Young Reds Match Update
Saturday 04 March 2023
Young Reds S2s keep their Cool for Fine Win
Linlithgow 34 – 19 Musselburgh
Saturday 04 March 2023
Report by Malcolm Dunn
Sometimes your mind can play tricks on you-as I looked back at the Musselburgh game which we narrowly lost in October, I remembered a number of simply enormous forwards, sadly this was no trick of the mind and that was exactly what we faced again this morning!
Our last outing on the first team pitch had been a very wet affair but today it was a beautiful sunny day and the pitch looked fantastic.
The teams lined up and it was the Young Reds who kicked off toward the club house with Musselburgh receiving. After some strong early pressure the Reds were gifted a scrum just outside the 22 and it was brilliant to see flash ball called (a simple move to generate fast ball). We’d worked on it all week at training! It worked brilliantly with Thomas clearing out setting the backs into acres of space, the ball zipped down the line with 3 on 2 but Musselburgh defended strongly and the chance slipped away with a knock on in the final pass. It was great though to see the boys taking training ground material onto the bigger stage.
After a good 5 or so hard fought minutes the Reds finally managed to move the ball away from what was becoming an arm wrestle and Rory was able to find some space. A quick dummy and a 40 yard dash and the Young Reds were on the score board. Sadly his radar was a little off today 5-0.
The game then started to swing between 22’s but neither side were quite able to capitalise before the Reds won a ruck just inside their own 10 metre line and some quick hands put Duncan up the middle. He had a lot to do but straightened beautifully and went through the gears to race away for a score. 10-0.
Although the Young Reds had scored twice it didn’t seem as though they would race away as there was huge aggression and will from Musselburgh and in the end they found a soft shoulder and broke away to score 10-5.
As half time approached the next score was important and happily it was the Young Reds who bagged it. Another training ground move saw Alfie, who is starting to make inside centre his own, hurtled on to a short pass. He seemed surprised as he emerged the other side of the defensive line like a bullet through paper. He regathered his thoughts and beat the full back to a huge cheer from his team mates. Rory added the extras and it was 17-5 at the break.
The early part of the second half saw a bit of a lull in the Young Reds’ energy levels and Musselburgh made the most of it releasing one of their speedier players to run free and dot down 17-12. With the momentum now with the visitors this was becoming uncomfortable…
Fraser though had had enough and demanded the ball from the restart….what ensued next was remarkable. He pawed the ground like a bull from Pamplona and charged sending players in all directions, throwing hand offs or trampling over anyone who chose to stupidly confront him. He made his way steadily up the pitch through heavy traffic, the whole way to the line before dotting down with a look of ‘that’s how it done’.
At 22-12 the job was not done, Fraser’s colossal effort raised the team morale but Musselburgh knew they had to hit back from the restart, they made good progress up the pitch before the ball was snaffled short of the 22 and Rory was sprung free. He hurtled up the touch line and scored from 70 metres to really break the hopes of Musselburgh. A few minutes later Rory again received the ball on his own 22, he looked up and you could see him wince as he he saw the line in the horizon but he set off for another 70 metre dash to put the game out of sight. It would be fair to say he got up slowly after that one…34-12
With the game done there was a late consolation try for the visitors after some weary tackles were shrugged off to leave the final score at 34-19.
This was a tough match, at times it threatened to boil over, however the Young Reds kept their cool and their focus. It was a game of big moments and it was the Young Reds that found the big moments when they needed to. Scott making an incredible cover tackle when the game was in the balance, Christos making a great tackle near the end, Alfie, Fraser, Rory and Duncan scoring at key moments. Gregg, Daniel, Cameron and Alexander worked hard in the loose with only 6 forwards there was little time for rest. Angus C and Thomas were all over the park contesting and supporting ball carriers. Angus T came on and had a good impact with fresh legs keeping our momentum going. Max was brilliant from the base – his service showing real improvement and he made a very smart break to release pressure just before half time. Joe and Jay both had good games on the wing and helped keep our shape. Ollie showed his confidence is really growing taking a cracking high ball and running it back superbly.
Man of the match this week goes to Max. He was quietly excellent. He tackled well and there were some big lumps, his passing was excellent and he made a few sniping runs. Well done Max and well done Young Reds for stepping up in the moments that mattered against an aggressive and confrontational side.
Special mention to Paul this week who is a volunteer (you’ll be surprised to hear none of us are paid!). He had a lot of opinions to manage and I thought he did so brilliantly- thank you Paul!
Excellent Win for U18s under the Lights
Linlithgow 28 – 5 Edinburgh Vikings
East Cup Pool Match
Wednesday 08 March 2023
The U18s beat the snow when they played Edinburgh Vikings U18s on Lower Mains Park on Wednesday night. They played very well against a strong team which is drawn from north Edinburgh and based at the Heriots Club.
Big shout out to young Edinburgh Rugby Referees Society referee Euan Maguire who impressed the coaches and players with his performance.
Linlithgow took on north Edinburgh Vikings in their final pool game of the East Cup. Even though we had seen some very cold temperature in the days leading up to the match the pitch held out brilliantly and the match could go ahead.
Linlithgow were first to strike after some sustained pressure in the Vikings half. A brilliant set up maul just past the 22 pulled in Vikings forwards and a perfectly timed peel from hooker Ryan Lamb saw him race down the blind and touch down to score a brilliant try to start the game. Conor Findlay converted.
The young reds were playing some great rugby in some very cold conditions. Great link play between forwards and back kept the ball down in the Vikings half. After a few phases in their 22 the ball was pulled wide to Ryan Lamb once again who looked for support but was able to run it in himself again. Conor converted 14-0 to Linlithgow.
Credit to the Vikings they kept challenging Linlithgow defence with some strong runs from both their centres. Linlithgow defence stayed strong and stopped them getting the ball wide on several occasions. A good line break allowed the away team to almost score over the line but the referee judged one of the Reds defenders to have tackled high in a maul so a yellow card was issued to No 6 Oscar Davies. The young reds defended brilliantly with 14 men and put real pressure on the Vikings attack. A loose ball found its way onto Fraser Miller’s boot who hacked it on down the pitch. Centre Jack Magee was on hand to give it another kick on and won the foot race to touch down against the run of play.
The Vikings came back fighting after this score and through some good play off the kick off kept the pressure down in Linlithgow’s half. Some slick handling against the 14 man defence held Linlithgow tight and their winger finished off a good score in the corner. Conversion was missed.
With 5 minutes until the half the home team retained position very well in the Vikings’ half. Some great carrying in the forwards and slick hands in the back line got the Young Reds within touching distance of the line. A few tight carries and great clear outs late and skipper Ross Findlater crossed the whitewash to create a real buzz on the pitch as the half time whistle blew. Conor converted the score to make sure and keep his 100% strike rate for the evening.
With the second half came a real drop in temperature and snow. All players both home and away were a real credit to themselves with the way they continued in these conditions and kept the standard of rugby to a high level. One or two dropped balls but that can go down to freezing hands and snow in the eyes. After a scoreless second half and 65 minutes played the coaches and ref agreed that it would be in everyone’s best interest to stop the game slightly early as the pitch markings were becoming impossible to see and safety was becoming a concern.
Final Score 28-5 to Linlithgow
The scoreline stands with the threshold being 55 minutes, so Linlithgow look good moving into the semi final stage of the East Cup.
1- Owen Gregory
2- Ryan Lamb
3 – Aaron Mulholland
4 – Kinloch Law
5- James Galbraith
6- Oscar Davies
7- Johnny Pegg
8- Ross Findlater (C)
9 – Euan McCartney
10- Conor Findlay
11- Aiden McGurk
12- Jack McGee
13- Fraser Miller
14- Reece Paul
15- Luke O’Hara
Subs (all used)
16 – Aiden Mochrie
17 – Innis MacKinnon
18 – Adam Neil
19 – Michael Rafferty
20 – Caiden Duncan