Down Inverleith Way 6
It could have been – if Mike Miller had managed to hold onto his intercept attempt – a try under the posts, a conversion and a five league point victory for the Senior 1st XV. Should it have been? In a word, No!
A 25 – 19 loss produced only one bonus point for the league table, and the 19 points that we racked up during the game included two rather fortuitous tries (although both were well taken).
After the heroics of the previous week, the RBG produced a strangely listless performance against Preston Lodge down in the ‘Pans’ and even the most rabid of supporters would have difficulty in saying that the East Lothian men didn’t deserve the win and their elevation above us in National 2.
It is sometimes difficult to catch the mood of a game from the touchline but Stew Mel seemed somewhat distracted by the motivated and extremely loud-decibel approach of their opponents (a timely reminder of how everybody ‘out of town’ wants to beat the ‘city slickers’). We were strangely off the pace and, although the defence collectively was generally solid, too many first time tackles were only half completed, which allowed PL to play off the front foot – as Scotland found out against Japan, it is a strenuous task to defend for long periods of time!
The backs also had a torrid time in attack, trying to negotiate the problem of playing with non-observation of the off-side law and the impact that that has in closing down available space. Goodness knows, the RBG already give away enough penalties, but, perhaps, this is an art that needs to be practised to meet the opposition on equal terms — or the laws need to be more stringently applied. The back foot seems to be as mythical as a Unicorn! In the spirit of rugby, however, a more positive approach would be to work out strategies to overcome this problem which is blighting the whole game.
It is only too easy to be critical from the stand and nobody will be hurting more than the players. The ideal opportunity for redemption comes next Saturday when the unbeaten league leaders, Dumfries Saints, visit Inverleith – our chance to produce an upset! Your support in this mission would be greatly appreciated.
The mood was not lightened when the news filtered through that the Development XV had lost to Selkirk by 7-22. A game they might have expected to win. Next week they play Edinburgh Accies, also at Inverleith. So that is two games to whet your appetite!
No College rugby to report on this week as it is the October holiday. If, however, you are interested in the school rugby scene, there was one result of particular note, with Glasgow High School defeating Merchiston in the third round of the U18 Cup.
The draw for the quarter finals is:
Watson’s v Strathallan
Dollar v Stewart’s Melville
Glasgow H S v Marr College
Edinburgh Accies v Fettes
The draw for the U16 quarter final is:
Dunbar G.S. or Dollar v Fettes
Edinburgh Accies v Merchiston
Stewart’s Melville v Strathallan
St. Aloysius v Watson’s
Here’s hoping for a happier demeanour at 4.30 next Saturday!