Scots Lose Out Physical Irish

Scottish University Rugby concluded their programme of three games with a visit from Irish Colleges the evening before the International at Murrayfield. In an exciting and entertaining game at Lasswade in front of a voluble crowd, Irish Colleges emerged victors 11-36.

From the outset the Irish developed numerous phases of play with an intense physical edge, dominating the midfield through powerful running forwards, using quickly recycled ball to keep the Scottish defence working extremely hard.

 

Scottish University Rugby concluded their programme of three games with a visit from Irish Colleges the evening before the International at Murrayfield. In an exciting and entertaining game at Lasswade in front of a voluble crowd, Irish Colleges emerged victors 11-36.

From the outset the Irish developed numerous phases of play with an intense physical edge, dominating the midfield through powerful running forwards, using quickly recycled ball to keep the Scottish defence working extremely hard.

The momentum was all with Irish Colleges, whenever Scottish kicked to relieve terriotorial pressure the Irish wingers rather than produce a kick and chase, as has become so predominant at the top level, ran back at Scottish with great effect, once more setting up the forwards to carry the ball into the Scottish defence. Irish Colleges scored three tries in 14 minutes without reply leaving Scottish a 17 point total to chase. Handling errors and poor body positions in the drive broke up promising Scottish play. A Lyle penalty  just before half time gave Scottish their first points.In an hard fought 40 miniutes centres Saunders and Lyle displayed resolute defence, ably supported by backrow duo Dunnett and Mckenzie. 

Playing into a stiff breeze in the second half Scottish certainly came more into the game, Saunders cutting sharp angles against a drifting defence was able to link more effectively with the forwards. From one incursion Lyle added a further penalty when the Irish did not move away in the tackle. Once again the Irish raised their efforts to run in three tries, the last the pick of the bunch when right wing Harte was on the end of a passage of play accross the width of the pitch, in finishing he displayed electifying pace to score between the posts. Not taking anything away from the Irish a couple of their tries did have a suggestion of forward passes and the linesmen did not appear to be in unison with the referee throughout the evening. This seemed to galvanise Scottish who received just reward for some enterprising rugby when Saunders crashed over in the corner. Two more Scottish tries went a begging in the final ten minutes when a little more precison in the pass was required.

Coach Chris Reekie was disappointed with the final result, yet overall the season can be viewed as progress in developing Scottish Universities competetive position. He recognised "there is a genuine desire to be involved in the squad, very evident when some players withdrew before the Irish match due to League commitments and others stepped up to perform exceptionally well. To improve performance and results requires players to recognise crtitical areas of performance, developing improved communication, one on one tackling, support lines of running and clinical finishing when in behind defences. With the limited window of time around University life every opportunity together needs to deliver positive improvmentt".

We are very keen to organise an annual dinner for Scottish Universities Rugby. We see this as a further building block in growing the community of all those who are involved in playing rugby not only for the representative side but  for all Scottish universities, both past and present.

It will be an occasion for team mates and friends to share in the friendship rugby brings throughout years to come, and for those who have moved away to rekindle old memories and acquaintances.

Organising a dinner will also demonstrate our ambition to raise funds through our own efforts to assist in supporting the future aims of Scottish University Rugby. All those playing rugby at University can be the trailblazers for those who come after you laying the foundation for an improved Scottish Universities Rugby experience.

A dinner is proposed for Friday 1st May with guest speakers at Stirling County Rugby Club to which everyone interested in supporting Scottish University Rugby is invited. The likely cost would be £25/head.

Only by putting in the effort, making the commitment, can we further the experiences Scottish University Rugby can deliver. And enjoy ourselves doing so.

Match report courtesy of SUS.