Down Inverleith Way 9

Down Inverleith Way 9

Arriving at Whitecraigs to be met with four human sized, walking traffic cones suggested that this might be rugby with a difference. A bunch of dancing bananas did nothing to deflate the hallucination, and, when Wonder Woman x 6 strode past, the confusion was almost complete. Following the very muddy path to the pitch brought no clarification as music boomed out from a large tent erected just behind the dead ball line – something which continued as a backdrop to the whole game.

It took coach Jonny Else, and Vice President Bill McNie to bring some sense to proceedings. The match was to take place amidst a Veterinary School Convention attended by students from across Britain, and, despite the dreich weather, it was easy to confirm that a fine time was being had by all!

VP Bill initially thought it was a warm up for his trip next weekend to Tilburg in the Netherlands to see the band Golden Earring (of ‘Radar Love’ fame – look up Spotify) but the musical genre quickly dispelled such contemplation.

As to the match itself (won 47-5), the surreal ambience and wet conditions led to a rather low key affair. The RBG were in command for most of the first half and the four try bonus point achieved just before the interval whistle allowed the rather sparse away support to relax, secure in the knowledge that a 26-0 lead might be more than enough to garner a full complement of league points.

The spirited Whitecraigs team scored the first try of the second half, but, thereafter, Stew Mel were generally in control and accumulated a further 21 points in a 40 minutes dominated by a plethora of penalties and handling mistakes. A very scrappy affair but one that the team did well to negotiate to leave Newton Mearns with a win in the bag. A game that might have been a problem in the past – and, to be fair, in patches some excellent and enterprising rugby had been produced. Watch out for Kevin Murchie’s match report.

Last Saturday’s National 2 produced some interesting scores for the consideration of the RBG faithful. Gordonians, next week’s opponents at Inverleith, achieved their second win of the current campaign, beating Falkirk by the odd point in 39. Those who travelled to Sunnyside (the home of Falkirk) for the first game of the season will need no reminding of just how difficult it was to scrape a victory against the ‘Bairns’.

Glasgow Accies (our opponents the following week) have had a horrendous, injury wrecked season to date. They achieved an eye-catching result on Saturday, though, when they downed one of the title chasing teams, Hamilton Bulls, by 36-32. They invested heavily in playing and coaching resources (including Tommy Spinks) over the summer, and, with the apparent return of several front line players, they will offer a considerable threat at New Anniesland on 16th November. Stew Mel be warned! This league does not get any easier and the RBG will have to work hard and diligently to continue their recently improved performances.

Dumfries Saints maintained their domination of the table with success over GHK, who, despite this defeat, retain second place. Meanwhile, the RBG are seventh (albeit with a game in hand) on 23 points, four behind the Old Anniesland side. The boys are working hard and would really appreciate your support in their attempts to be part of the promotion race.

The Development Squad faced up to Boroughmuir 2nd XV. As the Meggetland conglomerate is a Super 6 franchise, their club has had to accept that, effectively, their amateur players have to step up a level. Thus they arrived at Inverleith with a mixture of young players and a few old hands. An injury in the warm-up meant that they had to face the RBG with a basic complement of 15 players.

On the International pitch, the RBG, with a balance of interplay between backs and forwards and pace on the wings, gave the visitors a hard time, but, true to their tradition, they never gave up and entered into the spirit of the game with great enthusiasm.

With falling playing numbers and clubs in Edinburgh competing fiercely for amateur participants, it is imperative that Stew Mel continues to develop its one club policy and attract Lions, Academy and College participants into the senior echelons of the club. In this vein, the Club Chairman was pleased to note that there was a significant number of school Former Pupils in the Development XV. That is not to say, however, that any person – no matter what their playing background – is not welcome at Inverleith. The RBG are an open and welcoming club with a real desire to do its best for members.

The College embarked on two Cup ties this week. The U16A faced Strathallan at Inverleith, and, in a scrappy match, secured a 40 point victory. Meanwhile, up in Clackmannanshire, the 1st XV survived a last minute score to win 26-21. Dollar is never an easy place to go, despite previous results, and a place in the semi-final is a just reward for their efforts.

Congratulations to the boys and their coaches for two excellent wins. The draw for the last four in both competitions is eagerly awaited. Next Saturday sees a tough run of fixtures against Watson’s and Berwickshire High School. If you are interested, the 1st XV kick-off at 10.30 at Inverleith. The Myreside boys are touted, by some, to be the top school side in Scotland this year. Do Stew Mellies need a greater challenge?

See you at Inverleith on Saturday.

Phil Waine

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