1stXV at the Merchiston Festival
After a long summer holiday, the Merchiston Festival is the perfect beginning of term festival to blow away the cobwebs and begin to formulate plans as to how we want to play this season as a team, and to try out different combinations to get the most out of the players we have.
To be honest, I have been quite excited throughout the whole summer, thinking about the possibilities that this season might hold. We have some strong, athletic forwards and fast backs who possess real skill with the ball in hand, are aggressive in the tackle and who also possess outstanding ‘jackling’ skills to turnover ball and turn defence in to attack. We saw a lot of this on show today, and playing 5 x 10 minute matches over the course of the afternoon, we saw the huge amount of potential that this group of boys have. Yes, we scored lots of outstanding tries with deft handling, superb off loading, aggressive fast rucking and we also ran some terrific lines in the backs, but what impressed me most of all was the fact that we did not concede any tries all afternoon. Our defence was watertight, we communicated well in the backs and there was a real ‘thou shalt not pass’ attitude as tackles we put in, we turned over the ball and ran from deep to score again.
It was a delight to watch. There are going to be some real humdinger matches when we play Sedbergh and Aysgarth home and away later in the term, but we have set out how we want to play, and the teamwork and sense of teamship on show bodes well for the challenges which lie ahead. It should be fun!
Well played, boys! We now look forward to our first proper match against Fettes, at home.
An addendum…..I was hugely impressed with the sportsmanship we showed too. Against Loretto, a few of their boys got injured when trying to tackle, and you checked up on how they were afterwards which was lovely. Also, when the referee awarded us a try, you told him that in fact it had been dropped so should not have been a try. Sportsmanship at its best, and just how it should be. We play very hard, but also very fair.