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Edinburgh trounce last year's finalists in BUCS Rugby Union Championship final at Twickenham 30/03/2017

University of Edinburgh produce astonishing display at Twickneham stadium to beat Northumbria University in the women’s BUCS Rugby Union Championship final.

Prior to kick-off, the two women’s BUCS Rugby Championship finalists, accompanied by the Twickenham crowd and the men’s finalists, came together for a moment’s applause to celebrate the life of Cardiff Metropolitan University student and Welsh international rugby player, Elli Norkett. Elli sadly lost her life in a car accident on 25 February 2017.

In the match’s opening stages, Megan Gaffney, Edinburgh’s number 13 got just a few yards shy of Northumbria’s try line with a splitting run. A strong tackle was all that stopped Edinburgh going over within the match’s first five minutes. The ball was turned over from the resulting line out.  

Northumbria were pinned back in the first five minutes of the match, with most of the rugby being played deep in their half as Edinburgh started the final with real purpose. A scrum was awarded to Edinburgh just five metres from Northumbria’s try line, they got the ball out and made a charge for the line. Eventually, Edinburgh’s Scottish international, Katie Dougan found the line making it 5-0 to Edinburgh – the resulting conversion was missed.

After going behind early, Northumbria were after a quick reaction. But the second ten minutes of the game were much like the first, Edinburgh breaking through Nothumbria’s defence using their pace at every opportunity. Before long, Edinburgh’s speedster, Megan Gaffney went over for their second try in the corner – Edinburgh doubled their lead to 10-0, with the resulting conversion missed.

This time, Northumbria reacted to the Edinbrugh’s try. For the first time in the match Edinburgh were forced to defend. Northumbria exchanged passes 10 metres from Edinburgh’s try line before an unforced error gifted Edinburgh possession. Edinburgh kept hold of their lead going into the final ten minutes of the first half.

Another Edinburgh breakaway ensued at 35 minutes through Megan Gaffney, again, who offloaded to Elizabeth Musgrove before a hefty Northumbria tackle stopped Edinburgh in their tracks.

Edinburgh held their 10-point lead into the break – leaving last year’s finalists with a lot of work to do in the second half if they’re to make it second time lucky.

Edinburgh came close to extending their lead in the 47th minute, as they offloaded the ball quickly before another last ditch tackle stopped them going over in the corner.

Edinburgh’s speed on the wings was proving difficult for Northumbria to deal with, and they paid the price on 50 minutes. Scottish international, Rhona Lloyd showed a clean pair of heels to three Northumbria players before going over in the corner.

Just a few minutes later, Rhona Lloyd went over for her second try of the match. Elizabeth Musgrove with a 50-metre run before coolly offloading to Lloyd as she was met by a Northumbria defender. The resulting conversion was scored by the Edinburgh skipper, Sarah Law giving them a dominant 22-0 lead over Northumbria.

Powering through again in the 64th minute was Edinburgh’s Megan Gaffney – her blistering pace was becoming too much for Northumbria and she went over just a few metres left of the posts. With a second conversion in a row for Sarah Law, the Scottish outfit found themselves 29-0 up.

Shortly after, Edinburgh added two more tries with two successful conversions. The first through Amy Walter, and the second through Rhona Lloyd – marking a hat-trick of try’s for the latter. With ten minutes on the clock, Edinburgh had built a 43-0 lead.

On 75-minutes, Megan Gaffney added insult to Northumbria’s injury as she also completed her hat-trick of try's. The resulting conversion missed, but Edinburgh sailed to a 48-0 lead.

In the final minute, Northumbria ensured they were on the scoresheet with a late try. The final score was 48-5 as Edinburgh won the BUCS Rugby Championship spoils.

POTM – Megan Gaffney (Edinburgh) 

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