Young Reds v SLM (Nov19)

Saturday 09 November 2019

The weather took its toll on Saturday as the Hawick 4G pitch was frozen and so the Reds league match against Hawick Linden was postponed. The 2s were also without a match as Walkerburn, who had offered to host a friendly match, were unable to raise a team.

However, the youngsters were able to get some rugby, with the Tiny Reds (pre-school) indoor on the 3G and the Young Reds (secondary school age) outdoor against St Leonard’s / Madras College (SLM) on Saturday morning and the Wee Reds (primary school age) outdoors at Mains Park against Stirling County on the Sunday.

U15 Match Report

Report by Phil Findlater

The Young Reds’ U15s started the game with a squad of 18 who were all used through the match ensuring that everyone had some game time on this frosty, but playable morning.  St Leonard’s / Madras (SLM) scored very early with their first touch of the game running in a softish try with tacklers falling short of what they should do better. After this sluggish start the boys found their rhythm and were competing, and winning well, at the breakdowns, against their larger opponents. SLM scored another 3 tries to our one in the first half though the score slightly flattered the opponents who did not have as much possession as the score suggested.

Turning round at half time, the boys let in 2 easy scores again then for a sustained period of around 20 mins they were camped in their opposition’s 22 playing some great rucking rugby but missed out on scores by failing to take some quick tap penalties to put their opponents under pressure rather than allowing them to settle back into their good defensive pattern. With heads slightly down after missed opportunities and tired bodies from some great tight play we leaked 2 late tries for the final score of 7-49. Indeed, take away the two big SLM lads and the Young Reds could have won the match!

Again, a score line that did not represent the hard work, territory and possession of the boys though a lot of great work evidenced and work on up front tackling at training next!

Big thanks to 6th year pupil Alasdair Cochrane making his debut as referee and drawing a lot of praise from players and spectators alike.

Thirteen Man S2s Still Too Hot for Opponents

SLM S2  6 – 58  Linlithgow S2

Report by Mark Osborne

With a few bugs, strains and holidays the new enlarged S2 squad was short of numbers this week.  We travelled with 12 including unfortunately 3 players suffering from travel sickness on arrival at St Leonard’s Madras.  The S1s kindly provided Murray to join the team to bring us up to 13 against 15. The game started with a try a piece, but then Linlithgow’s powerful tackling and counter rucking giving the outside players plenty of room to run in plenty of tries.  This gave Oogs a hat trick, Fraser 2 and Caiden a try in the first half with Fraser in the zone with his conversions.  Unfortunately Caiden travel sickness meant he had a break from playing for 15min bringing us down to 12 v 15.  

Second half the whole team were providing a blanket of cover that meant all Madras’s break throughs were tracked down, ball turned over leading to a number of long run ins from the defensive positions.  Linlithgow was strong in the forwards but what pleased me as a coach today was the number of balls that were passed from one side of the pitch to the other at pace with multiple superb passes that took Madras apart.  This led to 4 tries for Jack, another for Fraser and Caiden with Reece, Johnny and Euan J also scoring.  In total it was 16 tries (10 cons) to 2 with madras scoring a great try themselves at the end.

Final score 58-6

During the game Jack’s left boot completely split apart (see team photo) during his try scoring spree.  The coach did his part by giving up his trainers to allow Jack to continue playing which offset his schoolboy error earlier of missing his alarm and missing the bus.

S1s Maintain Unbeaten Run in Conference

SLM S1  6 – 11  Linlithgow S1

Report by Gordon Muir

An early bus from the rugby club took our S1s to a frosty St Andrews for the return fixture against St Leonard’s / Madras (SLM). The home leg had been a tight affair, with SLM moving the ball well, so the team’s customary confidence was tempered by the knowledge that they would have to be at their best to maintain their undefeated record. 

The game kicked off in chilly conditions and a combination of cold hands and good line speed from both defences led to a scrappy start, with lost possession in the SLM 22 turning rapidly to frantic -and successful – defence on the Linlithgow line. With staunch line defence from both sides and line breaks being chased down fiercely, the first half continued in a tense stalemate. SLM had the better of the rucks while the Young Reds were dominant in the resulting scrums. The first half ended scoreless. 

Linlithgow received the kick off to the second half and, after a re-take, good hands from Ru and a great dummy and line-break from Rory got the scoreboard moving right from the off as he went in between the posts, with Ru slotting the conversion.  Excellent hustle in defence saw a quick turnover at the restart, with quick hands getting the ball again to Rory who beautifully drew the last defender to release Callum H to finish off, with Alfie converting. 

Linlithgow confidence was high but they were made to work hard to defend their lead, with a few try-saving tackles from line breaks, most notably Callum H who chased his opposing winger down twice in one move, making time for his team-mates to get back and defend.

SLM’s strength in the ruck was winning them some penalties, as Linlithgow got on the wrong side of the ref. Eventually the territory was turned into points as SLM found a way over the line. The missed conversion left SLM needing 2 scores still with the score at 3-8.

The Young Reds continued to boss the scrums, with various combinations of Ru, Callum G and Jack propping, Alex and Kyran hooking and Finlay B’s pressure at scrum half all causing havoc and creating good ball for the Reds. But it was SLM who scored again, with a strong runner breaking through from yet another penalty. Another missed conversion meant SLM had to score again to win, they had the momentum and they had three minutes to do it.

Tension among the Linlithgow travelling support was high as SLM turned the ball over from the restart but their ragged hands meant a Linlithgow scrum just inside the SLM half. Alfie got through a half gap and was away but well tackled 5m out. A great pick up from Sirus, excellent decision-making as the ball was shipped to Alex and on to Ethan on the overlap for a try that put the game to bed for Linlithgow. The tricky conversion was missed and the whistle blew on a great contest, with the score 11-6 in favour of the visitors.

The game was a bit like last night’s lamb curry for breakfast – cold, tough, problematic in ways that make you think about things you need to work on; but ultimately an irresistible way to start Saturday morning!