Women’s Varsity Match: Smith and Stott star in big Edinburgh win

Sally Stott scoring for Edinburgh. Image: Adrian Henry/Rugby People.

Edinburgh University 52

St Andrews University 0


Gary Heatly @ BT Murrayfield

 SCOTLAND Sevens cap Meryl Smith was the star of the show as Edinburgh University inflicted a heavy defeat on their St Andrews counterparts. The teenager played the abbreviated game for her country earlier this year and showed her talent with an individual haul of 20 points. 

No 8 Sally Stott also impressed for Edinburgh, adding two tries to the three she scored in the fixture last year. Three of the winning squad – Panashe Muzambe, Anne Young and Sarah Denholm – will now head off with the full Scotland squad to South Africa next week.St Andrews never gave up in the 50-minute encounter, and captain Beth Tappenden and scrum-half Iona Ward stood out in defeat.

After the match 18-year-old first-year student Smith said: “I had previously played on the main pitch at Murrayfield for Murrayfield Wanderers under-15s, so to be back a few years later was exciting. In the first half we executed our game plan well and scored some nice tries, but St Andrews came back at us well after half-time.

“I really enjoyed my two outings so far for Scotland Sevens, being at the World Series event in Biarritz with New Zealand and teams like that. Now I am looking forward to being part of this university team at Edinburgh and continuing to learn.”

Edinburgh took the lead in the fifth minute when Stott went over, centre Smith converting. In the 11th minute try number two came when centre Ciara McCulloch went over with Smith converting.

Smith then scored a cracker of her own moments later and when she added her third conversion it was 21-0. In the 15th minute she ran in try number four for Edinburgh with the conversion making it 28-0.

Another Scotland Sevens cap, Evie Gallagher, got try number five in the 21st minute to make it 33-0. Try number six came from Stott just before half-time and with Smith converting it was 40-0 at the interval.

St Andrews played much better in the second period and it took Edinburgh until the last five minutes to score tries seven and eight. They came through stand-off Sarah Denholm and replacement Laura Key with captain Rachel Law converting one.

Teams –

 Edinburgh University: E Flavell; B Phillips, C McCulloch, M Smith, J McClintick; S Denholm, R Law©; P Muzambe, A Young, E Dunbar, N Howat, R Arends, E Gallagher, T Hammond, S Stott. Subs: S Donnelly, E Clarke, A Glass, K King, E Donaldson, L Maguire, L Keay.

 St Andrews University: S Parratt; A Horsey, P Drew, S McGuinness, I Clark; E Jones, I Ward; B Tappenden©, E Sword, K Golub, S Neill, M Woods, A Smith, A Fryer, M Falconer. Subs: K Roberts, L Duffy, H Kerr, Y Smolikova, M Wanklyn, R Dunne.

 Referee: D Ramsay.

 Scorers –

Edinburgh University: Tries: Stott 2, McCulloch, Smith 2, Gallagher, Denholm, Keay. Conversions: Smith 5, Law.

Scoring sequence (Edinburgh first): 5-0, 7-0, 12-0, 14-0, 19-0, 21-0, 26-0, 28-0, 33-0, 38-0, 40-0 half-time, 45-0, 47-0, 52-0.

 Player of the Match: With 20 points and a number of attacking breaks, Meryl Smith is a great prospect for the future.

 Talking Point: The number of good young female players now being produced in Scotland. Smith is one of those along with the likes of Denholm, Young and Gallagher and these are exciting times.



About Gary Heatly 463 Articles
Gary has loved rugby ever since he can remember and since 2004 he has covered the sport and others in a professional capacity for many publications and websites and runs his own company, GH Media.


  1. That would be Laura Keay not Key who scored try number 8 one of the only two Edinburgh 2nd half tries against a reinvigorated St Andrews, Laura played the full 50 minutes and worked her socks off so please get the name right

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