This match was set to be Edinburgh 2XV’s biggest challenge yet, and though the sun was shining at Napier’s home ground Meggetland the strong wind was proving to be a major factor in the stability of passing.
Napier kicked off downwind to a nervous Edinburgh team following with a quick push up against a rattled Edinburgh attack, resulting in Napier gaining possession and Edinburgh defending on the try line only a few minutes in. Napier Captain Panashe Muzambe got the ball out of the break down, past two defenders and over the line for the first try of the game with a successful conversion from Ellie-Louise Wilson taking the home side to an early lead of 7-0.
Battling against blowing winds and a very experienced opposition, Edinburgh struggled to calm their nerves and get the ball moving. Napier were hitting the rucks hard and Edinburgh found themselves trapped in their own half with the attacking threat looking strong. Two more tries in the next 15 minutes took the score to 19-0.
Rebecca Youngs was on fire in defense, taking down every girl in her path and acting as the driving force behind the Edinburgh scrum. Unfortunately there were several injuries in the first half and almost all of the back line were pushed into unfamiliar positions. The rest of the first half saw Napier get a further four tries to take the score to 45-0 with Wilson kicking well.
Edinburgh now had the wind with them, however a very physical first half meant the challenge was still on to keep the Napier attack from pushing forward. Defense did pick up in the second half with tremendous tackles coming from backs Charmaine McGuire and Maria Garcia Basanta.
The Edinburgh scrum were massively outperforming Napier who had to ask for the scrums to be uncontested in the second half. The 2s were really playing as a team now and looking comfortable in defense. Edinburgh’s attack was also looking good with a beautiful switch pass from Laura Keay and Alex Sehgal. Keay took a hard high tackle resulting in a head knock and stopped play. Captain Annie Mckelvey also went off with a boot to the face leaving Youngs in charge on the pitch.
Napier number 7, future Scotland hopeful Charlotte Runcie, made several breaks in the second half to score on multiply occasions and advanced the Napier lead in the closing stages of the game. Edinburgh had a few chances to score in the last 15 minutes but unfortunately the team just couldn't find the line.
The final score was 74-0 to Napier. The score line did not reflect the outstanding effort of this team who kept digging deep and gave everything they had on the pitch despite very strong opponents.
Now it's time to move on, concentrate on the next game and this great squad will have lots to learn from this game. They face Glasgow Caledonian next week who are currently in second position in the league.