Down Inverleith Way 32
Still trying to recover from the Dundee result and come to terms with the increasingly difficult situa-tion SM finds itself in! The Taysiders’ match report did not – perhaps unsurprisingly – really encap-sulate the game from an Inverleith point of view* and, while sympathising with their noted injury crisis, it is difficult to show too much compassion after the RBG problems in this department throughout the course of the season. Especially when they occupy 4th position in the table! The sentiment that they would like to play at Inverleith again next season is much appreciated and the home players know that to make this happen will take a herculean effort! Please give them your support.
Dundee were unable to raise a 2nd XV and therefore it was left to the Mighty 3’s to bring some cheer to the clubhouse when they engaged in another high scoring contest this time with RHC Cougars. A win in the last game of the season is a satisfying way to finish and a huge thanks must go to Fin and his team of managers for navigating the club through the rough waters of Reserve League Rugby. The exact format of the game at this level is being investigated at the moment and developments should become clearer in the near future.
This Saturday sees the Senior 1st XV travelling to Sunnyside to play Falkirk while the Senior 2nd XV play Biggar at Hartreemill. Both kick-offs are 3 p.m.
With England being visitors for the International weekend, club rugby took a break and President, Bill McNie, and Vice-President, Simon Breeze, represented the club at the post match dinner. By all accounts, they thoroughly enjoyed themselves and took the opportunity of giving some of the English players advice on where they went wrong!
Not to be outdone Executive Chairman, Colin Rigby, was seen giving the English coach, Eddie Jones, some tips as to how England might go about playing France. It is not ab-solutely clear whether the words of wisdom are making much sense!
The previous evening (Friday), Scotland Under 20’s pulled off possibly the best result of the weekend when, at Myre-side, they defeated England by 24-17. On this occasion the club was represented by Secretary, CJ (Wing Commander) Anderson and RBG legend Bobby Clark (no not the Inter-nationalist player of yesteryear but the International referee of days gone by!). The latter reported that the two best players on the field were Stew-Mellies, Jamie Hodgson and Ross Thomson. What a pity they are not still lighting up the turf at Inverleith.
The club also hosted an International Lunch on the Mary Erskine School site.More than a hundred guests gathered in advance of the Calcutta Cup clash. Those attending were entertained royally by Fin and Jim Calder who shared stories of battles past and thoughts on the match to come.
Whilst few in attendance could have predicted the scenes which would un-fold at Murrayfield later in the day, those listening carefully would have noted that Jim questioned whether or not the English team were quite as strong as their hugely impressive record suggested. The attendees were also treated to a guest appearance from an-other member of rugby royalty in the shape of Mike Teague. For those who remember the Lions tour of 1989 so famously captained by Finlay, The Gloucester Builder, Teague, was the player of the series. The club are privileged to have such great rugby people supporting it. Speaking of rugby people, Marr took a table and supported our fund raising once again, and we were also joined by a group travelling in from Portugal! The lunch itself was excellent and the catering team at MES deserved great praise. And then, off to the game … what a day!!
College fixtures were due to resume after half-term with a run of games against Stirling County but all were cancelled because of the weather. Believe it or not, with the weather in Scotland, the School Sevens Season is due to com-mence with a competition scheduled to start at Glasgow Academy this Saturday (3rd March). It is to be wondered what the Fijians would make of performing in the snow on a sub zero Glasgow day! One can only speculate – perhaps Scott Riddell could provide an answer!
For some teams the XV-a-side season finishes on the 10th March with matches against Dundee High School whilst others carry on to the 17th March to play their final match against old rivals, George Watson’s College.The 2nd year boys have a great finish to the year when they take part in the Roslyn Park Sevens on the 21st March.
The SM Academy are no longer able to undertake an Easter tour, but the good news is that they will now be taking part in the Melrose Sevens. As the weather improves there are also a number of fixtures on the horizon. Hopefully there will be some news from the SM Lions and Lionesses in the near future.
The Super Six and Agenda 3 debate is hotting up and the date for bidding for one of the franchises draws ever closer. Much water has still to flow under the bridge but there is a likelihood that the face of club rugby might/will drastically change. Stewart’s Melville (even if it wanted to) is in no po-sition to consider being one of the semi-professional organisations but due cognisance must be paid to all developments. Do you have a view?
Finally, let’s hope that the Scotland team —and their supporters — keep things in perspective. A win against England is great but it does not automatically turn you into world-beaters. The truth is that it is just a step in the right direction.
* see Kevin Murchie’s excellent report for the home perspective .