’s converted try put them ahead for the first time.

After the break, Austerberry’s team looked the better side and following a string of scrums on the Richmond line, Rettie crossed for her second.

The floodgates opened with Botterman scoring the bonus-point try in the 53rd minute and replacement Fleetwood scored the fifth ten minutes later.

With eight minutes remaining, Cleall added the sixth to seal the result and ensure Saracens moved two points clear of Harlequins.