Down Inverleith Way 14
Thankfully, in hindsight, Stew Mel Rugby gave its supporters something to be cheerful about before the calamity of Twickenham. In the morning the College 1st XV (shorn of at least 7 regulars due to International duty and injury) gave a sublime display to comfortably overcome Dundee High School (73-05). In the final XV-a-side game of the season, they produced attacking rugby of the highest order to underline what has been one of the most successful seasons since the creation of the combined school in 1973. Conference and Cup wins are evidence of their achievements, but anybody who has watched them on a regular basis will also have appreciated the sheer quality of their performances. Great credit must go to the boys themselves and coaches Bryn Lockie and Jimmy Moran as talent is never realised unless their is a true work ethic and commitment to the cause. College (all 25+ teams), Academy and Lions rugby is in rude health at the moment and one can only hope that this will feed through to the senior teams in the coming years.
The Senior 1st XV gave a somewhat bi-polar performance against Hamilton Bulls. Defensively sound but with little offence in the first half, to all-out exciting attack in the second period which produced four tries and a bonus point victory (29-16). Although good to win and to move well out of the relegation zone, it was a somewhat bitter-sweet victory as it all but consigned the Lanarkshire men to a spell in National League 2. They are always welcome visitors to Inverleith and, as Gav points out in his usual excellent match report, they have the infrastructure and player base to make a rapid return.
Thereafter, it was a good weekend for those South of the border. England 4, Scotland 0, as they gained wins in the Senior, U20, U18 and Ladies Internationals (you might also have noticed that they won the Sevens in Vancouver). Apologies for reminding you! Nevertheless, many congratulations to Ross Thompson, Jack Blain, Jacob LineenConnor Boyle (all Under 18), Ali Greig and Callum Hunter-Hill (U20) for representing their country. Incidentally, the U18 match was held at Preston Grasshoppers’ ground where the College 1st XV won two international tournaments in the 1980’s represented by RBG greats such as Kenny Milligan, Murray Thomson, Nick Penny, Barry Foster and Gordon Rigby. Hopefully, the Under 20’s (Broadwood Stadium 2030 on Friday night), the Ladies (Broadwood Stadium 1830 on Friday night) and Scotland can get back on the horse and beat Italy.
An undoubted counter attraction to the U20’s and the Ladies on the Friday night will be the Mighty 3’s as they play Penicuik 2nd XV under lights at the Public Park in Penicuik with a 7.30 kick-off. Fin is promising a highly entertaining encounter and expecting a large travelling support! If you would like to see the Lions in action then why not go to Raeburn Place or Inverleith where they are taking part in two tournaments this Sunday (19th March). The Senior 1st and 2nd XV’s are not back in action until Saturday 25th March when they take on Dundee at Mayfield in the penultimate XV-a-side matches before the Sevens season starts. Spring is nearly here!
Talking of Sevens, congratulations to the College U14 Seven who took the honours at the Merchiston tournament.
Good luck to Scotland on Saturday!