Match Report v Marr RFC Saturday 2 April 2016

Match Report v Marr RFC Saturday 2 April 2016

Gaulish, like many things, ain’t what it used to be. Latin did it in, and Gaulish has been extinct since around 500 AD. This was the language spoken in France when Christós anésti ek nekrón (keep up!)

Gaulish could be of inestimable worth to those who have to use phrases such as ‘stand-side’ or ‘towards the clubhouse’ or ‘towards Ferry Road’ when describing play.

Why? Because speakers of Gaulish, in which the words for the points of the compass are the same as the words used for directions, are usually aware of where they are, even indoors or in unfamiliar surroundings. In Gaulish, “dexsuo” meant both “behind” and “in the west”. “Are” meant both “in front of” and “in the east”. To go north, young man, one turned to the left (“teuto”). To go south, one turned to the right (“dheas”). In English, by contrast, ‘right’ and ‘left’ are, of course, relative to the position of the speaker. Imagine how simple it would be to describe the action at Inverleith on match days if we all had the benefit of Gaulish.

For the second Saturday in a row we faced opposition with a lot more to play for than us, and, in days of yore, under such circumstances, we would have rolled over – we didn’t on Saturday, though. Although Marr ended up comfortable winners, we were in the lead after an hour’s play and much credit is due to our players, who proved they had not pitched up merely to make up the numbers.

Scores elsewhere in our division were similar to ours, in terms of points scored, showing the benefit of playing on firmer surfaces. Under-19 rules governed the non-participation of the on-looking Ross McCann, and it could be argued that he might have made the difference had he been available – both in attack and defence. It is undeniable that he would have relished the amount of ball and space available on Saturday; Ross has developed enormously playing for us, and we have even made him taller!

It remains to be seen if the SRU Championship committee experiment with a different season structure, but there must be an argument for starting playing mid-August and playing right through to Christmas. This would free up the second half of the season for cups, friendlies and 6 Nations and age group internationals, and enhance the integrity of the competition that is most important to all clubs. Marr were more than happy to see Ross in his civvies. A compact championship might persuade older players with family commitments to play for another year.

For the first time this season Robert found himself under pressure at the turnstiles as the good burghers of Marr streamed in, swelling our depleted coffers. They were greeted by a first at Stewart’s Melville, as the Lionesses, immaculately attired, in the age of equality, were our ‘ballpersons’.

Hugh Lindsay and Seb Trotter were missing from last week’s line-up, although Ali Greig was restored.

Here’s what happened: they scored, we scored, they scored, we scored … repeat.

  • 5 mins Kolarik try 5-0 them
  • 8 mins Sturgeon pen 8-0 them
  • 9 mins Strachan try 8-5 them (squeezed in at the corner beside Willie’s house)
  • 13 mins Sturgeon try and conv 15-5 them
  • 23 mins Max Campbell try and Manson conv 15-12 them (one of those line out truck and trailer jobs)
  • 25 mins Valence try 20-12 them
  • 29 mins Whyte and Manson conv 20-19 them (think Hoggy to Visser)
  • 32 mins Sturgeon try and conv 27-19 them
  • 39 mins McKay try Manson conv 27-26 them (Connor makes a late bid to top try scoring charts – two yards)
  • HALF TIME Stewart’s Melville 26 Marr 27
  • 42 mins Bickerstaff try Sturgeon conv 34-26 them
  • 49 mins Murchie try (good pace, good hands) 34-31 them
  • 63 mins Rappestad try (you are not stopping him from there) 34-36 us
  • 68 mins Pearce try and Sturgeon conv 41-36 them
  • 74 mins Sturgeon try and conv 48-36 them
  • 80 mins Kolarik try and Sturgeon conv 55-36 them

At the end of the day, Marr had more experience behind the scrum than us. Sturgeon, Kolarick and Bickerstaff found the wide open spaces of Inverleith to their liking and our back row – shorn of Lindsay, although Max Campbell played well – struggled to cope with Marr’s. We did, however, pinch ball in the line-out and had the better of the scrums. Manson and Greig put in a power of work to stem the tide, with Ruaridh Mitchell and Rappestad tackling everything they could get their hands on.

Verlof is the Dutch word for leave of absence, which is why missionaries, soldiers and imperialists were once said to furlough. With this last issue of the season, these Match Reports will now take their ease. Brushed, blown, dagged and dried, they will appear again in August. If you have been, thank you for liking. We look forward to your doing so again.

Gavin Calder

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