We sent a clueless American to the varsity and she had no idea what happened

What’s rugby?

Saturday’s Varsity game produced ecstasy for the women, and heartbreak for the men – the women won 36-7 in the forty minute opener , while the men lost 27-26 in the full  game.

Instead of conventionally sending along an experienced sports reporter, or anyone with any kind of relevant experience at all, we decided the best person to report on the match was our resident “dumb yank” Francesca D’Arcy.

She knows nothing about rugby. Nothing.

Accompanying her was “person who understands rugby”, News Editor Ed Campbell to try and make sense of her nonsense.

Never a truer word spoken.

Never a truer word spoken.


Francesca: The women’s rugby is about to start, the pitch and atmosphere has me convinced I’m about to watch a game of Quidditch. Oh goodness, all these girls look so strong.

Ed: It’s not a good start. They are rugby players after all

F: Two minutes in and someone must have just scored a touchdown; everybody’s on their feet and cheering.

E: Inside Centre Lisa Thomson opened the scoring for Edinburgh,

F: Oh lord what is this big group crab walk type thing they’re doing. Okay someone’s told me it’s called a scrum. Literally what is the point that looks so painful, dear lord. Why aren’t they wearing helmets?

E: There is a scrum.

F: Also I swear we only scored once how are we at 7 points? I blinked and now we’re at 12 points, so it seems like they arbitrarily assign points. Everybody seems like they know what’s going on but it’s definitely fairly random.

E: Edinburgh also scored the conversion following Thomson’s try, then scored their second try six minutes in.

rugby 6

F: Have I mentioned that this all looks fucking painful?

F: I think we scored again! Suspense starts to build as we wait to see what random number of points Edinburgh receives! EULRFC is absolutely dominating St. Andrews right now. We’re at 17-0!

E: We did score! Lisa Thomson crossed the white wash again for try number 3. Although Edinburgh have given away cheap penalties which St Andrews failed to exploit.

F: Oh wow, someone just ran across half the bloody pitch, I think we scored again, damn these girls are strong AND fast.

E:Someone did run the pitch- Number 14 Rhona Lloyd didn’t hear the referee whistle for a penalty and scored what would have been an outrageous individual try from her own 22 before coming sheepishly back.

F: Awkward.

F: Yep, yep we scored, 22-0! There’s no way St. Andrews is coming back from this.-

E: Lisa Thomson did what Rhona Lloyd attempted the play before and scores from Edinburgh’s half for her third try.

F: I went to get a drink before the half time rush and now somehow we’re at 24-0? WHO DECIDES HOW MANY POINTS WE GET?

E: What Francesca missed during her quest for booze was Edinburgh scoring a conversion- you’d think that she’d have worked that out by now.

F: No other sport is this damn complicated.

E: No one tell her about gaelic football.

F:This is the beginning of the second half and I think victory is in sight for EULRFC!

E:The second half gets under way with the score Edinburgh 24-0 St Andrews.

F: If I played this game I’d definitely want to be the person that they throw in the air. It’s basically cheerleading.

E: There hadn’t been a lineout at this point in the game so I’m not sure how Francesca knows about them.

F: Wow, I forgot the teams switched sides and thought St. Andrews scored! Phewf what a whirlwind of emotions!-

E: Francesca failing to register that Saints play in light blue and Edinburgh play in green.

Francesca watching but not understanding

Francesca watching but not understanding

F: We scored another point and they’ve kicked the ball, finally I know what these pegs at each end of the pitch are for.

E: How has she missed the fact they kick the ball towards the post for extra points?

F: The ball successfully went through the sticks and now we’re jumped from 24 points to 31! I still see no sense in the points scheme. –

E: Dumb Yank.

F: Aw, St. Andrews finally scored, that’s nice of EULRFC to give them some hope. The scorekeeper has kindly given St. Andrews 7 points!- 

E: St Andrews score their first try after some outrageous skill. One player gave a Sonny Billy Williams-esque offload to her team mate for a try in the corner which was converted, not gifted by some omnipotent “scorekeeper”.

F: Edinburgh attempted to kick the ball again and it missed but somehow we still got 5 points. Don’t question it!

E: Stand off Helen Nelson crosses over for her first try of the game.

F: We almost scored again I think, lots of cheering and screaming going on and there’s a lot of action on our end of the pitch. The game is over! EULRFC have absolutely destroyed St. Andrews tonight! So proud of all these girls, so strong and so beautiful!

E: Edinburgh win the Women’s Varsity 36-7.


F: The men’s game is just about to start. They’re all so fit!

E: The Men’s varsity match gets ready to begin.

F: Oh wow they’ve just started and they are bloody barrelling into each other, this is bloody brutal.

E: This match proves within minutes to be far more physical than the preceding one.

F: St Andrews scored some points and kicked the ball through the pegs, this game looks like it’s not going to be as easy a sweep as the women’s was!-

E: St Andrew’s score the opening try of the game and converted too.

F: There’s a lot more of the throwing people in the air in this game. These lot should try out for the cheer squad.

E: The core strength of the rugby team probably would lend itself to cheerleading.

F: Oooh St. Andrews have scored again, they’re sitting at 12-0 now. This is a tough game, I keep finding myself murmuring ouch everytime someone gets tackled. –

E: St Andrews score their second try 9 minutes in. Starting to look like an uphill battle for the boys in green.

F: So many scrums in this match.

The Men's varsity gets underway.

The Men’s varsity gets underway.

F: St Andrews have scored again, come on Edinburgh boys catch up! Watching rugby is a lot less fun when you’re not winning.

E: St Andrews score the third try of the game. It looks like it’s turning into a whitewash.

F: We’re so close to the side of the pitch we want to be on now, everybody’s on their feet cheering I think we’re close to a touchdown!

E: Edinburgh firmly made camp in the Saints’ half, employing the driving maul very effectively.

F: EURFC finally scored, everybody’s fingers are crossed in the hopes that it’s just uphill from here.

E: Prop Callum Simpson scores Edinburgh’s first try in the 30th minute.

F: Why does the mens game not stop for half time? Are they too tough for a break?

E: No one told Francesca that the women’s game was 40 minutes and the men’s was 80.

F: Edinburgh took a kick and the ball bounced off one of the pegs, roller-coaster of screams and disappointed sighs coming from the crowd.

E: Substitute stand off Will Stephen’s penalty kick came off the post following St Andrews holding the ball on the ground. Roller-coaster was a weird metaphor to use.

F: This ref really doesn’t like EURFC for some reason, we kept scoring and it kept getting cancelled? What is going on?

E: Quite a few disallowed tries for Edinburgh but St Andrews’ blindside flanker is sent to the sin bin in the final minute of the first half.

F: Edinburgh scored again! We’re coming back to get you St. Andrews! Arbitrary point allocation has us sitting at 12-17, this still makes no sense but it’s exciting none the less!

E: Scrum half Sandy Robson scores from the base of the scrum to make it Edinburgh 12-17 St Andrews at half time.

F: Oh the men’s game is twice as long as the women’s, this is half time. (That’s a bit unfair to the women’s team, just saying).

F: The second half of the men’s game has started, we can come back from this Edinburgh!

F: Not only is there a lot more throwing people in the air during this game but there’s also a lot of kicking the ball down the pitch. I don’t really get why we keep kicking it away from our end of the pitch?

E: Someone just explain the fucking rules to her.

F: Edinburgh scored a touchdown and one of the kick things and we’re in the lead all of a sudden! What a whirlwind. Sitting pretty at 19-17.

E: Will Stephen converts his own try to give Edinburgh the lead.

F: #14 keeps stretching his hamstrings every chance he gets, potentially he has sore muscles, potentially he’s just trying to show them off.

E: Winger Jordan Lewis was definitely just stiff rather than being an exhibitionist.

F: St Andrews has taken a kick and they’ve missed! Let’s hope that they don’t randomly get given five points like during the womens game.

E: What has Francesca taken?

rugby 5

F: Somebody got a yellow card, I can’t imagine what it could be for this game is so rough already.- 

E: 66 minutes in, Edinburgh full back Iain Sexton is sent off for a high tackle.

Francesca: Edinburgh’s in the lead again with a touchdown and a kick! This is like an odd combination of American and English football. Somehow the score has jumped up to 26-20. There’s barely any time left, we might just win this!

E: Edinburgh score and convert again to cement their lead and I absolutely hate that Francesca used the term “English football”. Fucking Yankee.

F: St Andrews have scored a touch down and we’re just scraping for first at 26-25. This is such an intense game!

E: St Andrews score in the corner in the last play of the game.

F: St Andrews are taking a kick and the entire game is riding on the shoulders of St Andrews number 22! This is terrifying!

F: St Andrews managed to kick the ball through the sticks and they’re given two points, ending the game at a close 27-26.

E: Absolutely stunning kick from St Andrew’s through the posts to win the game. Pressure on the kicker was outrageous- impossible angle, crowd giving him no sympathy and then to win the varsity.

F: Both of these matches were fantastic, and even though we didn’t win the men’s I think it’s fair to say that our mens rugby team is fitter than St. Andrews’. This has been an exciting and incredibly confusing evening.

E: Plaudits to St Andrew’s for pulling the win out their arse. Someone get Francesca a baseball so she calms down.