RDVC 19, Stewartry Sirens 21
Stewartry Sirens travelled to Edinburgh to take on Royal Dick Vet College (RDVC).
This was the first of the Sirens’ games in the final play-off stage of the league.
These teams had met once already this season in a match at Greenlaw that turned out to be a very one-sided affair, with the Stewartry girls winning comfortably.
As with all university teams, they were expected to have improved a lot over the year and they had a number of key players available who were missing in the previous fixture.
Stewartry kicked off and the home team ran it back with intent getting within five metres of the try line but were stopped just short thanks to a try-saving tackle from fullback Hannah Sloan.
Stewartry responded well and immediately set out their stall, playing wide running rugby. After 10 minutes they registered the first points with a try for Sloan. Kirsty McCleary converted.
The Vets came close to scoring on a number of occasions but good resolve and some excellent defensive work kept them out. After sustained pressure over a period of 15 minutes or so RDVC crossed the try line for a close range converted try.
Sirens continued with some strong runs from prop Andrea Saville and back row Ali Henderson, who worked very hard all day and seemed to be involved in everything. They put a further seven points on the board thanks to another try from Sloan.
Half-time came and went and the Vet team came out a different side, their forwards worked the hard yards and edged slowly towards and over the try line to level the game at 14-14.
Stewartry responded well and relaxed, started playing more fluently and stopped giving away penalties. This resulted in long periods camped inside the home side’s 22. Both second row Emma Lewis, carrying well all day, and Saville crossed the line only to be held up by a desperate defence. The break eventually came when Chloe Johnstone beat three players to touch down out wide.
Both teams continued to play some very good rugby and the home side scored a further try out wide which, fortunately for Stewartry, their kicker missed.
Another strong performance by the team keeps them top of league with another two games to play in the promotion play-offs. The next game is at home to Glasgow Uni on March 2.
Special mention must also be made to two Sirens, centre Chloe Johnstone and fullback Hannah Sloan, who last weekend represented the Scotland Under-20s team. Both played a full game and are to feature in the team’s next game against the Army next week.
By Sandy Currie