Ardvreck 7s - 1st Rugby

6th November 2016
Squad: Lachlan, Jamie, Hamish, William, Tommy, Harris, Will, Thomas, Muaz, Matt.

Ardvreck 7s finalists 2016

Another brilliant day up at Ardvreck – The boys played with respect, humility and worked hard for each other from tie one to tie six. It was a pleasure to watch. Here is a breakdown of the tie’s.

Our pool consisted of Merchiston, Belhaven, Austin Friars and Fettes.

Merchiston: Won 29-5
A tough opener but the boys came through with aplomb winning with tries from Tommy, Will, Hamish and two from Lachlan. Tommy converted two tries. It took a bit of time to get into the swing of the game but once we understood the style we wanted to play, defenders were fixed and boys were put away on the outside. A solid start but lots to improve on especially as we allowed Merchiston to score near the end.

Belhaven: Won 7-5
The team knew this would be a tough second game as it always is against Belhaven. St Mary’s did not start well and allowed Belhaven to score first which was unconverted. Tackles that should have been made were not being made and were allowing Belhaven flow in the game. Senior players stepped up to the mark and did not panic though and Lachlan got the equalizer with a minute to play. Tommy converted to make it 7-5. A good defensive set to close out the game gave St Mary’s another win moving into our 3rd pool match.

Austin Friars: Won 21-7
St Mary’s started to play 7s the squad knew they could play in this game and scored some wonderful tries. 2 from Will and one from Lachlan. Tommy converted all 3. Will’s tries were a thing of beauty. Just the basic skill of catching and passing and fixing defenders allowed Will to use his outstanding pace down the touchline to score. Harris as captain was placing his passes perfectly and was controlling the game fantastically well. Austin Friars did get a try at the death through some poor defending but we were getting better and that was the main thing.

Fettes: Won 21-7
Our final pool game pitted us against a strong Fettes side but again we came out on top through tries from Lachlan, Tommy and Will. Tommy converting all 3. Defence was the key here and as in every game played before, Jamie F was the workhorse in the team. Hitting and clearing rucks, carrying hard when needed and just being an absolute menace for the opposition. Many tries during the afternoon came about from Jamie’s pure work rate in winning ball and pulling in defenders. The squad moved into the semi-final of the cup. Next job.
Loretto: (Cup Semi-final): Won 24-12
A semi-final is always the toughest game in a 7s tournament as the pressure is the greatest to get to the final. The team knew they were starting again. The pressure did not get to them. Lachlan scored then Will scored 2 then Tommy scored the final try. Tommy also converted 2 tries. Loretto scored 2 of their own with one being converted but St Mary’s were the stronger team and played with coolness and never stopped saying to themselves TCUP. They believed.

Cargilfield (Cup final): Lost 26-21
St Mary’s have never been in the Ardvreck 7s final in recent years and if I am not mistaken, the last time would be in the 80s! We could not have started better. Harris intercepted and offloaded to Hamish who ran a beautiful gamble line to score under the posts. Tommy converted. 7-0. Cargilfield did not get flustered and had a very strong team. They came back with very strong running and unfortunately scored 3 tries on the trot with 2 being converted. St Mary’s were going too high on their big runners and allowing them to use their strong hand offs. The mind-set was to close them down in defence and hold a front 6 in the line – nothing got through us. What happened next was sheer passion, will power and a desire to not let their mates down. The communication was second to none from Harris and indeed, everyone. The understanding of what to do when the heat was on was something the team can be immensely proud of. First came a try from William in the right corner. It was 7s rugby at its best – a 3 on 2 expertly executed from the midfield to put William away. Tommy converted. 19-14 to Cargilfield. Cargilfield took the restart and the work from turnover machine, Jamie and indeed the whole team allowed Lachlan some space. Lachlan must have beaten about 5 defenders to go in to the left of the posts. Tommy converted to make it 21-19 with a minute to play. St Mary’s needed to have the mind-set of make every tackle, get up and do it again and if we made a turnover – keep ball! The defence stayed strong for 20 seconds but Cargilfield then found some space on the right flank with one of our defenders slightly behind the line. This allowed their big winger to increase his speed and get his hand off working. He brushed off the tackler to go in under the posts. The try was converted. 26-21 with about 15 secs to play! St Mary’s restarted and just had to keep ball and keep calm. Unfortunately, Cargilfield got a turnover and kicked it out to signal the end of the game. What a match, what a tournament from the boys.

Congratulations to Cargilfield but every single St Mary’s player did their bit for the jersey today and can be incredibly proud.

This is some squad and they are only going to get better.  A total pleasure to be involved with this squad.

I can’t wait for training on Monday.

Next job.

Mr RE Mill

Jules Birdsall, 07/11/2016

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