Scottish player grabs headlines at Twickenham

12 Dec 2019

Coreen Grant added a win at Twickenham to her two triumphs at Murrayfield as she lit up the women’s Varsity Match with a flash of brilliance to steer Cambridge to a 8-5 victory.

The former Scotland U20 centre raced 40 metres to score the try that won the game for the Light Blues in the 77th minute, leaving a trail of Oxford defenders in her wake.

“We had been behind the whole game and we knew we had more to give. We didn’t want to end on that note,” said Grant, who has been training with the Scotland senior squad.

“We had a team huddle with about five minutes to go and we said we wanted to go up field and play in their territory and play on our terms. The winning move came off the back of that.

“I thought ‘this is our last chance’ and I just went for it. Oxford had been really good in playing the conditions and they did a great job in keeping us on the back foot – they stopped us playing in the way we wanted to.

“There wasn’t too much time to think about what I was doing. The white line was there and I just had to do my best to get over the line.”

Oxford had taken the lead with a try from ex-Cambridge forward Jessica Abele at the end of the first quarter and, despite a penalty from Light Blues full back Hannah Vandersluis a few minutes later, it was the Dark Blues who led going into the closing moments.

The Grant stuck from a scrum on the Oxford 10 metres line. A tactical switch moved her to inside centre and she exploded through the joint tackle of Pat Metcalfe-Jones and Nina Jenkins to reach clear ground just outside the 22.

Then she beat full back Connie Hurton before outpacing replacement wing Zoe Nunn to bag the matchwinning score. It also made up for the defeat she suffered on her last visit to the home of English rugby.

“I was determined to turn it around and this victory makes up for losing here with Durham University in the BUCS final earlier in the year. I didn’t want to go to Twickenham again and leave a loser by another narrow margin,” said the former Royal High School, Edinburgh, pupil, who also walked away with the Pegers-Bunting Player of the Match title.

“That try will stand out for a long time and it will be a pretty special memory. Just as well I had my special Scottish pants on!”

The 21-year-old Grant, studying for a Masters degree in English Literature at Corpus Christi, first played rugby at the age of 11 at school and then joined Murrayfield Wanderers at the age of 15. She won two U18 finals at Murrayfield with her club and won honours with the Scottish U18 and U20 teams.

“I’m playing with the Saracens Development squad, and I played in the Tyrrells Premier 15s with DMP Sharks when I was at Durham, and it would be great to get back up to that level again with my rugby,” added Grant.