Young Reds v St Columba’s
Saturday 04 September 2021
This was the first full set of fixtures for the Young Reds in over 18 months and they very quickly clicked into gear.
Full reports are shown below for S1, S2, S3 and U16 matches – please read on…
S1 Report (Malcolm Dunn)
Linlithgow 25 – 8 St Columba’s
A great win against very good opposition with the boys starting to use the space out wide when needed to expand the game.
Hey everyone, fantastic run out this morning. So proud of the team, we played 3 x 15 mins against a strong looking St Columba’s. it was a big day with a lot of firsts, first time out with team shirts and numbers on the back, first game on the academy pitch and of course we had conversions!
The first 15 mins was a close affair and although the Young Reds started hard it was quickly all square with a strong run seeing us fall off a few tackles. The Young Reds weren’t rattled and used the possession from kick off well to go back in front and could have had another but for the touch judge ruling out his own son’s try!
After the first break, the Young Reds came back much stronger in the tackle and at the ruck and had some brilliant moments with the ball going throw several sets of hands before scoring from distance. By the second break, apart from conceding one soft try, the Young Reds were well on top.
The final session saw more the same but the scores were getting better and better and the Young Reds played right to the end winning comfortably 25-8 (3 for a try and 1 for a conversion).
Some brilliant performances today, TJ had some great runs so did Angus and Chris, Rory played well at 10 with great support from Elliot and Fraser at scrum half. Overall though man of the match was Euan, mostly for one moment that I hope comes to epitomise this team. One of their players was clean through closing in on the line and a certain score. Euan chased back made an incredible tackle and turned the ball over, 90 seconds later we scored a great team try at the other end. It’s that effort for the team that will be so valuable in tight games. Overall delighted with the team and very proud of them as we were missing quite a few players today…roll on next week!
S2 Report (Al McGrath)
Linlithgow 44 – 25 St Columba’s
Match Referee: Graham Murray
(Assuming 3 points a try and 1 point a conversation)
A dry but cloudy sky was the setting for the pre-season friendly with visiting S2 team from St Columba’s, Kilmacolm. The kick-off to the first 20 minutes was from St Columba’s that resulted in an early Reds try from Jack from a strong attack. St Columba’s evened the score up 6 minutes later with their own try and then followed it up with another converted try 1 minute later. The reds responded with Ryley, Hamish and Ali running in tries and the successful conversions coming from the boots of Ryley and Aiden.
The second third of the game had the Reds running in more tries, one more from Ewan and 2 more from Ryley, with Aiden and Ryley providing the successful conversions. St Columba’s responded with 3 converted tries from the 4 scored.
The last third saw the Reds pull away from St Columba’s single converted try with 4 tries from Matthew, Hamish, Ewan and Ryley and the single conversation provided by Aiden.
An entertaining game and a good team performance, with strong tackling from both sides, giving the Reds a 44-25 victory over the valiant visitors.
S3 Report (Gordon Muir)
Linlithgow 77 – 0 St Columba’s
Linlithgow S3 met an organised-looking St Columba team on Upper Mains Park for their first taste of U-15 rugby. The Young Reds kicked off and set about the game with some robust tackling, winning the ball back and going over for an early try that helped settle the nerves. For the first time in 2 seasons, the match up featured contested scrums and so it was a good chance for the forwards to see how they measured up packing down. The Young Reds pack performed phenomenally, pushing St Columba’s off their own put in twice in a row, each one leading to a brilliant try as Linlithgow’s speed of though, hands and feet got the turnover ball rapidly into space against disorganised defence, drawing and passing to put each winger over the line. Further Linlithgow pressure led to a fourth try as St Columba’s struggled to contain the energy, commitment and pace on show right across the Linlithgow team.
There was then a break in play to deal with an injury to Finlay B, who was badly tackled and landed on his head. The best news of the day is that, after a thorough check up, Finlay is on the mend and looking forward to getting back to rugby in a few weeks’ time.
St Columba’s were sharper at the breakdown after the restart, and there was a competitive spell as each team tried to assert the upper hand. The deadlock was broken in the most satisfying way for a coach to see, as a move straight off the training ground put Rory through a gap with the result, 60 yards later, being another try to the Reds.
The teams agreed a shortened second half and this time it was St Columba’s who kicked off to a Young Reds team who really had their tails up. With robust carrying, slick handling and good attacking shape, Linlithgow cut through the defence again and again. One of the rule changes at U15 is that the team who has just scored receives the kick off. That can make for a lot of defending and that’s what St Columba’s had to do for the rest of the shortened second half, having little possession and working hard to keep out Linlithgow as the tries kept coming.
All in all, 25 Linlithgow players had game time and scored 11 tries from 8 different scorers!
U16 Report (Mark Osborne)
St Columba’s 14 – 31 Linlithgow
The under 16s went to Kilmalcolm looking to get their first win of the season after letting the game drift away from them against Musselburgh last week. This week they were up against a squad of 25 well trained players who all could tackle and spin the ball around. The early play was very evenly contested with St C taking an early try with some good handling in the backs.
Linlithgow put some consistent pressure on with forwards driving forward before spreading the ball down the back line for winger Reece to score in the corner. It seemed like the lessons from last week had been learned as Linlithgow played a bit wider to effect with a great kick from Fraser through seeing Aiden touching down over the line. At this point the game was in the balance with Linlithgow leading 12-7 at half time.
Second half saw Linlithgow matching St C’s forward play and good passing in the backs with some fantastic defence. St C’s discipline started to go with a number of poor high tackles giving Linlithgow good field positions. This led to one St C player being yellow carded for a tip tackle, but unfortunately followed by Fergus being adjudged for the same offence 5 minutes later. Fergus was having a great game and both cards were marginal but the ref was being consistent.
Linlithgow spread the ball down the line to Dougie playing his first game on the wing. As he went over the line only a high tackle prevented him from scoring with the referee awarding a penalty try to him.
The boys stepped up the power in the second have that saw Aiden going over for his second try with the ball going through loads of hands as the forwards and backs played some champagne rugby to stretch the lead.
This seamed to spur on St C with a great solo try on the outside with Linlithgow a bit slow to react to a penalty late in the game on the outside. However Reece reciprocated with a solo run where he ran through 5 players out wide to finish of a convincing win 5 tries to two (31-14).