Down Inverleith Way 21

Down Inverleith Way 21

For a moment, there was an eerie sense of mystification around Inverleith at 4.40 p.m. last Saturday. The Mighty 3s had beaten RHC; the senior 2nd XV had beaten Watsonians 3s and the senior 1st XV had deservedly overcome a brave and combative Falkirk team (41-17). After all the trials and tribulations of this season, it was good to see supporters, coaches and players with a smile on their face. As Simon Breeze, our esteemed Vice President, opined, “3 Stew Mel teams at home. 3 wins. Days like this don’t come much better”. The clubhouse was a busy and happy place – it has to be said, with the help of a touring hockey team from Holland! – as the RBG savoured that winning feeling.

Nobody associated with the senior 1st XV is, however, under any illusion that this was anywhere near a perfect performance. A blistering start which saw some excellent rugby and a 22-0 lead in the first quarter of the game did not translate into a try fest, and the Sunnyside players doggedly fought their way back into the game. Old problems of lack of possession at the break down and insecurity in certain aspects of defence resurfaced, but it was a good enough performance to secure all 5 points and force the Stirlingshire men to leave empty handed. A word for Falkirk. They also have not had their troubles to seek this season and, along with Stew Mel, currently prop up National League 1. They played with spirit and fervour and thoroughly deserved their 3 tries.

It was great to see Connor Boyle, the Colleges 1st XV captain and former Stew Mel Academy player, making his debut for the senior 1st XV during the schools’ October break. Hopefully, in the future, we will be able to hang on to our homegrown talent. It is a little frustrating to see Watsonians coach Steve Lawrie (himself a Stew Mellie) talking in the “Edinburgh Evening News” about the prospects of BT Academy players Jamie Hodgson and Finn Hobbis, both of whom were playing at Inverleith last season.

Thanks to ball-boys Sam Bowers, William Skinner, Jamie Jarvis, Hugo Welsh, Calum Jessop and James Healy who did their usual excellent work. Your efforts are very much appreciated by the players.

The Senior 2nd XV were due to play Biggar in the National Reserve league Division 2 but, unfortunately, the Lanarkshire outfit were unable to raise a side. It was a relief to get an alternative fixture and thanks are due to Watsonians for stepping into the breach to play a friendly. In a ding dong battle, the RBG scored in the final minute to record a 10-8 win. The previous week a narrow success was recorded against Dundee Titans (24-31) away at Mayfield and these points, along with the default ones from Biggar, put the 2nd XV in a healthier league position. Next week they are due to travel to Gala who have not managed to fulfill a match in the league to date so interesting times!

The Mighty 3s, despite falling foul of Reserve League 5.8.2 (concerning front row and replacements), continue to keep playing and, recently, winning – although the victory cannot always be claimed! From SM’s perspective the object, at least initially, is to get people playing, involved and honouring fixtures. Last Saturday was an entertaining affair with RH Cougars where players were lent and borrowed without any problem! The final score (85-31) was somewhat irrelevant and Leo Munro (9 year old son of Richie) had the notable honour of kicking a drop-goal conversion for both sides! Next week sees a home fixture with Edinburgh Northern. The club would like to encourage players, young and old, to come out of the woodwork and aim to play at whatever level they feel comfortable!

The College 1st XV, after a hard fought win against a strong team from Preston Lodge High School, have drawn Strathallan in the next round of the Scottish Schools Cup. This is due to be played at Inverleith on Saturday 4th November.

Full draw:
Stewart’s Melville v Strathallan Nov 4th
Fettes v Dollar Nov 1st
Glenalmond or Ed. Ac. v Glasgow High School tbc
Merchiston v Watson’s Nov 11th

The Under 16 XV played Fettes in the quarter final of their cup and emerged as victors by 14-59. The other ties in this round have still to be played:

Glasgow H.S. or Merchiston v Watson’s
Dollar v Heriot’s
Strathallan or Queen Victoria v Edinburgh Academy or Glenalmond

Along with the school, the SM Academy and Lions have gone into semi-hibernation because of the October holiday. The Academy U15’s did, however, undertake a fixture against Stirling County under the training lights at Inverleith on 11th October. 3 x 20 minute sessions were played with a large squad being rotated. A disappointing score line of 0-31 was somewhat flattering to the visitors and a very competitive game saw possession being shared equally among the teams. District and School Cup commitments meant several players were missing and the coaches were pleased with how the boys competed against strong opposition.

Congratulations to Stew Mellie George Turner who has just been named in Gregor Townsend’s squad for the Autumn internationals. It is great to see that a move to Glasgow has reinvigorated his career and put him in the running for a test cap. Equally well done to Scott Riddell, who has again been named as captain of the Scotland Sevens team, and to Ross McCann (who played for RBG senior 1st XV in season 2015-2016) who has been named in the squad to travel to South Africa.

Phil Waine

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