RBS Scottish Varsity ROUND-UP: University of Edinburgh secure the double victory

The University of Edinburgh have ended University of St Andrews reign as they claimed the victory in the world’s oldest Varsity match at BT Murrayfield (31-7), in front of a 10,226 strong crowd. 

St Andrews have previously won the last four encounters, yet Edinburgh’s sharp and fast attack proved too much for the Saints.

The winning side demonstrated their attacking flair throughout the contest, utilising the outside channels whenever the opportunity arose.

University of Edinburgh Head Coach, David Adamson, said: “We set out six weeks ago with the sole purpose of winning tonight and I think the way the boys played tonight was exactly what we were hoping for.

“There was a lot of emotion and a lot of pressure and I’m just glad to see that we came through in the end.”

He added: “The RBS Scottish Varsity is becoming a proper event in the rugby calendar and we were absolutely delighted with the crowd tonight.”

Steven Sims Man of the Match, Ben Rose, said: “It’s brilliant to get the win, I think we simply just put into work what we have been practicing.

“I think on the day we knew we should be the strongest side as we’ve had the best pre-season we’ve ever had and I think the scoreboard shows exactly what we are looking to do.”

Edinburgh were quick off the mark as James Small-Edwards provided a perfect long offload to Ben Rose who cantered down the touchline to add the first points on the scoreboard for Edinburgh.

St Andrews retaliated shortly afterwards as they pinned Edinburgh in their own half. Despite enjoying a brief period of possession, the Saints were unable to capitalise on the opportunity as a loose ball provided Edinburgh with some breathing space.

The capital side continuously piled on the pressure deep within the Saints territory which soon paid off with another scintillating charge by Rose as he punctured his way through wing to touch down for his second try of the match, with Robbie Kent adding the extras.

A dominant scrum provided the platform for Edinburgh to sprint down through the midfield, with the ball finding the line courtesy of scrum half Bruno Smith.

Half-time: University of Edinburgh 17 – 0 University of St Andrews

After the interval, both sides looked eager to assert authority as the teams displayed their intensity and physicality. However, it was Edinburgh who soon began to dictate the play with captain Nick Stephen brushing past the Saints defence to score.

St Andrews frantically tried to regain composure and soon began to creep their way into Edinburgh’s 22. With momentum building and the crowds roaring, Alex Whyte was soon able to crash over from close range to seal the first try for the Saints, with Finn Murphy successfully converting.

Edinburgh dealt the final blow to St Andrews as Robbie Kent made an impressive break to score the final try of the night.

Full-time: University of Edinburgh 31-7 University of St Andrews

Steven Sims Man of the Match: Ben Rose (Edinburgh)

University of Edinburgh Men’s First XV: Jake Smerdon; Peter Howard, Robbie Kent, James Smith, Ben Rose; James Small-Edwards, Bruno Smith; Owen Powell, Rob Thomas, Max Young, Ben Cogley, Tom Robertson, James Carson, Nick Stephen CAPTAIN, Scott Burnside

Replacements: James Boyle, Josh Alcock, Ed Russell, Harry Ryan, Archie Dunnill, Dave O’Sullivan, Jon Price

University of St Andrews Men’s First XV: Jacques Sharam; Roland Walker CAPTAIN, Scott MacGregor, Toby Hall, Richard De Rome; Finn Murphy, Charlie Davies; Dan Cox, Malcolm Wood-Downey, Dugald Berezford, Stephen Tue, Michael Sutherland, Alex Whyte, Alex Hodgins, TJ Akinjobi

Replacements: Max Kaufmann, Jamie Morrison, Ben Peddie, Alexi Kulukundis, Rob Lind, Kelvin Chen, Hamish Payne

The women's Varsity contest saw the University of Edinburgh retain their unbeaten run in the women’s XV Varsity contest as they defeated the University of St Andrews 53-5, with Amy Walter receiving Player of the Match. 

University of Edinburgh looked clinical from the off-set as captain Sally Stott powered over the line from close range in the first three minutes of the game.

Relentless Edinburgh were quick on the attack once again, moving the ball wide and through the hands, with the ball dotting down courtesy of full-back Hannah Septoff.

Edinburgh extended their lead with Elizabeth Musgrove receiving the ball from 50 metres out to outpace the Saints defence, with Helena Scullion converting to bring the score to 17-0.

Katie Dougan helped to keep the scoreboard ticking for Edinburgh as she charged over the line, with Scullion adding the extras.

Half-Time: University of Edinburgh 24-0 University of St Andrews

Great interplay between the forwards and the backs brought Edinburgh thundering up to the opposition 22 which allowed Amy Walter to power through into the corner to score the fifth try of the match.

Musgrove was soon on the charge again, demonstrating her power and pace from inside Edinburgh’s half to race across the pitch to score a further two tries.

Walter secured Edinburgh’s eighth try of the match following another impressive break, darting through several defenders before grounding the ball between the posts.

The crowd erupted when the Saints scored their first try of the match, with Emily Jones taking a quick-tap and go penalty on the 5 metre line before replacement Lanita Gutieva finished off the job.

As the clock wound down, prop Katie Dougan soon brought it home for the Edinburgh women with a further try to claim another Scottish Varsity victory for the defending title holders.

Full-Time: University of Edinburgh 53-5 University of St Andrews

Player of the Match: Amy Walter (Edinburgh)

University of Edinburgh Women: Hannah Septoff; Annie McKelvey, Elizabeth Musgrove, Amy Walter, Lindsay Maguire; Helena Scullion, Rachel Law; Emma Dunbar, Hannah Kurtz, Katie Dougan, Liusaidh McMaster, Debbie Lee, Natalie Guy, Nicola Howat, Sally Stott CAPTAIN

Replacements: Rebecca Youngs, Caroline Parker-Smith, Alison Glass, Hannah Gaddie, Dido Denier Van Der Gon, Rachael Harkavy

University of St Andrews Women: Shona Parratt; Alexis Jenkins, Myrtille Genot, Rhiannon Fox-Rothwell CAPTAIN, Panashe Dazambo; Abbie Henderson, Emily Jones; Kate Saunders, Beth Tappenden, Georgina Farrington, Mhairi Falconer, Sisley Comish, Lucy Hellawell, Nathalie Becker, Amy Parry

Replacements: Emily Brunton, Jordan Coules, Zorra Harris, Abigail Fryer, Sophie Lieke, Lanita Gutieva, Rosanna Curtis