Down Inverleith Way 23

Back to earth with a bump — if not exactly a crash landing! The Senior 1st XV, after the heroics of the previous week, faced up to 3rd placed Selkirk at Inverleith. Disappointingly, the final result was a loss (19-29) but the Souters were made to fight all the way and put under severe pressure for long periods of the game. It could have gone either way but, in the end, the visitors were just a little more clinical in their finishing. Encouragingly, the RBG looked like they really believed that they could win and, indeed, there was an air of expectancy for much of the game and a real sense of frustration on the final whistle. As usual, the club would like to thank the ball-boys (Louis Walker, Will Skinner, Calum Jessop, Thomas Clark and Ciaran Geddes) for their very efficient work and hope that a home league win can be provided soon!

So, with Musselburgh beating Falkirk, the relegation zone is re-entered but with an increasing belief that with hard work and commitment troubles and difficulties can be overcome. The immediate targets must be to try and overhaul the East Lothian men (2 points adrift) and Cartha Queens Park and Kelso (4 points adrift). Due to the Autumn internationals, the club game goes into abeyance next Saturday, but the following week (Saturday 18th November) the opponents at Inverleith are Preston Lodge in the second round of the cup (1.30 kick-off). To put it into football punditry parlance, it will be nice to get a break from league action! As ever, your support would be greatly appreciated.

The Senior 2nd XV also succumbed to Selkirk. After a very competitive first half which saw SM marginally ahead, the wheels somewhat came off the wagon as the Borderers piled on the points to win 19-50. Perhaps SM had half their minds on the impending club ball in the evening! Sadly, the Mighty 3’s bulked at the thought of crossing the Forth and were unable to raise a team. Many apologies to opponents Dunfermline RFC, and the club is giving much thought as to the best way to participate at this level and how to get more players involved on a regular basis.

The College 1st XV also had a disappointing day as their attempt to retain the Scottish Schools Cup came to an end with a 19-00 defeat by a very large and physical Strathallan side. There must be a secret ingredient in the pies up Perthshire way! A nervy performance was punctuated by a number of uncharacteristic mistakes which prevented any momentum being built. To be fair the Strathallan defence was strong and one cannot argue with a 3-0 try count. The boys next game is against old rivals Edinburgh Academy on Saturday (11th November) at Newfield (a stone’s throw from Inverleith) and they will be looking to hit top form once again.

On the plus side, below senior level, every College team beat Strathallan by a comfortable margin. Interestingly the U16 A side, having just played the Forgandenny boys, also meet Edinburgh Academy on Saturday. Who have they drawn in the semi-final of the Scottish Schools Cup? The winner of the Edinburgh Academy v Strathallan quarter-final. Its a small world in Scotland!

The Lions were back in action when they travelled up to up to St Andrews for a great day of rugby in the Madrascals tournament last Sunday. The P3, 4, 5 and 6’s played good rugby with a smile on their face and with respect for everybody involved. The P6’s won through a hard group to play EA in the final. In a tough match they managed to take the trophy.

The Stew Mel Academy also resurfaced after the October break. The Under 13’s (S1) side played a game (split into two sessions) against the BATS with the honours ending up even, while the other players met up for a skills and decision making session at Inverleith with Scott Riddell, the Scotland 7’s captain, taking some of the sessions.When talking to the boys (on the left) he used his daughter, Isla, (on the right) to demonstrate the importance of carrying the ball in two hands to maximise the number of options available to an attacker. Watch out Scottish Women’s Rugby! Incidentally, Scott is just back from South Africa where the Scottish squad took part in the Assupol International Invitation Tournament. They had a successful time winning all their games apart from two against South Africa— the second one being the final.

He was full of enthusiasm and commented how well the new players, such as Ross McCann, had fitted into the set-up. Lets hope that this positivity filters through to Gregor Townsend’s squad as they prepare to take on Samoa, Australia and New Zealand in the coming weeks. Fortress Murrayfield would be a good concept!

If you haven’t been down to Inverleith for a while why not come and see what is going on? You and your family will be made very welcome. If you are new to Edinburgh and looking for a club why not come down and introduce yourself? Again you will be made very welcome!

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