Young Reds v Morrisons (Feb 23)

Saturday 04 February 2023

Young Reds Results

U18 Match
Morrisons 17 – 22 Linlithgow

U16 Match
Morrisons 12 – 43 Linlithgow

U15 / S3 Match
Linlithgow 70 – 19 Morrisons

S2 Match
Linlithgow 52 – 7 Morrisons

S1 Match
Linlithgow 50 – 7 Morrisons

Five wins out of five matches!

Young Reds Reports

Good to be back on a Grass Pitch!

Linlithgow U13 50 – 7 Morrisons U13

Report by Stuart Ritchie

It was good to be back on the grass after spending many weeks on the 3G!

Confidence was high after some really good training sessions with the hope that we would put our training into a competitive performance on the pitch.

The key thing we talked about was having a strong first 5-10 minutes – and it happened!

The first ‘third’ ended with us 28-0 up. Our defence was strong in pressing the opposition into errors throughout the whole game. This pressure resulted in an opening try for Marshall speeding down the line after being released by Archie. The same 2 players led the breakaway after a good counter ruck by Callum, with Fergus scoring. Some more excellent counter rucking by Lyle and Zac led to a break by Rory with Blair finishing things off for another 5 points. Rory then managed to finish things off himself shortly after with a strong run from the 22, demonstrating the hand-off practice from Monday! All 4 tries were converted by Fergus who had an excellent day place kicking.

The players were definitely looking and sounding sharper in their own motivation and team discussions. The second ‘third’ opened with some smart thinking from Eric, Archie and Fergus who took the ball to the blindside from the scrum, passed down the line with Fergus scoring. Our defensive pressure paid off again and as the Morrisons defence began to tire Fergus made a break from the halfway line to score again. This was quickly followed by a Linlithgow break with a number of direct penetrative runs down the wing pinning the Morrisons defence back with a sharp finish by Callum at speed who was unstoppable so close to the line. More tight interplay between Callum and Rory led to a break from Blair and the 4th try of the section was scored. Fergus made it 8 out of 8 with conversions – no mean feat!

The final third was technically a development session. Morrisons started strongly playing to the whistle after a Linlithgow knock-on and taking advantage of space and scoring in the corner – as was the theme of the day, this was superbly converted. 

Straight from the kick off from another turnover Lyle broke away and was well supported by Jack who crossed the line for the score. 

Soon after was the score of the day when 2nd row Rory started running from our 22, had a quick ‘one-two’ with Archie at the halfway line and then proceeded to run down the other half of the pitch to score under the posts. 

Another 2 conversions for Fergus!

Lyle was determined to have the highest running yards tally of the day and broke away with Marshall being released and scoring his second try of the day, converted by Archie.

Callum scored another with a mazy run from the half way line and finally Lyle got the try he really deserved for his work-rate in the whole match following good interplay between Louis, Blair and Archie.

All the squad had good match time and special mention to Harry and Ethan who had their best games of the season. And thank you to the injured squad members for coming to support their teammates.

Playing squad: Ali, Archie, Blair, Callum, Eric, Ethan, Fergus, Harry, Jack, Louis, Lyle, Marshall, Matthew, Oscar, Rory, Zac.

Big Crowd Treated to 10 Try Performance

Linlithgow U15  70 – 19  Morrison’s Academy U15

Report by Phil McCavish

The S3 Young Reds put on a good performance for their biggest crowd of the year – despite the fact that they had to cope with an abnormal pre-game preparation by not spending 90 minutes in a bus going on a tour of central Scotland before the game.

The Reds quickly gained the ascendancy in the first half with Connor running in two tries and Cammy adding another before Morrisons got one back to make the score 21-7. Jack scored a try and Connor completed his first half hat trick to make the score 35-7 at halftime.

Connor added another try after the halftime break before deciding his work was done for the day to make the score 42-7. Morrisons then staged a mini revival to score two tries of their own to make the score 42-19 before the Young Reds remembered the half time talk about the dangers of complacency.

Matthew, Jack, Angus and Ali Mc, then added a further four tries to make the full-time score 70-19.

Matthew kicked 9 conversions (somehow Jack nicked the ball from him to kick one of the conversions) which means that he has kicked 16 successful conversions out of 16 attempts in the last two weeks – the referee was heard muttering something about kicking 4 successful conversions out of 4 back in his heyday….Matthew was heard muttering something about it being down to hard work rather than genetics.

So it was a crowd pleasing performance by the Young Reds, although the glass half empty coaches would perhaps have preferred to have conceded fewer tries. The team have worked hard on their attacking structure in training over December and January and the outcome of this can be seen in the 17 converted tries that have been scored in the last two games. The challenge going forward will be to maintaining the attacking intent whilst not compromising the defensive structure that has been built up over the last year.

Another Strong Outing for U16s

Morrisons 12 – 43 Linlithgow

Report by Gordon Muir

Linlithgow U16 headed north to Crieff for a friendly versus Morrisons Academy on a bright and blustery Saturday morning. After a few weeks of restricted-squad cup matches, it was great to be able to take all available players and give everyone some game time. Morrisons are not blessed with the same squad size at U16 and it was a well drilled but quite light weight home team who lined up to receive the kick off. 

Having been beaten at the breakdown by Currie last week, we looked for a reaction in that area from the Young Reds and were pleased to see improvements in speed and accuracy at the ruck, backed up by a robust physicality that saw the visitors gain ground. The traditionally strong Linlithgow scrum was on show once again, creating front-foot ball from which Finn was able to crash over for the first try, skillfully converted by Ruairi despite the gusty conditions. 

Linlithgow showed good attacking shape straight from the kickoff, with strong running and some real fluency as they tried to move the home defence around the narrow pitch. The windy weather made tactical kicking a bit of a challenge but, undaunted, Ruiari pulled a pinpoint cross-field kick out of his box of tricks which was, not for the first time this season, eagerly gathered by Calum H who ran in for the day’s second try. 

A few home truths shared among the Morrisons team behind the posts led to a galvanised side coming back up for kick off. Their attack found a little more cohesion and, helped by a couple of penalties for some untidy play from their guests, they worked their way up into the Linlithgow 22 where they quickly found a way through a defence that had been a little slow to number up – a timely reminder of how easy it can be to let the opposition back into the game. 

With so many players available for the match (particularly in the outside backs, where we had five centres and six wingers!), it was time to ring some early changes. It’s fair to say that the first of these made an impact on the match. Rory M came on at fullback and, hitting the line late for his first touch of the ball, cut through the home defence rather like a young Duhan Van De Merwe (but with longer hair) to score an excellent try. A flurry of changes followed, as Linlithgow rotated the bench, including a first U16 appearance for Dart, who announced his presence with a thunderous tackle on a Morrisons back row who made the mistake of taking on Dart’s wing.

It was a credit to the whole team to see how every player fit into their role so that the shape and structure, both in attack and defence, remained strong despite the number of personnel changes being made. That made it hard for Morrisons to gain a foothold in attack and meant that the Young Reds could go consistently forward with the ball in hand; and so it felt somewhat inevitable that the visitors would round off the scoring for the half and once again it was our “junior Duhan”, Rory M who crossed for the try. 

Early in the second half, Linlithgow were back on the scoresheet, this time courtesy of Euan J who had been running hard and making great yardage all day. A couple of home injuries meant a second half run out in opposition colours for Ethan S, who would have been pleased to overhear a Morrisons spectator observe that their best player was the Linlithgow boy! To Ethan’s credit, he fairly took the game to his teammates and gave them some important go-forward which ultimately contributed to the hosts’ second try of the day. By this time it felt like something of a consolation as the play was all Linlithgow, despite so many players filling in in unfamiliar positions. There was still time for plenty of good running from the replacement backs in particular, who were energetic, organised and skilful throughout; as well as time for two last Linlithgow tries – a brilliant intercept for Euan and the conclusion of a top-class hat-trick from Rory

The game finished 43-12 and, after a quick bite and chat with Morrisons, the scene was set to head home and see if the Scotland team could replicate the Linlithgow form and deliver an equally convincing away win.