IAPS Thistles Tournament
This week 3 boys from St. Marys were selected to travel up to Fettes to represent the Thistles in the IAPS representative rugby tournament. Our team was made up of players from St. Mary’s, Loretto and Belhaven and were up against the Saltires who were from Fettes and Cargilfield and Caledonia who were from Ardvreck, Craigclowen, St. Leonards, Riley and Gordonstoun. It was a fabulous day up in Edinburgh and the whole team were very excited.
We arrived at 11.30 in the morning and had a training session with the team where we did some team building games before running through our team shape. It is always a challenge to bring players together who do not know each other and get them to gel in a team but all of our players got stuck into the challenge.
Our first match was at 13.00 where we took on the Saltires. The game began well and both teams were playing great rugby. The teams exchanged scores in what was a very even first half. In the second half we lost concentration and lost the battle at the breakdown meaning we struggled to maintain possession. Credit to the Saltires who passed the ball nicely through the hands scoring several tries out wide. We fought back in the game but came up short losing 12-4.
After a short break, where we tried to fix some of the issues we faced in the previous match, we were on again. This time against the Caledonia team, who had just beaten the Saltires convincingly, 15-9. We knew we would have to be at our best to compete in the game.
The Thistles started the game superbly and it was clear the boys were focused on fixing the issues we faced at the breakdown last time out. Our ruck speed and aggression were far better and we kept the ball well. Before long we found ourselves 3 scores up and cruising in the game. Caledonia, however, did not give up and came back into the game through some excellent carrying and offloading around the contact area. In the end we ran out 17-6 winners.
I was very proud of all of the boys but particularly the St. Mary’s lads who conducted themselves brilliantly throughout the day. This went beyond the rugby pitch and it was great to see the boys tidying and sweeping the changing rooms after the games. Well done to Nic, Isaac and Blair.
Amazingly the tournament ended with all 3 teams having won one and lost one, all 3 teams had scored 21 points and so incredibly all 3 teams shared the trophy.