Down Inverleith Way 10
Overall, a good Saturday for Stewart’s Melville Rugby!
After last week’s somewhat surreal experience, the Senior 1st XV returned to the calmer fields of Inverleith to welcome Gordonians (who are newcomers to National League 2 this season). Although winning 39-0 the RBG produced a rather Jekyll and Hyde performance – one that contained some excellent rugby, but one that was also interspersed with spells of hugely frustrating and error strewn passages of play.
Too often ball retention was poor, as was the ability to take advantage of scoring points through the good timing of a pass. Matters were not helped as the referee saw fit to penalise the home side with depressing regularity at the breakdown which, understandably, led to some vexation and loss of concentration.
Continuity was at a premium, and when it did happen the RBG were able to assert their authority over spirited and competitive opponents. However, the Aberdonians showed enough attacking intent and defensive security to suggest that they will be a serious threat on the future visit to Countesswells.
Bonus points, or lack of them, is an important factor in Stew Mel’s position in the league at the moment. A nervous touchline had to wait several minutes into the second half before the 4th try allowed some relaxation. Thankfully, it also released the shackles on the players as their anxiety dissipated and some exciting attacking rugby lit up the last quarter of the match. The final try, manufactured from their own goal line, indicates the serious attacking quality in this XV.
As ever, it is easy to be critical from the stand and the increased expectation is largely the direct result of the players’ hard work and much improved performances. Watch out for Kevin’s match report.
The Development XV ventured into deepest darkest Lanarkshire and on a tight, sloping pitch managed to overcome a stuffy Biggar 2nd XV.
In the opening exchanges the home side, playing down the slope, dominated territory and possession. Two penalty goals opened their account but the second quarter belonged to the RBG and tries were scored through Gavin Tainsh, Oil Williamson (a try scoring machine at the moment!), Craig Lamb and a spectacular solo effort from Fergus Robertson. Gavin was wearing his kicking boots and added the extra 8 points (6-28).
The start of the 2nd half saw Biggar back in the ascendancy and they produced two tries and a goal (23-28). Fear not! Craig Lamb picked up the ball on his own 10 metre line and set off on a powerful run which ended up with a score under the posts. The trusty boot of Gavin added the extras and concluded the scoring (won 23-35).
Gavin Tainsh was named man of the match and team manager, David Calder, also commended Oli Williamson and Ben Dollery for their performances.
In the morning, Pitch 1 hosted an eagerly awaited match as the College 1st XV welcomed George Watson’s in a Conference fixture . Two well-matched teams went head to head, asking no quarter, to produce an outstanding exhibition of school rugby. The ‘Scotsman’ headline, “Stew Mel Spring a Surprise on Watsons”, tells you that the hosts won 44-19. It was an excellent game and it could have gone either way (and probably the bounce of the ball favoured Stew Mel on a couple of occasions) but, in the eyes of this slightly biased observer, it was a thoroughly deserved success. Great defence and clever attacking options (aligned with good game management) perhaps took the Myreside boys a little by surprise. Something that might not be so easy in the next meeting whenever it comes!
The draw for the Scottish Schools Cup semi-finals has been made at both U18 and U16.
Stewart’s Melville College v Marr College @ Inverleith
Watsons v Edinburgh Ac. @ or Fettes Myreside
Stewart’s Melville College v Dollar Academy @ Inverleith
Merchiston v Watsons @ Merchiston
Next Saturday the College teams play Dollar Academy in the Conference.
The Senior 1st XV’’s next encounter sees them travelling West to face Glasgow Academicals. The New Anniesland men are recovering from an injury wrecked start to the season and in their last two games have recorded excellent victories to climb up the table and out of the relegation zone. They will be raring to go and keen to make it 3 in a row. So will the RBG! Your support would be greatly appreciated.
If you cannot travel, the Development XV play Boroughmuir at Inverleith.
It would be great to include news of the Lions and Academy on a regular basis. If anybody could provide information it would be much appreciated.