RBS Scottish Varsity ROUND-UP: University of Edinburgh retain silverware for second consecutive year

The University of Edinburgh have claimed a double victory for a second consecutive year at the RBS Scottish Varsity matches at BT Murrayfield.

The crowd of 9,687 had plenty to cheer on during the day, as the students displayed some thrilling try-scoring action in what were tough, physical encounters.

Physicality in the tackle and utilising the outside channels were pivotal factors in the University of Edinburgh’s Men’s victory, as the side capitalised from The Saints lack of composure in defence during a 10-minute period in the first-half.

Steven Sims Player of the Match and Edinburgh second-row, Harry Ryan, said: “I can’t really put it into words, it hasn’t really settled in yet.

“The St Andrews players were running really good lines, so to be able to hold them out was brilliant.”

University of St Andrews Director of Rugby, Scott Lawson, said: “For me it’s been a really enjoyable day of rugby.

“We were 19-0 down initially, but to finish at 26-15 it shows a great amount of character.

“I think the effort and the application that the team showed in adverse circumstances was the most pleasing aspect of the day.”

The game experienced a lull in play during the opening exchanges, with no side taking full control, but Edinburgh’s patience brought reward when Harry Hitchens picked a great line to sidle through the defence to score, with George Wellington adding the extras (7-0).

Buoyed by the growing dominance in possession and territory, Edinburgh were soon back on the attack and four minutes later the side were awarded a penalty try following a series of costly errors by St Andrews (14-0).

The Edinburgh side were reduced to 14 men on the 21st minute when Max Young was shown a yellow card following a high tackle, but Edinburgh rallied and soon found themselves deep in the opposition’s territory again.

Following a well-taken line-out, the forwards rumbled from the set-piece momentarily but it was Harry Ryan who picked up from the back of the resulting ruck and bundled his way over to score (19-0).

Opportunity arose for the Saints on the 28th minute when they were awarded a penalty, and when the side opted to kick into touch it was clear that momentum was growing for the visitors.

St Andrews cranked through the gears with a series of pick and goes and as they edged closer to the line Alex Hodgins picked the ball from the base of the ruck and bustled through the defence for a try (19-5).

Following another series of sustained pressure, St Andrews were back on the scoreboard when Matthew Phillipson powered his way over the whitewash. Kelvin Chen was unable to find target with the conversion (19-10).

HALF-TIME: University of Edinburgh 19-10 University of St Andrews

In the opening moments of the second period, St Andrews hauled themselves back into contention when the forwards pulled together to barrel their way towards the line and before the ball found captain Roland Walker who dotted down on the line (19-15).

The Edinburgh men, however, quashed any potential comeback as some well-worked hands bought space for Joe Stainer to dive over into the corner, with Wellington adding the extras (26-15).

Despite a late attack from St Andrews, the side were unable to retaliate and the University of Edinburgh were crowned winners of the RBS Scottish Varsity Men’s match.

FULL-TIME: University of Edinburgh 26-15 University of St Andrews

Steven Sims Player of the Match: Harry Ryan (University of Edinburgh)

University of Edinburgh: Bruno Smith; Arthur Friend, Connor Keys, Adam Causer, Harry Hitchens; George Wallington, James Small-Edwards; Max Young, James Boyle, Jonny Gibson, Zak Redgrave, James Nelson, Scott Burnside, Harry Ryan, Ed Russell CAPTAIN

Replacements: Nicholas Brimacombe, Toby Woods, Sam White, Cameron Klinger, Erik Martensson, Oscar Ryan, Joe Stainer

University of St Andrews: Kelvin Chen; Roland Walker CAPTAIN, Richard de Rome, Rob Lind, Fezan Mughal; Scott MacGregor, Cameron Lynde; Max Kauffman, Jamie Morrison, Matthew Phillipson, Michael Sutherland, Stephen Tue, Alex Whyte, Alex Hodgins, TJ Akinjobi

Replacements: Hector MacLean, Myles Keane, Harry Carden, Dan Cox, Jamie Kelly, Archie Boyes, William Syme.

 

University of Edinburgh Women v University of St Andrews Women

The University of Edinburgh Women continued their unbeaten run in the RBS Scottish Varsity matches as they produced a dominant 49-0 victory over The University of St Andrews.

The capital side’s efficiency in attack gave them the upper hand in the early exchanges, and it didn’t take long for Edinburgh to initiate the scoring as Lucy Winter made a searing break in the second minute before the ball found scrum-half Rachel Law who darted into the corner (5-0).

Edinburgh edged further out in front when Sally Stott swatted off numerous defenders to clamber her way over the line (10-0).

St Andrews managed to bring to a halt some promising Edinburgh attacks for the next ten minutes. At one stage Jess McClintick looked set to be rewarded for her endeavours with a try wide on the wing, but the player was bundled into touch by the Saints defence.

Edinburgh strengthened their position in the game when Sally Stott displayed great attacking flair to add another two tries to her tally, but Law was struggling to convert the scores (20-0).

HALF-TIME: University of Edinburgh Women 20-0 University of St Andrews Women

The leaders carried their momentum into the second-half and asserted their control of the game within the first minute when Winter cantered over the line to extend Edinburgh’s lead (25-0).

Evie Gallagher - who was looking dangerous in attack throughout the encounter - was next on the scoresheet for Edinburgh, with the centre scything through the opposition to score. Annie McKelvey added the extras to stretch Edinburgh’s lead (32-0)

Moments later, Gallagher was back on the attack as she brushed past numerous defenders to score under the posts (37-0).

The home side continued to dominate proceedings, and were awarded another try when Elis Martin showed great agility to flick the ball to Lily Dibb-Fuller who touched down behind the posts, with McKelvey adding the extras (44-0).

As the game drew to a close, Edinburgh were able to deal St Andrews one final blow when Gallagher broke clear of a covering defender to complete her brace of tries (49-0).

FULL-TIME: University of Edinburgh Women 49-0 University of St Andrews Women

The Keir Holdsworth Player of the Match: Lucy Winter (University of Edinburgh Women)

University of Edinburgh Women: Annie McKelvey; Jess McClintick, Evie Gallagher, Lily Dibb-Fuller, Ellie Jones; Roisin Holmes, Rachel Law; Anne Young, Elis Martin, Caroline Parker-Smith, Maëla Mancip, Nicola Howat CAPTAIN, Tayla Hammond, Lucy Winter, Sally Stott

Replacements: Sarah Donnelly, Emma Dunbar, Ciorstaidh Galloway, Laura Keay, Beth Thompson, Lindsay Maguire, India Birrell.

University of St Andrews Women: Shona Parratt; Phoebe Drew, Rosanna Curtis, Rhiannon Fox-Rothwell, Izzy Clark; Siân McGuinness, Emily Jones; Miriam Woods, Beth Tappenden, Jordan Coules, Mhairi Falconer, Jenny Menday, Abigail Fryer, Emma Stormonth, Amy Parry CAPTAIN

Replacements: Eliza Topliff, Eilidh Sword, Alexis Jenkins, Alice Smith, Victoria Armstrong, Naomi Boon.