Match Report: Storm Desmond Devastates the Country but Mighty 3’s Battle On
Haddington 2nd XV 20 12 SM Mighty 3’s
Flood and tempest was tackled as the Mighty 3’s made their way to the East Lothian market town of Haddington to play one of only a handful of games to beat the elements in Scotland last Saturday. Incredulity lit up the face of the players as they met at a water-logged Inverleith for the journey (the sight of club chairman, Colin Rigby, entering a warm and cosy clubhouse to participate in a delicious lunch did nothing to dispel the air of disbelief), but the pitch was indeed playable even if the overhead conditions were akin to a scene from Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” featuring the 3 witches.
Haddington 2’s top the league at the moment and rugby is undergoing something of a resurgence in the town. Certainly, as if charged by a bolt from Thor (the god of thunder and rain in Scandinavian Mythology), they tore into the game with fervour . Perhaps, their enthusiasm boiled over somewhat at times with a yellow card being awarded and a steady stream of advice being offered to the referee and anybody else prepared to listen! However, they did play with passion and commitment and perhaps deserved the victory although the RBG sorely tested their resolve in the last 20 minutes.
A very young Mighty 3’s (with the exception of “BSR”, Nosebag and Malky) deserve great credit in pushing a physical opposition all the way, defending well and creating scoring chances even if the conditions totally mitigated against Stew Mel running rugby. Heads never went down and Callum MacDonald’s searing outside break for the second try was just an indication of what might have been had the conditions been kinder.
A couple of things spring to mind after this performance.
- As all but one of the other teams in the league are 2nd XV’s, there are indications of greater organisation and coaching beginning to emerge amongst our opposition. As a non-training, serious but fun and social rugby team, it is becoming less easy for the Mighty 3’s to impose a style of play on the game. Haddington were a reasonably well drilled and cohesive unit and, although their willingness to play to a structure made it easier to defend at times, it allowed them to dictate the pattern of play for periods of each half. As has been alluded to before, in an ideal world SM should probably run 4 XV’s. The 3rd’s being a development team (and a feeder to the 2nd XV) which allows young players to enjoy (and if wanted) develop their rugby potential, along with some senior players who are happy to extend the careers beyond “top level”. In addition, a 4th XV would be selected which in essence would become the Mighty 3’s. Undoubtedly, we have young individuals of ability who should be aiming for higher things, mature players of immense talent who are past the end of their serious playing days and, thankfully, guys who just want to turn up and have a run around whatever their ability. Something for another day but something the club administrators (and players!) need to think about.
- Malky, in his post match deliberations in the team huddle, highlighted another factor which the Mighty 3’s need to consider. SM has a very young player base, but this cannot always be a deciding factor in the style of play. There is a need to be more physical (not through foul play it should be hastily added!) and a mind set whereby the RBG impose a will on the game and dictate it tactically from the start.
However, enough of the serious comment. Well done to everybody for a very gutsy performance in difficult conditions. Next Saturday (12th December) sees the last game for the Mighty 3’s before the month long festive break. It would be great if we could put a strong team out to finish the first half of the season off in style.