Down Inverleith Way 24
George Turner – Internationalist
Congratulations to Stew Mellie, George Turner, who achieved his long term ambition of representing Scotland at Murrayfield when he came onto the hallowed turf as a replacement against Samoa.
A second cap duly arrived when he faced the Mighty All Blacks last Saturday and produced a sterling performance.
After representing both the College and the Senior club, the road to stardom has not always been an easy one for George (he even had to play for the Nails for a while!), and his selection is a tribute to his dedication and determination to make the grade. His move to Glasgow Warriors this season seems to have been the required catalyst and we trust that he will go on to win more deserved honours in the future.
It was also excellent to see his achievements being recognised and celebrated by his alma mater as he was invited to address the boys at a recent assembly.
Here he is seen flanked by school captain, Forbes Jackson (left), and school rugby captain, Connor Boyle.
The College 1st XV, after the disappointment of a cup exit, returned to Conference action on Saturday 11th November at Newfield to face old friends and rivals, Edinburgh Academy. Against a well-drilled and highly committed side, they struggled to impose their will on proceedings and defended a narrow lead for most of the second half. Eventually, they managed to break the shackles to score a late try and come away with a hard-earned 22-13 victory. Last Saturday, they travelled (minus Connor Boyle and Jack Blain who in an agreement with the SRU had been released to the senior 1st XV) to play Glasgow High School and came away with a 61-12 win. Next week sees a return visit to the West when they are entertained by Glasgow Academy.
In hindsight, the Conference set up has not been particularly kind to the College Reserve sides. They are often pitted against higher teams from other establishments – for example, the 3rd’s had to play the 2nd XV of Edinburgh Academy and the 2nd’s had to play the 1st XV of Preston Lodge High School (an outfit who gave the 1st XV an extremely tough workout in the cup). This has led to some teams having a difficult time so far. Maybe something to be looked at for next season?
Scottish Schools’ Cup
The final of the U18 Scottish Schools’ Cup will be between Trinity College, Glenalmond and Strathallan School. The former defeated Fettes College (6-3) with a penalty in the last minute while the latter scored 21 points in the second half to overcome Watsons (21-3).
In the U16 cup the semi-finals take place on Saturday (25th November). The draw is:
- Stewart’s Melville College v Edinburgh Academy Inverleith 10.30 k.o
- Heriot’s v Watsons Goldenacre 10.30 k.o.
Good luck to the RBG in their quest to reach the final!
SM Senior 2XV
With the Autumn Internationals, senior fixtures have been somewhat curtailed and, with this in mind, a 2nd XV match was organised against Currie last Friday night under the lights at Malleny Park. The #RBG produced a good performance and after 20 minutes had secured a very useful 24-5 lead. Sadly, at this point, Andy Smith, in a purely accidental collision, broke his leg and the game was abandoned to allow the paramedics to do their job. The X-Ray did not make pleasant viewing but, after an operation on Saturday morning, the prognosis appears to be good. We wish Andy a speedy recovery and a quick return to action.
SM Senior 1st XV
The Senior 1st XV welcomed Preston Lodge to Inverleith for the second round of the BT National League Cup. The visitors provided a very stern examination and, indeed, were leading by one point with minutes left on the clock. Forward power proved to be the RBG’s ace card throughout the game and it was perhaps fitting that No. 8 and captain Adam Howie surged away from a forward drive for a try under the posts. This, converted by Gregor Porteous, provided a 6 point cushion and a 33-27 victory. Understandably, our visitors felt that they could have won a game which was an exciting encounter for the neutral if a little tense for the committed! It was perhaps not the team’s best performance but great character was shown to produce an eventual positive outcome. Watching from the touchline is not always a precise science – and criticism can easily and thoughtlessly be dispensed in the clubhouse – but it is good to be reminded of the hard work, effort and commitment that is expended on the paddock. Thank you, Tom Croy!
Thoughts must now turn to the crucial trip to Poynder Park on 2nd December where Kelso are our opponents. The team would really appreciate a large traveling support – please put it in your diary!
SM Mighty 3’s
The Mighty 3’s entertained Linlithgow 2’s at Inverleith on Saturday in what turned out to be a see-saw game. At one point, the Reds from West Lothian had a commanding lead and looked like they were heading for a comfortable win. However, the RBG (albeit they were playing with their shirts reversed and therefore in white!) fought back to within 2 points and looked like they might be heading for victory. Sadly, the lack of a “bench” saw them somewhat depleted as injuries took their toll and the visitors pulled away with two (slightly disputed) tries to score a 39-24 victory.
As we have been unable to field a team on occasions, the future of this side has been exercising the mind of Fin Calder and the committee for some time. It is not a pleasant task – or does it do the reputation of Stewart’s Melville’s any good – to inform a kindred club that we cannot provide opposition on a Saturday leaving them without a fixture. Whatever, the reality of the situation would appear to be that not enough players, especially at this level, are prepared to commit on a regular basis for multifarious reasons. We are, by no means, the only club in this position and, hence, an open meeting was convened at Goldenacre by Fin and the “Bear” (Ian Milne – Heriot’s and Scotland fame ) to air the issues surrounding social/reserve team rugby. Representatives of various clubs in the East reserve league joined Rob Flockhart (SRU President), Nick Rennie (Head of Club Services) and Sheila Begbie (Director of Domestic Rugby) to look at the problems and explore a way forward. No solutions were miraculously found but several items for discussion were unearthed. Interestingly, one assertion was that an unfair emphasis was being placed on rugby with regard to concussion and, while it was a debate deserving of very serious consideration and action, it was not necessarily more prevalent in rugby than any other sport. Indeed rugby deserved credit by addressing the issue and being proactive in dealing with it. Is there an issue with publicity and information which is perhaps skewing parental and participant views? Food for thought!
Sheila Begbie (Director of Domestic Rugby) undertook to investigate the various issues, consult with interested participants and report back at a later date. If you have any ideas please put them forward. Watch this space!
Last Sunday, the Lionesses played a round robin tournament at Netherdale against Gala Vixens and Melrose Queen Bees. The girls found the first game against Melrose a tough proposition and conceded a number of tries in the first half. However, they found their feet in the second period through some outstanding defence and the creation of a number scoring opportunities. The Queen Bees were stopped in their tracks and the RBG scored a very deserved try in the last few seconds.
With their confidence boosted, a number of tries were scored in a much more assertive performance against the Gala team. It was especially heartening to see the new members of the team getting stuck in with great enthusiasm and bringing off a number of great tackles. To get extra game time the girls joined forces with the two other sides to play a game on what was nearly a full-sized pitch. They greatly benefited from the experience and generosity of both the Queen Bees and the Vixens.
The inexperienced Lionesses have still to secure their first win this season but the enthusiasm and determination of the team is sure to pay dividends as the season progresses. It is great to see this new dimension to the club taking shape.
Scottish Rugby has just released an Overview of Agenda 3 (for brief details see below) and the Franchise Information for the Super 6 Tournament. This is going to have a seismic effect on Scottish Rugby and, for anybody interested, requires detailed consideration. Watch this space!
Agenda 3 is Scottish Rugby’s plan to transform the structure of, and the strategy for, club rugby in this country. It is a blueprint for sustainable clubs. It will provide a solution for the domestic game to realign the amateur and professional elements of our sport, making it fit for purpose for the modern era.
- Four fully amateur leagues of 12 will sit below the ‘Super 6 Tournament’ – These will be The Scottish Championship and National Leagues One, Two and Three.
- The BT Premiership is to be dissolved and replaced with a six team franchise structure created from existing clubs or syndicates of clubs, called the Super 6 Tournament. This league will become part of the Union’s high performance responsibility.
- The Scottish Championship will be the highest level of amateur rugby in Scotland.
- The National Leagues one, two and three will be recalibrated to accommodate the changes higher up the structure.
- The Regional Leagues will receive enhanced support from the Union.