Mowden Rugby festival
This was our first time attending the Mowden rugby festival, at least during my time at St Mary’s. The format was “Round Robin” where we would be competing against some of Northern England’s prep schools; not an easy feat considering the different age grade laws south of the border and also in line with this, the resulting different play style.
Our Scottish laws attempt to cultivate a culture of ball distribution and wide play, with free- flowing fast rugby; the English laws very much develop a punchy, “up the guts” format with mauls and targeting of the ball being allowed.
Our boys played phenomenally, and as the only Scottish contingent in attendance, it was down to us to give make our mark, and my goodness, did the lads do just that.
Our shape and structure was far superior to the English schools, where one pass plays and running up the centre achieved little against our formidable defensive line. This combined with our effective line speed in defence, meant we smothered opposition play and forced many handling errors. This was a common theme of the day; get the defensive set right and the attacking rugby will take care of itself. We carved up in attack, shifting the ball into the wide channels, where neat footwork and accurate handling won the day, many times over, it was glorious to watch.
For me it was a real treat watching the boys begin to refine their understanding of our game plan and shape, which will benefit us massively in the future. Rugby is a simple game - early structure and a disciplined performance will lead to victories.
The fixtures and their results follow:
St Mary’s V Hunter Hall: 4 - 0
St Mary’s V Dame Allan’s: 4 - 2
St Mary’s V Mowden: 4 - 1
St Mary’s V Sedburgh: 3 - 1
St Mary’s V Durham: 0 – 3
St Mary’s V RGS: 2 - 2
Team: Lochie, Ewan, Fergus, Hector, Nic, William E, Daniel, Charlie, Dino, Gregor.
Marnie Harvey, 20/09/2019