Stewartry Sirens 28, Glasgow University 12
A cold, windy and very wet Sunday at Greenlaw was the location for a match set to be the team’s toughest game to date.
A combination of a very strong Glasgow Uni side and atrocious weather ensured this game lived up to its billing.
Glasgow Uni kicked off and put a lot of early pressure on. The first five minutes were spent inside the Sirens’ 22. Strong rucking led to turnover ball and stand-off Kirsty McCleary punted a big clearance well upfield. A quick chase from wingers Jo Steel and debutant Paulina Serafin kept the uni side inside their own half. Further rucking by the Stewartry team gave them possession in a useful attacking position.
Direct running from the Sirens pack made sure they were always going forward and edging ever nearer the try line. Special mention must go to regular winger Corrina Sidebottom, who, moved into hooker at the last minute to cover injuries, was very much involved in this. Having edged just inside the Glasgow 22 the ball was spun wide to fullback Hannah Sloan to touch down in the corner. The try was converted by McCleary.
The game ebbed and flowed with both teams eager to play strong attacking rugby. A further converted try for Sloan and deserved try for the Uni girls left the score a 14-5 at half-time.
In the second half the weather could not have been worse but the game continued as ferocious as ever. Momentum had changed slightly with the Sirens soaking up pressure inside their own 22. Glasgow did manage to cross the whitewash but the home side made sure they had to work very hard for it. The score was 14-12 with all to play for.
From the restart ever-present fullback Sloan scored a good breakaway from just inside the opposition half, putting the Sirens further ahead.
Both teams continued at full steam but the Sirens always looked to be the stronger. Hard running from centres Sammi Durnan and Chloe Johnstone kept them on the front foot. Excellent defensive work around the scrum from scrum-half Fiona Shedden allowed the opposition no room to work. With 10 minutes to go the Sirens took a further seven points with another excellent team try finished by Sloan and converted by McCleary.
The game finished 28-12. This was an excellent game and a very good advert for women’s rugby, with both teams playing good rugby in the worst of conditions.
The Sirens remain on top and on course for a league win and promotion. However, their next game is a must win, against a team they have played on several occasions but never beaten. They play Ayr, away at Millbrae, on March 30.