U11A Rugby v Fettes 

7th December 2016

On an exceedingly blustery day the u11 “A” boys welcomed Fettes to the Borders on Wednesday afternoon for this 8 a side match. Winning the toss, St. Marys elected to take the pass off to start the match with Fettes deciding to play up the slope.

Both teams came out the traps brightly and set a brisk pace which remained for the duration of the match. The initial few minutes both teams just ran at each other as they sized each other up. Then after 5 minutes Mac R drove forward and got in behind the Fettes defence then offloaded to the supporting Archie Mac who in turn took it forward towards the line. When tackled Caelan B picked up and dashed in over the line from close range. 1-0

Stung by this the visitors replied almost immediately. Forcing play up-field,   the ball was quickly moved wide to the right from the ruck which outflanked St. Marys to result in a try at the corner. Fettes were using their big forwards well and continued to drive at and test the home defence. Tackles were going in from St. Marys (with Thomas E, Geordie Mac and Stewart M most notable at this time), but Fettes were able to stay on feet and offload to support runners.

With the majority of possession and territory going with Fettes, it was no real surprise that they took the lead with a further try. It was preventable however as a long and wild St. Marys pass gifted Fettes the try and they gratefully picked it up and ran in.1-2. St. Marys were being put under a fair bit of pressure here, but by and large stayed intact through good defence with Caelan B, Archie M and Mac R making good tackles. However the pressure told, and a couple of missed tackles from St. Marys helped Fettes to extend their lead to 1-3 at halftime.

St. Marys started the 2nd half with intent and purpose and looked to take the ball on at pace. They took play up to the Fettes line which resulted in a scrum 5. However possession was lost and Fettes showed their pace by running the length of the field to score and make it 1-4. From this setback there was a danger St. Marys could slip away, but to their credit they dug in. Thomas E took a pass at pace and drove forward through a gap and rounded the covering sweeper to score a great try and reduce the difference to 2-4.This got a reaction from Fettes as they tried to lift their game again. They went to their strength of drive up with their big forwards then out wide to their pace. As a result of one of those they added another try.

St. Marys  then came again as Thomas E, Mac R and Archie M took ball forward directly at the Fettes defence. Mac R went at the defence again, and just short offloaded to the supporting Mitchell C who even when tackled kept cool and reached over to score on his first match in the “A” team.3-5. Fettes though struck next as again they used space well and got a pace man away free to restore the 3 try lead.

Back came St. Marys with another determined Thomas E run and was stopped short. However from the ruck Mac R was stood of it and when he received the pass from Caelan B he drove at the advancing defensive line and broke through it to score. 4-6. Again St. Marys pushed on as they sensed they could catch the visitors as Mac R then Archie Mac drove up to the line. From the ruck Geordie Mac picked up right on the line and stretched over. Just as he attempted to ground it on the line it slipped out and the chance was gone, but a good effort. From the scrum Fettes again demonstrated their pace in the team by moving ball out wide and outstripping the home cover to score a good try and effectively end the match.

But St. Marys didn’t want to end it there and back they came. Play got back up into the Fettes 22 and Mac R again drove at the line and made it to make the final score 5-7 in favour of our visitors. Well done to all players who attempted to play attacking, running rugby in the difficult handling conditions that the wind brought. Well done to Mitchell C who, playing in his first “A” match slotted in well and made a good contribution.

Mr A Rutherford


Jules Birdsall, 13/12/2016

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