Down Inverleith Way 18

Down Inverleith Way 18

It would be an understatement to say that it has not been a great couple of weeks for Stewart’s Melville Rugby. The College 1st XV played two of its closest rivals (Merchiston and Watson’s) and came away with narrow defeats; the senior 2nd XV have been on the end of two heavy reversals at the hands of GHA and Marr; the Mighty 3’s could not raise a team to travel to Linlithgow; and the senior 1st XV threw away a winning position against Cartha Queen’s Park, and after three games occupy the nether regions of National Division 1. It is not always easy being a RBG supporter!

Watching the Senior 1st XV against CQP was a frustrating experience and a game that could have been won handsomely was squandered through a lack of concentration and, perhaps, a little lack of self belief. The final two minutes encapsulated the whole encounter and was a microcosm of a very disappointing day. The boys worked hard to secure a foothold on the Glasgow men’s line and from short range Ruaridh Mitchell forced his way over. Doc missed the conversion but 4 points to the good with one restart left. Sadly, the exit strategy was not completed, resulting in a home put in to the scrum just outside the 22. However, the pack girded its loins and ferociously drove to completely splinter a retreating Glasgow scrum. It might have been a penalty but the referee awarded another scrum with the same put in. Inexplicably (it really was hard to explain from the touchline), the RBG switched off, Cartha drove and the whistler awarded them a penalty to set up an attacking line-out with the last play of the game. The rest is history. A driving maul produced a scoring chance which was gleefully taken, and salt was only added to the wound by a successful conversion from wide out.

All credit to CQP who played with great spirit and one cannot deny them their victory. However, SM have to ask themselves about the squandered chances from several clean breaks (the game could have been closed out in the first 20 minutes), poor ball retention and defensive lapses. There was no lack of effort and these things can be put right. It will just take hard work and the confidence and belief that will come from a win.

Injuries and unavailability are pressing problems at the moment but the club is very much hoping to field 3 teams on Saturday, and the players would really appreciate a big support on the touchline to act as a 16th man. Your club needs you!

The Stewart’s Melville Lions (and Lionesses) got their season underway with an amazing turn out at the open day to welcome new children across the year groups. Enthusiasm and keen team spirit were evident on the faces of every child on every pitch, as they all warmed up for what should be an exciting year ahead. The following week North Berwick RFC were great hosts for a superb tournament. Lions from primary 3 to primary 7 took part and there were hard games, played in excellent spirit by all sides. The P6 and P7 squads were trophy winners.

The Stewart’s Melville Academy U15’s taste action for the first time this season when they travel to play Northern in Newcastle next Sunday. English opposition usually threatens a physical encounter but the boys are up for it.

Phil Waine

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