Down Inverleith Way 15
Last Saturday produced a first. A warm, sunny and almost windless day at Mayfield! An exciting game saw Dundee deservedly come out on top by 2 digits in a 68 point thriller (35-33). The home support expressed a certain amount of ire towards the referee, while the touchline banter suggested that the Taysiders were not completely au fait with the laws. I will leave it to those who were there to draw their own conclusions!
RBG’s downfall was defensive frailty in certain situations which allowed Dundee’s big runners to get in behind our defence on too many occasions. Superior body mass is a difficult thing to counteract for a young team, but stopping the opposition behind the gain line must be a priority as we plan for next season. The present laws on substitutions, in my view (and some others), are also a little frustrating as teams can employ their battering rams and then replace them as they run out of steam. It is all very well for England to talk about bringing on their “finishers” in the professional game but there must be some credence and support for the view that players should have the body somatotype and required fitnesses to compete for 80 minutes. If nothing else, a rethink might save the game from becoming a domain reserved solely for behemoths.
To be fair, Dundee also played with flair and guile and in young stand-off, Ewan Fox, they have a player who appears to have the ability to run a game and dictate what happens on the pitch (as well as kick goals). They must be hoping that they can retain his services for next season.
From a Stew Mel perspective, the boys rolled up their socks and, from a difficult position, displayed enough spirit, aggression and no little skill to get themselves right back in the game. As belief blossomed, they produced some pleasing rugby which made the Dundonian’s defence look ragged and had their supporters looking nervously at the clock. Little more needs to be said as, filling in for Gavin Calder (our resident philosopher and reporter), Bill McNie (our President elect) provides a fine account of the game.
One great disappointment of last week was our inability to get a Senior 2nd and 3rd XV onto the pitch. A club of our stature must strive to have 3 senior teams playing regularly and honouring fixtures. This coming Saturday sees the last XV-a-side games of the season with all 3 sides due to play at Inverleith. 2nd XV stalwart, Will Malcolm, is getting married and therefore has a reasonable excuse for non-attendance, but hopefully all other players will make a special effort to pull on the red, black and gold jersey.
Senior 1st XV v Falkirk 3pm Inverleith
Senior 2nd XV v Edinburgh Accies 1.30pm Inverleith
Mighty 3’s v Linlithgow 3pm Inverleith.
Last Sunday Scotland U18’s played Scotland U19’s at Inverleith. Congratulations to Jamie Hodgson, Finn Hobbis (U19), Ross Thompson, Jacob Lineen, Cameron Symes and Connor Boyle (U18) for their selection. In a close encounter the U19’s won by 19-7.
The Stewart’s Melville Rugby Academy teams played two fixtures last Sunday with the U13’s facing up to BATS while the U14’s met Glasgow Hawks. The former lost 18-03 while the latter won a ding dong battle by 51-37. With school rugby now finished these teams set off this coming Saturday for the long awaited tour and adventure weekend to Aboyne. Enjoy!