U11A Rugby vs Craigclowan

St Mary’s Melrose Vs Craigclowan
This Wednesday’s fixture was a big one, not only in terms of the drive and weather, but Craigclowan are a force to be reckoned with and when considering all the factors of the day, we were in for a tough slog! In total 3 hours of driving, torrential rain, mud and wind set the stage for an epic clash on the steep hills overlooking the River Tay; beautiful but savage!
The game plan for the fixture was to play simple rugby, effective line speed and to move the ball from width to width making simple connections, in the hope that the Craigclowan lads would honeypot around the break down, creating space on the wings for our strike runners. Furthermore, line speed in defence would apply pressure and in the wet conditions lead to dropped balls, resulting in turnovers. We generally stuck to this plan, and the result of this is evident in the boys playing some of the best rugby – as a team- I have seen this year.
However, the Craigclowan boys were a punchy side and their direct approach, breached our line many times resulting in a healthy crop of trys from their strong and able runners. Hats off to them for playing some really aggressive and hard-hitting rugby, it was really enjoyable to watch.
The game started off very close, and about 10 minutes of try tennis led to some frantic play from both sides, dropped balls, turbulent passing and poor support were common from both sides. However, following our third try and Craigclowan’s second, the lads tightened up their connections and cleaned up their rugby. The game from then on was outstanding, which was emphasised by the horrific conditions.

Blair made some wonderful, professional looking try saving tackles, Ewan controlled the game well at the break down and made some well-timed and accurate passes. Tom stepped up to the plate, maintained his structural positioning and made some excellent tackles. Lochie displayed his excellent footwork when in attack, but most importantly his line speed was effective and his defence was stoic. Nic came on at half time and tore into the opposition, applying pressure in defence, making his chops, whilst attacking with speed and ferocity. Isaac B displayed some artisan handling and scored a screamer from some excellent phase play. Tristan was robust as ever, battering the Craigclowan line with his characteristic zeal, claiming a brace of trys. Josh at 10 controlled and commanded very well, organising the lads, tackling, scoring twice but most of all putting in some superb exit kicks. John was playing at 13 and his textbook tackling was the bane of the Craigclowan strike runners. Furthermore, his stout running resulted in a couple of scores. Ollie played the best game of rugby this season, more so, in the toughest of conditions. To me Ollie proved his mettle and ran with strength and direction. His defence was superb with exhilarating line speed and firm tackling, his two trys were very well deserved. Outstanding work. Henry played a ripper, setting the tone from the kick off, his defence was first – rate, as was his ball carrying and breakdown effectiveness, he was focused and determined to do his best for the school and his mates; his try was most savoury, a strong line break, a bit of razzle – dazzle and a slide to finish in the corner. Wonderful work across the board.

Final Score: St Mary’s 11 – Craigclowan 6
Man of the Match: Ollie De Gier – (whole team commendation too!)
Mr Brown

Marnie Harvey, 30/11/2018

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