Young Reds v Watson’s ‘B’
Saturday 23 November 2019
There were some excellent performances on Saturday morning with wins for the S1s, S2s and u15s in the final set of Mitsubishi Grandis Conference matches.
The S1s travelled through to Myreside and came awy with a cracking 12-7 win in a great game of rugby. It certainly whetted the appetite of our ace reporter Gordon Muir. Here is his full match report:
Juicy Christmas Dinner from S1s
Linlithgow S1s arrived at a damp Myreside for their last game of the Mitsubishi Grandis conference. The Watson’s match earlier in the season was a thriller, only decided by a successful Linlithgow conversion as the last kick of the game. The pre-match dressing room was filled with nerves and excitement as the boys faced up to potentially their biggest challenge of the season.
Watson’s kicked off and with an effective chase won a scrum on the Linlithgow 22. The Young Reds have been working on line speed and aggression over recent weeks, which paid off as they snuffed out the attack and put phases together to get back up to pressure the home try line. Watson’s managed to rebuff the attack and clear their lines but Linlithgow brought the ball right back, with a few phases of close attacks bunching play until Ruairi ran on to a pop pass and forced his way over the line for the first try, with Alfie converting.
This was a great game of rugby, played expansively at good pace, despite the greasy conditions. Both teams were making their tackles and working hard at the breakdown, with the Young Reds line speed shutting down Watson’s space and, combined with another impressive showing at scrum time, denying them an effective attacking platform. The S1s have also somehow added an effective and intelligent kicking game to their armoury (I think they must have seen it on TV because they didn’t get it from their coaches!) and this was used to good effect to win the territorial battle for most of the first half.
Watson’s once again showed themselves to be a good tackling side and they made it very hard to score but the Linlithgow pressure eventually told, with Ruairi scoring from close range and converting his own try.
Watson’s proved too good to be held scoreless and they crossed late in the half for a try before going on to give us all a lesson in quantum physics with Schrödinger’s Conversion, which appeared simultaneously to have passed between the posts and not between the posts.
8-4 was the halftime score.
The second half began with both sides working really hard and playing some very good rugby. Watson’s stepped up the intensity and kept the ball better and each team had chances in an evenly matched game. Watson’s were first to break the deadlock with a score in the corner. This time the conversion was an unambiguous miss, so the score was 8-7. The Young Reds didn’t panic, sticking to what was working and showing good composure to work their way back up the park. The team work hard in training for everyone to develop all-round rugby skills. That’s the only possible explanation for Ruairi, playing prop, to spot space on the opposite side of the pitch and execute a perfect cross-field kick for Callum H to collect and race over for a try. The successful conversion meant Watson’s would have to score twice, with less than 10 minutes to go.
The Young Reds controlled the remainder of the game to come out with a tremendous win, showing great progress and completing the conference with a 100% win record.
Saturday’s game summed up the spirit of these excellent boys, with every single one of them making a meaningful contribution to the team effort in attack and defence. It has been wonderful to watch the boy’s skills and game craft develop over the season -though, as ever, there is plenty to work on – but more wonderful by far has been to see the team spirit, camaraderie and love of the game grow among this young team.
With the festive season just around the corner, it’s perhaps appropriate that the boys put in a fantastically juicy Christmas Dinner of a performance, a great feast of rugby with crackers and all the trimmings and only one or two small sprouts to work on.
S2s Back to Winning Ways
The S2s reverted to type and cast off the disappointment of last Saturday to storm to a 50-3 win, with a dominant display from the front 5, who showed their skills all over the pitch. This, together with a great all round passing display proved too much for the plucky visitors. Here is Mark Osborne‘s full match report:
Watson’s return game against Linlithgow saw a stronger Watson’s team taking the field on the lower pitch at Mains Park with both teams starting with 13 aside.
The game was strongly contested for the first half with some great play on both sides. The difference between the two sides was the support play, commitment and powerful runs to finish off moves which had Linlithgow scoring frequently. Watson’s better players were breaking the gain line, but were then repulsed a number of times with some great try saving tackles from full back Caiden, Fraser, Jack and the rest of the team. The first half finished 23-0 with Jake, Jack, Caiden and Fraser going in for tries.
The second half Watson’s players tired, so we played one player down to even up the game a bit. However the extra Monday night training continued to show with Linlithgow adding tries from Fraser, Jack, Daniel and Caiden to bring a final score of 50-3.
The stars of the show this week was not the try scorers. The cornerstone of the win was the front 5 of Cammy, Alex, Ryan, Lewis and Skinny who all put in a fantastic performance in the pack but also around the pitch. Each of them had great powerful runs and played like backs in spreading the ball around with superb passing as well as their forward duties. For one try it was the front 5 making up the back line to put Jack it for try passed across the whole pitch.
Thrilling Win for U15s
Meanwhile on Upper mains Park, the U15s rallied from conceding two early scores to close out the match in thrilling style with a 22-21 win against a very good Watson’s team. Two tries in the third quarter for the home side had seen them take a slender 17-14, only for Watson’s to come back with a fine converted try to retake the lead at 21-17 with only 10 minutes to go. Watson’s held firm despite all that the Young Reds could throw at them and looked to have the game won as they had put in to a scrum near halfway as the game entered the final minute. However, pressure defence caused a knock on which gave a scrum to the home team as the clock closed on full time. By the time they had won the ball from the scrum, the clock was in the red and it was last chance saloon for the Young Reds. A clever switch put the centre into space and he sliced through both the initial and cover defences for a superb try to win the match.
U18s Lose at Myreside
The U18s couldn’t match the efforts of their younger counterparts as they conceded 6 tries in a 36-5 away defeat, only really coming into the game in the last 5 minutes to finish strongly. Hopefully they can pick up where they left off next time up.