Young Reds v Howe of Fife (Sep 21)

Young Reds Record 4 Wins against Howe

Saturday 11 September 2021

On Saturday morning the Young Reds had a full set of fixtures against Howe of Fife / Bell Baxter HS, with the S1s, S2s and S3s away at Cupar and the U16s and U18s at home. For the second weekend in a row, the Young Reds recorded 4 wins, with highly entertaining and competitive matches particularly at S3 and U16 level. Here are the match reports for these games:

S1s Turn On the Style

Bell Baxter / Howe of Fife  13 – 41  Linlithgow

Another great result this morning for the boys, with some real moments of high class rugby! 

It was an under strength Bell Baxter / Howe of Fife team, who were missing a few players and were between coaches, so we added three from our squad which we rotated in each of the three 15 mins.

The Young Reds were very fast out the blocks with a try in first minute coming from a ruck before Rory floated a wide pass out to Fraser who scampered in from 40 yards out to score. There was a quick second, with Max running 2/3rds the length of the field, beating about 5 players before dotting down under the sticks. Then a 3rd try, this time Joe running 50 meters to score! At the end of the first 15 mins the Young Reds had wracked up 5 tries and 4 conversions.

The second 3rd saw us swap out more personnel which made for a slightly scrappier affair and our own players started scoring against us! Twice! There would have been a third but for an incredible tackle from Jay on Fraser. Angus restored order, bursting onto the ball following a neat offload after a powerful run from Euan. More tries from Daniel and then Chris ensured the Young Reds pulled away further, plus Daniel bagged his first conversion!

The final third we asked the boys to finish strongly and they certainly did with Bell Baxter  / Howe of Fife now offering little resistance and struggling to cope with a variety of hard straight running, wide passes and cross field kicking.

It was a good outing for the team, the experience of going away as a team in the bus was great for them (and Paul, who valiantly took the coaches spot on the bus this week)! It was brilliant to see Morgan skipper for the day return from a long term knee problem and Jay enjoying his birthday (he even got a song from the team). While they will face tougher tests, the quality of the rugby was great in particular our tackling is much more consistent man for man. The coaches only criticism is around our hunger for the ball around the break down with Euan and both Thomas’s really leading the way with more needing to follow. It’s early days and it was another really great performance.

Overall man of the match this week could have gone to a few players. Joe, Max and Angus for their great tries, Rory for 100% conversions and often leading the defence, Euan for his work in attack and defence as well as Thomas, Daniel and Chris for their  work rate. Fraser for brilliant cover defence to snuff out one of their few chances. In the end though as it is his birthday and for not just one but two great tackles on Fraser at full speed it’s Jay!

S2s Mix it Up 

The Young Reds S2s were fast out of their blocks on Saturday and had run in 4 tries before their opponents had drawn breath! Rather than continue in this rather one-sided vein, the coaches agreed to mix it up, with some of the Young Reds playing for Howe of Fife / Bell Baxter. This evened the game up considerably and made for an entertaining match, with Young Reds’ players scoring for both teams!

S3s Dig Deep to Claim a Fine Win 

Linlithgow S3s were in good spirits as they boarded the away day bus for the first time since S1 and best of all, being the senior team on board, were able to colonise the back seats. 

Howe of Fife are strong at this year group, always providing a competitive game, and Saturday was to be no exception. The Young Reds started very strongly and dominated the first 20 minutes, bringing structure, movement and good handling in attack and intensity on both sides of the ball. Tremendous line speed and committed tackling kept Howe of Fife scoreless, while strong running and a good offloading game opened up the home defence as Linlithgow scored 4 unanswered tries with a couple of conversions to lead 14-0. 

Howe of Fife then found their way back into the game as the Linlithgow intensity dipped and the home side were ruthless in punishing any errors, bringing it back to 14-12.

The Young Reds dug deep to find the character that has been a hallmark of this side throughout their rugby career. The intensity and physicality cranked up in the last 15 minutes, with some great work at the ruck winning turnovers and some powerful one up runners creating momentum, with enough pace and space to score a flurry of late tries.  Lots of guts and determination on show from the S3s to finish on a high and turn what had at one point been an uncomfortably close game into a good 26-12 win.

U16s Edge Opponents in Exciting Contest

This was a thoroughly open and competitive match, with both sides committed to open attacking rugby. The Young Reds had a number of key players missing, for Covid related reasons, however you wouldn’t have known it from the performance of those left standing!

The Young Reds scored first after 5 minutes through Reece, with Howe of Fife striking back 10 minutes later to even the scores at 5-5. The Young Reds then began their best period of the game, but only had an unconverted try from Daniel to show for it. With two minutes left in the half, Howe broke away to score a converted try and claim a 12-10 lead. The half ended with the Young Reds camped on the Howe line, but they could not breach the visitors’ defence and so Howe went into half-time two points up.

The second half started well for the Young Reds, with Fergus charging down the wing to score, giving the Young Reds the lead at 15-12. Then Howe hit straight back with a try to reclaim a two point lead at 15-17.

The Young Reds then pressed hard, with Howe giving away several penalties under pressure and Fraser took the opportunity to kick a penalty to reclaim the lead at 18-17. The Young Reds took the game back to Howe from the restart and Caiden scored from full back on 25 minutes making the final score 23-17.

This was a great, close game with the new boys playing well and lots of them playing out of position. Well done everyone.

U18s Finish Strongly after a Poor Start

Although well beaten in this match, the U18s can take a lot of credit for closing out the match in style, dominating the last quarter and running in 4 fine tries.