Young Reds – 25 February 2023

Young Reds – 25 February 2023

Results – Good Performances All Round!

There were excellent wins for the U16s, S2s and S1s, while the U18s were just shaded by Currie in a very close game. The U15s were slow out of the blocks and this ultimately cost them the match, but there were still plenty good performances!

Currie 12 – 10 Linlithgow

Linlithgow 31 – 14 Currie

Linlithgow 10 – 38 Currie

Lenzie 7 – 89 Linlithgow

Lenzie 33 – 34 Linlithgow

S1s Clinch Nail-Biter at Lenzie

Lenzie  33 – 34  Linlithgow

Report by Nick Drainey

A crisp, sunny morning at Viewfield provided a wonderful, grassroots setting for a cracking game of rugby in which the Young Reds S1s kept their heads in a nail-biting contest.

The game, however, could have started better as their stripe-shirted full back went on a run to secure an early try (5-0).

Undeterred, The Reds (playing in black) went down the other end and deployed a move learned in training; a scissors pass between Fergus and captain Callum leading to Jack getting himself and the ball over the line (5-5).

From the restart some great defence was shown by Linlithgow with the first of many superb tackles from Callum and a great jackal from Eric. Going forward the boys looked good all game, especially the interplay and positioning of the backs and some brilliant popping up and recycling by Rory and Jack. The reward was a second try for Jack who ran from the 22 after a great break from Marshall. (5-10).

Despite a try-saving tackle by Blair, there was another score for the hosts as the close match continued (12-10). Matthew then bundled one of their forwards in touch to end a fiercely contested first third.

The second third started with Matthew again showing strength and technique through a fantastic tackle in the middle of the pitch, followed by a brilliant steal from Callum. That culminated in a brilliant run down the line from Blair and a penalty which was kicked to touch for a line out 5 yards from the try line.

Some fraught confrontation which Bill McLaren may have called a “difference of opinion on the pitch” taught the boys the need to keep their heads before the line-out sent the ball wide to Fergus and Callum, then on to Archie who secured more points over the line, followed by a Fergus conversion (12-17).

Their forwards’ carrying won out again as they went under the posts to bring the game to a two-point margin (19-17) before a brilliant carry by Matthew led to the back line supplying the ball to Fergus for a try to retake the lead (19-22).

The third ended with some scrappy play and a try under the posts for Lenzie (26-22).

With all to play for, Linlithgow came out for the final third in determined mood, starting with a line-out ball being spread across the pitch for Blair to score in the corner (26-27).

A set of phases from the opposition saw them retake the lead with the clock ticking down – time for the S1s to show what they are made of (33-27).

Great carries from Callum and Rory, and then Callum again saw the captain score next to the posts. Archie had the chance for the conversion, which could take his team one point in front – he slotted it through (33-34).

With some nails being well chewed at this point, Ethan Mc managed a great run, using hand off skills learned in training. It ultimately ended with him in touch but at that point the ref blew for time and well-earned celebrations began.

The bus home was a little louder than usual. “Thought this was a rugby team?” asked the driver amid choruses of Barbie Girl and One Kiss. However, the effects of the din were somewhat alleviated by Oscar’s big bag of sweets, and the knowledge that a fine win had just been enjoyed.

SQUAD: Ali, Finlay, Jack, Matthew, Rory, Zac, Zack, Archie, Blair, Callum, Eric, Ethan Mc, Fergus, Marshall, Oscar

Big Win for S2s

Lenzie  7 – 89  Linlithgow

Match Report by Malcolm Dunn

The trip to Lenzie promised an opportunity to build on last week’s fantastic win over Dollar.  And the chilly start didnt put the dampeners on the S2 squad as the sun appeared during the warm up.  Playing on the 3G provides the opportunity for strong direct running and as it proved from the off it was to be a day full of tries.  

Youngs Reds S2 were up against an under strength Lenzie squad and Reds lent Lenzie two players to make up their numbers. 

Right from the start Reds attacked with speed and agility and the first try came within 2 mins from Duncan from quickly recycled ball and direct and fast hands from Rory at 10 creating the gaps in the Lenzie defence.  Kicking duties were shared this week with Joe slotting over the first of his  conversions.  Again from the restart the S2 pressure quickly took its toll with the Lenzie defence being sucked in and swift hands getting the ball to Joe on the wing to score.  The extra points were added by Fraser H to make it 14-0.  

The Reds third try from Christos was a great individual effort of some strong running from inside his own half and some poor Lenzie tackling to score the try with the extra points added by Joe.  Now with three tries in quick succession there was maybe a wee bit complacency setting in, so when the Lenzie No.10 kicked from just inside his own half  there was a scrabble to get back, unfortunately for the Reds the ball bounced up perfectly for the advancing Lenzie attack to score before the cover defence could get there.  The extra points were also good making the score  21-7.  Unfortunately that was the highlight of the game for Lenzie as they never really got into a scoring position again.  

The remainder of the first 20 mins section of the game was totally dominated by The Reds with superb individual tries from Ewan and Thomas – with the former being converted by Fraser HDuncan added a further brace of tries to his opener using his pace and speed to exploit an increasingly desperate Lenzie scramble defence.  Both tries were converted by Joe bringing the score to 47-7 by the first break.  The score at this point reflected the very dominant Reds forwards who were winning the battle up front and some great and intelligent distribution of the ball by the backs.

After a reshuffle of personnel at the break, including the rotating the two players playing for Lenzie and Fraser H moving to the No.10 slot and Ollie to 15 –  the try fest continued with a rapid try from Finlay using his speed to accelerate out of several tackles and running half the length of the pitch.  Thomas’s second came from a fortunate fly hack which bounced off a Lenzie player back into his arms before dotting down.  Fraser H and Joe adding the extras to make it 61-7.  

Great work by the forwards narrowed the Lenzie defence and created the space for the backs to attack with Duncan adding his fourth and Joe his second which were converted respectively by Fraser and Ollie bringing the score to 75-7.  Closing out this second 20 minute phase of the game were another two superb individual efforts – the first from Finlay to get his second try and Greg who took the ball on from forwards pressure at the ruck and then powering on and scoring with three Lenzie defenders hanging on for dear life. Conversions by Joe and Kyle brought the score to 89-7.  Given the score and after a conversation between coaches it was decided to mix the teams and play a development game session for the remaining phase.  

Special mention needs to go to Finlay; Scott; Ewan and Alfie who all donned Lenzie shirts for a period and definitely stiffened their defence and helped create some of their best attacking opportunities.  This was a comprehensive win for Reds and gave an opportunity to rotate some of our newer players like Ollie, Greg, Kyle and Alexander who all stepped up.  The Man of the Match this week goes to Duncan for his four tries but also for his work rate in defence.

Looking ahead we have two tough games coming up and will need to continue to  build the momentum that we have.

S3s Slow to Wake Up!

Linlithgow  10 – 38  Currie

Match report by Phil McCavish

Saturday saw the Young Reds take on ‘local rivals’ Currie with three of the Linlithgow team also frequently turning out for Currie. During the week it was clear that Currie were taking the game seriously with our dual representatives being precluded from taking part in full training at Currie for the fear that we might gain an unfair advantage. However, they needn’t have worried because right from the warmup it was clear that it was the visitors that had turned up with an unfair advantage by actually waking up that morning. In comparison the home were positively lethargic and appeared to be missing their 90-minute drive around central Scotland which weirdly seems to wake them up.

Whilst there wasn’t a huge amount between the two teams in terms of possession, Currie were just more clinical in both defence and attack, pressurising the Young Reds when they were attacking and moving the ball wide and getting down the side of the Young Reds defence when Currie had the ball.

A break from Jack up the left made a big dent in the Currie defence and quick ruck gave Cammy the ball on the wing and he had more than enough pace to finish the try off. Matthew and Graham had turned up with two good legs between them, unfortunately both of them didn’t belong to Matthew and he was unable to convert the additional points. The try seemed to reawaken the Young Reds and they finished the first half strongly with Currie scrambling in defence to prevent Linlithgow from scoring a second try with the last play of the half.

Currie continued to control the game in the second half and added to their total by scoring more tries. The Young Reds gamely stuck to their task, and it is testament that in the last play of the game Jack put in a cross-field kick which Ali B got on the end of and manage to finish off the move by scoring a great try despite pressure from a Currie defender. Honest Al flirted with being too honest but managed to arrive at the right answer and awarded the try before the crowd became restless and went to look for his car in the car park.

All played well and didn’t give up (once they had woken up), special mention goes to the three wingers – Lewis for his tackling, Rory for one run where he ghosted his way through the Currie defence as though he was wearing an invisibility cloak and Luca for more than holding his own against much bigger opponents.

Saturday also saw the creation of the Young Reds first TikTok (so far as the author knows) – ‘Taped up Aidan’ – for some reason Taped up Aidan neglected to bring the existence of the TikTok to the attention of the author until after training on Monday. It remains to be seen whether Taped up Aidan continues to be Taped up Aidan now that the team medic has provided him with the all clear to no longer be Taped up Aidan. Finn ‘Spielberg’ Kilpatrick is hoping that he will continue otherwise he will be looking for a new focus within the team for his creative talents.

Currie tested the Young Reds in a way that perhaps other recent games haven’t, and they will be all the better for it, Saturday against Peebles provides them with the perfect opportunity to prove that they have taken the learnings out of the game against Currie.