Edinburgh University Ladies Rugby Club (EULRFC) are toasting a historic win at the home of rugby, Twickenham, having crushed Northumbria to claim their first BUCS Championship trophy in 19 years last week. It rounds off a superb season for Claire Cruikshank’s side, after winning the Varsity back in September against St Andrews at Murrayfield, and having secured the BUCS Premier North title.
The side, featuring no less than five Scotland internationals in Rhona Lloyd, Lisa Thomson, Megan Gaffney, Sarah Law and Katie Dougan, waltzed to a comfortable and comprehensive 48-5 victory – defying pre-match predictions which had promised a closer contest. Northumbria had finished just three points behind Edinburgh in the league standings but were no match on a dominant afternoon for the Scottish side at TW2.
Things nearly got off to the perfect start when Gaffney came within inches of handing Edinburgh an early lead. But their early dominance would be rewarded soon afterwards as Dougan crossed the white line to get her side on the board, though Law could not add the extras. Defence splitting pace was a feature of Edinburgh’s play as they threatened to add to their opening score. Northumbria were struggling to keep tabs with the sheer numbers of players queuing up with Gaffney eventually scoring her first try of the afternoon. 10-0 and the perfect start.
It was all to play for in the second half, but Edinburgh quickly underlined their dominance. Lloyd would grab her first score of the game, seeing off the attentions of three Northumbria defenders to finish. One try quickly became two for Lloyd as Cruikshank’s side opened up a commanding 22-0 lead. They were not done there. Tries from Amy Walter, Gaffney with her second and another from Lloyd to complete her hat-trick, confirmed the rout as Edinburgh refused to let up on the intensity that had built such an impressive lead. As the minutes ticked down Gaffney was not to be denied, the centre completing her own treble, as Northumbria laboured towards the finish – a late consolation try doing little to change the outcome.
Head coach Claire Cruikshank, speaking to the University of Edinburgh website, expressed her delight: “We’re absolutely delighted to win the BUCS Championship. The attitude of the players all season has been phenomenal. They’ve worked so hard for this and deserve this moment that they will never forget.”
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