Women's Tennent's National Play-off | Preview
The stage is now set for Garioch Ladies and Stewartry Sirens to meet at Kellands Park in Inverurie in the National play-off, as they battle it out for a spot in the women's Tennent's Premiership league next season.
Having finished first and second in Tennent’s National League Division 1, the two sides face-off on Sunday 27 February at 2pm.
Aberdeenshire based Garioch have had an exceptional season, winning their first ten games in a row. They finished in top spot, losing just one game this season, finishing with the highest points difference and number of try bonus points.
Stewartry also bagged a fantastic ten wins this season to claim second place in the league standings, just three points behind Garioch. Convincing wins against West of Scotland and Ayr in their last two matches sealed their spot ahead of West of Scotland in the play-off.
The sides have met twice in the Tennent’s National League Division 1 this season. Back in September, Garioch narrowly won away from home at Greenlaw, with the game finishing 15-17 in their favour. And in November at Kellands Park, Garioch secured the double over Stewartry with a 31-17 victory.
Stuart Corsar, Head Coach of Garioch, said: “Garioch Ladies are looking forward to the fixture on Sunday. We have been training really hard for it.
“Just like any other club, we have our concerns about injury and covid, but we have stressed that it’s not just about the 22 players on the day, it’s about a squad of players coming together with the same goal.
“Win or lose, it’s an amazing experience for the small North-East club in Scotland.
“To be given this opportunity is massive for the club and it’s all down to the hard work of the previous coaches, players and committee members that have made this possible for Garioch.”
The Sirens equally relish the challenge in-front of them.
David Thomson, Head Coach of Stewartry Sirens, said: “This year has been a very successful year for the team.
“After confirming our spot in the play-offs we’ve got a slow burning desire within the team for Sunday. We’re really excited for the contest as Garioch have been seriously impressive this year. We know it’s going to be a big game!
“The team has grown so much both on and off the field and is in a really good place. The dedication, time and season-round efforts from the team and coaching staff has been huge, and we now see that has paid dividends with this opportunity to play in the play-off on Sunday.”
Team line ups
Captaining their respective teams this weekend are Claire Manson (Stewatry Sirens) and Jess Silcocks (Garioch). Since August last year, Claire and Jess have been part of the Royal Bank RugbyForce Young Ambassador programme, which aims to support aspiring rugby leaders to drive the game forward within their local community.
Garioch: 15. Lorna Young 14. Nikki Chalk 13. Rheo Laurenson 12. Quiterie du Jonchay 11. Louise Murray 10. Selina Keppie 9. Laura Keay 1. Louise Clark 2. Jessica Silcocks CAPTAIN 3. Kimberley Eades 4. Alisha Ross 5. Samantha Sutherland 6. Heather Small 7. Natalie McDonald 8. Nikki Simpson
Replacements: 16. Kimberley Jamieson 17. Alexandra Ward 18. Alana Davidson 19. Holly Duncan 20. Mamie Blease
Stewartry: 15. Jennifer Yates 14. Phaedra Snailham 13. Chloe Johnstone 12. Tamsin Tyeson 11. Jazmin Cain 10. Lisa Ritchie 9. Claire Manson CAPTAIN 1. Lizzie Ballentine 2. Dawn Currie 3. Clare Dooley 4. Claire Cannon 5. Kirsteen Hogg 6. Calre Barnes 7. Samantha Durnan 8. Alison Henderson
Replacements: 16. Kerys Milven 17. Jade Stewart 18. Louisa Ramsay 19. Hannah Sainsbury 20. Brogan Paterson
Banner image photo credit: Gareth Falls