Young Reds v Loretto (Nov21)

Toughest Matches Yet for Young Reds

Saturday 27 November 2021

The Young Reds have been flying this season, with most of the age groups playing well and winning the majority of their games. Last weekend, though, they came up against Loretto School, the top school in the Conference, whose Director of Rugby is former Scotland captain Jason White. It was a learning experience for the Young Reds! Phil McCavish (S2 coach) said “You could see Jason White’s fingerprints in how they approached the breakdown. From our perspective they were allowed to go off of their feet at the breakdown and often beyond the ball, but we were far too timid in the first half.”

Age Group Opponents (and H or A) Score (Linlithgow score first)
U18 Haddington (A) 14 – 50
U16 Loretto School (H) 5 – 10
S3 Loretto School (A) 0 – 21
S2 Loretto School (A) 0 – 32

S2 Match Report

Loretto S2  32 – 0  Linlithgow S2

Report by Phil McCavish

It was the morning after storm the night before – sunny, cold and still with a stiff breeze. The Linlithgow S2 team depleted by injury travelled to Loretto on Saturday for their final conference game, to face the only other team in their group with an unbeaten record.

Linlithgow were playing into the wind in the first half, against a physically bigger and well coached team. Loretto competed ferociously at the breakdown in a manner reminiscent of their Director of Rugby (Jason White), and the Linlithgow team struggled to deal both with the competitiveness and with how the breakdown laws were being interpreted. As a result, the Linlithgow team struggled to gain any significant foothold in the game, conceding 5 tries in the first half without reply.

The Reds re-grouped at half time, changing tactics in the second half to utilise a clever kicking game to exploit the space left in behind the rush defence, turning the Loretto team and asking them to play from deep. This coupled with gaining parity at the breakdown meant that the Reds had the better of both possession and territory in the second half. Unfortunately, they weren’t able to convert this pressure into points, with Loretto adding a couple of breakaway tries to their first half tally. 

Whilst the team are obviously disappointed by not being able to make a closer game of it, they can take great credit from how they didn’t give up and were able to turn the game around in the second half. Being on the wrong end of a big score line is a new experience for the team, it will be the game that they will have learnt the most from.