Down Inverleith Way 1

Down Inverleith Way 1

Down Inverleith Way

The sun was shining, the vibes were good and the Senior 1st XV was raring to go. All seemed well with the world when a parking space next to the cemetery was located and a short walk produced a view of the excellent playing surface at Horne Park for the first fixture of the season against Falkirk. Events turned even rosier as Sean Murchie scored a fine first try of the 2019-2020 season to put the RBG five points up after a few minutes.

Were the frazzled nerves of watching last season to be a thing of the past? Might an 80 minute Stew Mel performance become a more relaxing experience? Perhaps almost predictably, and all too quickly, the possible omens of leaving the car beside a graveyard entered the psyche as a feeling of deja vu began to descend on the travelling support. Seven penalties conceded in a row in the early part of the game – without one being awarded – derailed attacking intent and every time good field position was won, Falkirk were given an easy way out. A solution to this perennial problem must be found and, no doubt, it is exercising the minds of both the players and the coaches. It is not obvious from the touchline what delinquency is being perpetrated (especially when, admittedly in the view of a biased observer, the opposition seem equally guilty) but there must be something!

The Central Region men played well and with no little enterprise but, despite a litany of mistakes, enough class, determination and defensive nous was summoned up to achieve a narrow victory (24-21). Ironically, the difference in the score ended up being a penalty kick! For more detail and expert analysis watch out for the Vice-President’s match report.

The 2nd XV travelled to Jedburgh and came away from the Borders with a much more comfortable win (14-46). Early days after one game, but this puts them in 2nd place in the Reserve league. Long may it continue!

It is pleasing to note that, despite some unavailability and injury, the 1st XV and 2nd XV still had 47 players available for selection. Indeed a massive amount of work has gone on behind the scenes to ensure that all players are well looked after and can enjoy their rugby. Under Director of Rugby, Nick McCashin, a strong coaching team has been put together:

1st XV Head Coach – Jonny Else
1st XV Forwards Coach – Gavin McLeod
1st XV Backs Coach – Alex Hagart
2nd XV Head Coach – David Hampton
1st XV Team Manager – Rhys Morgan
2nd XV Team Manager – David Calder
Ferry Road Wanderers Manager – Martin Kemp.

Neither has effort been limited to on field matters. Next Friday (13th September) sees over 550 people sitting down to the Stewart’s Melville Rugby World Cup Lunch where guests will be Michael Lynagh, Martin Johnson and Dean Richards. It promises to be an outstanding event and all involved in the organisation deserve much credit.

A look at the results of the first week suggests a very competitive National League 2. With no obvious weak teams and some of our competitors recruiting “big name” players and coaches, success is going to take hard work and dedication. However, the club is buzzing. Why not come to Inverleith this Saturday (14th September), join in and watch the 1st XV against Kirkcaldy or the 2nd XV play Musselburgh. Both are 3 pm kick offs. The club is working very hard to increase its reputation as a family enterprise and everybody would be made most welcome. The players really do appreciate your vocal support from the touch line.

The College teams had their first encounter in the Conference on Saturday, winning 11 out of the 13 matches played against Edinburgh Academy. The 1st XV, after a very encouraging win against Dollar the previous week, made heavy weather of beating a very combative Newfield side (26-36). Despite numerous mistakes they still showed the ability and ambition to score from anywhere on the pitch and defend with great tenacity when necessary. The 2nd XV also showed admirable attacking intent to score 50 points in an entertaining game. Next week (14th September) sees Strathallan as the opposition with the 1st XV playing away again at Forgandenny.

Hope to see you on Saturday at Inverleith.

Phil Waine

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