On what was a gloriously sunny autumnal afternoon in Crieff, the 1stXV ended the first half of term with another excellent and dominant team performance, running in a large number of well constructed tries, with the ball moving through countless pairs of hands, dominating the breakdown to produce very fast ruck ball, and the speed out wide was far too much for the brave Ardvreck boys today. It was lovely to watch and despite putting on a number of replacements (and leaving some regulars back at school), these boys fitted seamlessly into the pattern of play, and we continued to run the ball confidently from all areas of the pitch with our off loading and support play, once again, very impressive. We look after the ball, our confident in our skills and know we will have support if we need it – the commitment on show, the desire not to make mistakes and our ability to go for the jugular was there for all to see today.
It is difficult to pick out individuals to be honest, but the way this group of boys have worked so hard for each other shows just what a tight team unit we have been since the beginning of term. I look back on those first three weeks with no match as an important part of our success, with the opportunity to work on our skills, the way we want to play the game, and to allow lots of competition for places before any selections were made. To then see the way in which we fought back against Dollar to deservedly win what was one of the best U13 games I have seen at this level, with no one panicking because we fell behind but playing controlled and confident rugby until the opening presented itself a few minutes from full time, was a key moment and we have never looked back.
Yes, far sterner challenges lie ahead after half term and we will undoubtedly be tested over the next few weeks, and we also head south on tour to Yorkshire for the 15th time which is always the highlight of the season: Giggleswick, Aysgarth, Sedbergh, Sedbergh, Loretto, Aysgarth, Dollar and Merchiston: that is some second half of the season ahead but I know that this group of boys will relish the challenge and continue to improve and work hard for each other. The sense of togetherness, the absence of a star player and yet the absolute desire not to let anyone down has epitomised our play so far; it is this which will come to fore when the opposition gets tougher. I can't wait!
First up though, on the final Sunday of half term is the Ardvreck Sevens. With a full team available, we could go close…..well done, rest up, and return ready for the business end of the season to start.