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Quarter Finals beckon for Edinburgh Uni Ladies
Edinburgh University Ladies Rugby Football Club smashed Manchester University off the pitch at Peffermill in the Last 16 of the BUCS Championship Knockouts. On a nice afternoon at Peffermill with a strengthening breeze, Edinburgh got their knockout campaign underway in tremendous style and ease. Manchester were totally destroyed only in the match in the first 3 minutes, and after that they were left reeling by the sheer power, skill and pace of the Edinburgh ladies. This has been a tremendous year for the ladies, sealing 2nd place in the BUCS Northern Premier League behind Leeds Met, and they will be hopeful that the BUCS Championships can continue to be successful for them.
Despite being without, Scotland International, Nikki McLeod, the girls were just too good for Manchester, and it quickly become a question of ‘how many’ would Edinburgh score today, not ‘would they’ win.
All round the pitch, Edinburgh were dominant. The forwards demolished the Manchester scrum, timing to perfection the drive meaning that frequently, scrum half, Rachel Collins was collecting the Manchester put in from the feet of her own number 8. Once the ball left the forwards, the midfield ran straight through the Manchester lines and when the ball came to the backs, the try line was often in sight.
Edinburgh cashed in to strike fear into the hearts of the next visitors, and the ‘to nil’ score line was never in doubt. Manchester were twice inside the Edinburgh 22 in the entire match, such was the Edinburgh dominance. Manchester were denied any chance to start an attack, because every chance was broken down by solid tackling in the middle of the park. Although a couple of tackles should have been aimed lower on the body, the Manchester side lacked both the pace and the power to break through the Edinburgh lines, constantly being driven back behind the gain line and unable to make any penetration through the Edinburgh line. This resulted in the majority of the match being played in the Manchester half.
The star with the tries was Ward, who ran over 4 times, with some superb breaks and the show of strength to shake off any tackles that came. Along with Flemming (2) Mojoran (2), Hawthorn, James and Collins, Edinburgh’s 11 tries were all dominate. Whether it came from flowing smooth play, with great passing and running or whether it came from a messy breakdown, Edinburgh took every opportunity.
This was the sort of dominance last seen when the ladies won the Scottish title 3 years ago without conceding a point and shows just how hard they are working both on the field and in the CSE gym. The internal club discipline stems from Captain Lucy Allen and runs through the entire squad and into the second team.
Edinburgh are now at home to the College of St Mark and St John at Peffermill on Wednesday 18th March, likely to kick off at 2pm. Their opposition won the Western English Conference and will provide a stiff test, however this is Edinburgh’s best chance to make thei first BUCS Semi-final, as they have avoided fellow Premier League big guns such as Leeds Met.

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