Celtic Challenge: Edinburgh are “learning all of the time” and will keep growing, says Emma Orr

Gary Heatly

Scotland centre Emma Orr believes the Edinburgh Rugby women’s squad have learnt lessons quickly from last week’s Celtic Challenge defeat to the more experienced Wolfhounds from Ireland – and now they are ready for the challenge from Brython Thunder.

On Sunday Edinburgh are away in Wales playing the Thunder at Parc Y Scarlets at 1.30pm.

Edinburgh have won one from two so far to sit fourth in the six-team table while the Thunder are fifth and are still looking to post a victory.

Orr, the 20-year-old with 14 international caps, marked her Edinburgh debut with two tries – the first in particular a beauty set up by midfield partner Briar McNamara – last time out against the Wolfhounds.

However, they could not build on their opening bonus point win over Glasgow Warriors as they went down 27-17 at Hive Stadium.

The Wolfhounds matchday squad featured 12 internationalists to Edinburgh’s four and Orr said:  “I think at half-time we were quite disappointed to have let in three tries and let them get a lead, it wasn’t the performance we wanted.

“However, the comeback at the end showed a bit of fight and we are looking forward to kicking on in our next game and beyond.

“Given the Wolfhounds’ experience it is credit to us for sticking in there because it is an inexperienced team that we have got and it is class to play against this calibre of sides – all of our players are learning all of the time.

“When we have a wee bit more experience of playing together regularly hopefully things will click more and we can put in 80-minute performances.”

On Friday Orr was named Scottish Rugby’s Women’s Player of the Year and the Biggar product who now plays for Heriot’s has an exciting future ahead of her.

The burgeoning Edinburgh centre partnership with Watsonians’ Briar MNcNamara is also exciting and on the offload from the New Zealand-born player that set up her first try last match, Orr said:  “It was brilliant, Briar is just a magician on the ball, you just need to be near her and something good normally happens.

“That offload for my first try was excellent and hopefully we can link up more going forward.

“We have had two home games on the bounce, it has been great to see big crowds at the Hive and it’ll be another type of test going away and managing all of the things that come with that, but these [at Thunder] are the kinds of games and environments you want to play in.”

Millie Whitehouse, her Edinburgh University team mate Nicole Flynn, Freya Walker, Scotland internationalist Caity Mattinson and Nicole Marlow come into the starting team this week for Edinburgh.

Aila Ronald and Sophie Murphy join the bench.

On Saturday, Wolfhounds made it three wins from three and 14 points from 15 with a 40-12 bonus point win at Glasgow Warriors.


The Warriors are still winless, but 905 spectators were at their first ever Scotstoun outing with winger Phaedra Snailham (Stewartry) and back-row Louise McMillan (Saracens and Scotland) scoring tries and Edinburgh University’s Lucy MacRae converting one.

Third placed Clovers play the second placed Lightning in Ireland on Sunday at 1pm.

The Edinburgh match will be streamed via RugbyPass TV.

Thanks to N50 Photography for the main image of Emma Orr on the way to her first try versus Wolfhounds

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