U11A Rugby v Merchiston
Wednesday 6th September 2017
The new rugby season for the 2017 – 2018 this year began with a massive bang. Unbeknownst to not just the boys heading north, but myself, this Wednesday’s game was actually the annual Merchiston Rugby festival, in which we would be playing three games, totalling in 50 minutes of rugby.
Our first fixture was against Fettes U11 B squad which was a good opener to get us into the swing of things and get the blood pumping. Many of the lads, like myself, have made the step up to U11 level this year and relish the opportunity to play at a higher level and therefore this starting fixture would be our baptism of fire together.
We made a big impact in this first game, showing guts at the contact and some superb running ability. The boys started to ship the ball wide and open up the running channels which all in all resulted in a 5-0 victory, the tries from John I, John T and Stewart and Ollie L were wonderful. The tackling was slightly off, however that is to be expected first game back. Geordie, our Captain could be heard clearly organising the play, which is always a delight to hear.
Our second match was against the mighty Merchiston U11 A themselves. Our hosts played a very healthy game, one just as physical as ours! However the determination and the lightning pace of John T allowed us to take a one point lead into half time. Merchiston were not to be put off however, and fought back almost scoring close to the end, but outstanding break down play and super tackles from John I, Tristan, Ollie DG, Henry and Josh kept them at bay.
Our final fixture was against Craigclowan, a team that most of us had never come across before, but heard were, fast and physical. The game that ensued was some of the most nail biting I have ever watched. We took an early lead with a screamer by John T which gave us a boost into half time. Mitchell played a screamer at scrum half, making decisive decisions and creating great play. Archie put in a massive shift, defensively and offensively, showing huge work rate.
The second half was possibly contained some of the best rugby I have ever seen at school level. From our own 5 meters, Ollie kicked the ball sky high, the Craigclowan full back was unable to make the catch, resulting in a penalty, almost at the half way. It is from this point where Ed won us the tournament. He had put in a huge shift every game, but it was in this second half he showed his real flare. After a super pass off Josh, Ed blazed up the touch line, beating three men to the finish, and what a try it was!
Again we proved St Mary’s is a robust rugby prep school who offer a solid challenge at every level of the sport at this stage in education. A super festival, a big thanks to all the chaps at Merchiston for their hard work putting it all together. We look forward to seeing them again next week.
St Mary’s 5 – Fettes B 0
St Mary’s 1 – Merchiston 0
St Mary’s 2 – Craigclowan 0
Jules Birdsall, 08/09/2017