Sport 

U11 A Rugby St Mary’s Melrose Vs Merchiston Castle 

This Wednesday we played the first of many fixtures against our noble opponents, Merchiston Castle School. We tend to play Merchiston quite often and therefore over the years we have built up quite a strong rapport with their boys and coaches; the games tend to be quite even and throughout the season, both schools win some fixtures and lose others.

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The St Mary’s lads were eager to come back from our original loss at the Merchiston festival and were eager to put up a strong defence against the traditionally ferocious Merchiston offense. However, we kicked off and newcomer, Lochie displayed beautiful footwork, scoring as a result of some superb linking passes. Over the course of the first half, we continued to make strong connections and Ewan who was stoic in defence, rucked to the new laws perfectly and turned over ball. John at 10 utilised his diverse skill set and produced some superb quick ball from the set pieces and open play, he himself nabbed a brace of tries throughout the match. Josh at 12 and Ollie on the wing linked in well, spreading the opposition defence by creating width, which for the two of them culminated in some fine scoring opportunities.

By the end of the first half, we were 4-1 up. Despite the score line the Merchiston boys showed great determination and sportsman ship, competing at the break down and displaying some fine ball handling skills, moving the ball well running with speed into space.

In the second half we continued to press our advantage and the forward pack played some great running rugby, carrying hard, whilst offering a stout scrum. Henry made some great runs, nipping into space, Tristan displayed his characteristic flare carrying with tenacity and even showing off some neat footwork. Blair fought hard making excellent tackles and Tom was fast off the line in defence, smothering play. Furthermore, despite being injured, Nic made his debut on the wing and carved up, showing off his lightning pace. Unfortunately, a hard tackle rendered him injured and he was subbed off.

It must be noted, Merchiston scored three very healthy tries in the second half, one from a kick, one from superb footwork and another from great pop passing.
Over all our attacking play was strong making great passes and moving the ball out wide well. Our defence, however, was what made the difference, the positive tackle rate was high and some big hits were made, followed by a quick ruck, either securing ball or turning it over. We made some experimental kicks and these were healthy on the whole. Areas of improvement from a coaching perspective would be to utilise depth a bit more in attack to avoid forward passes and allowing big runners to get into stride early.

Man of the Match – Ewan for his outstanding work rate and physical presence on the pitch.

Final Score – St Mary’s 8 Merchiston 4


Marnie Harvey, 18/09/2018

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