Young Scots take first strides

Last weekend saw under-16s across the nation turnout for their local U16 Pathway Teams against their counterparts within their regions.

Senior regional academy manager, Grant McKelvey, said “I’m sure the players will have learned a lot from their experiences last week and we’re expecting more of the same competitive rugby this week."

"I know that our volunteer coaches will be working with their players throughout this week to prepare them as best they can for week two and the players will be looking forward to this week’s games to represent their respective Pathway Teams.”

“We will have a tough selection meeting mid-August when we come to assess the players performances and look to selecting c55 players for the National under-16 Player Development Camp in October”.

Match Reports from Sunday 11th August

GLASGOW

All of the matches were played in excellent sunny conditions with a fair wind affecting the kicking especially from tee. Lochinch rugby club hosted the four games, which featured 22 tries for the strong crowd of supporters, friends, and family.

Hurricanes 10 – 5 Giants

The game was for the most part characterised by a fiercely contested breakdown area resulting in a scrappy game which the Hurricanes managed to edge. However, when the ball was moved wide and some continuity was achieved both teams looked dangerous. Hurricanes tries were scored by Aaron Purewal and Craig McCall. Gregor Paxton was the only scorer for the Giants.

Warriors 10 – 5 Chiefs

Chiefs opened the scoring through a powerful break by Peter Steele early in the first-half. The match soon swung in the Warriors favour with Stafford McDowell’s strong running setting the tone for the comeback. Efforts were soon rewarded, with Lewis Young and McDowell both scoring tries to clinch the game. Special mention must be made of prop Paul Cairncross of East Kilbride RFC whose performance was described as “outstanding.”

Giants 20 – 15 Chiefs

This free-flowing game was defined by the excellent handling and dynamic line-breaks shown by both teams which all came as a result of the hard-graft at the breakdown area, giving the backs clean ball. Scott Derrick claimed a brace of tries for the Giants with two more tries coming from Charlie Lonegran and Campbell Gibson. Iain Davidson, Lewis McFie, and Craig Mckenzie were on the score-sheet for the Chiefs as they narrowly lost out to the Giants.

Warriors 25 – 20 Hurricanes

Hurricanes fired into the lead as they scored four tries in the first-half with only one reply. Hurricanes’ tries courtesy of Aaron Purewall, Craig McCall, Ryan Sweeney, and Peter Burns. However, powerful running by Stafford McDowell and Aaron Tait kindled a comeback with Thomas Watkins, Elliot Skeoch, Stafford McDowell, and Aaron Tait who scored two, all on the score-sheet for the Warriors.

EDINBURGH, THE BORDERS & EAST LOTHIAN

The weekend got underway in the east at the 3G arena, at Netherdale allowing for free-flowing and fast-paced rugby. There were 150 players in total as they took their first steps towards the regional selection for the Edinburgh and Borders squads at the end of the season. 42 schools and 21 clubs were represented in the six development teams on the day. The 792 spectators present throughout the day were treated to a total of 22 tries.

Eastern Stormers 10 - 25 Capital Crusaders

The first game of the August pathway in the east saw the Capital Crusaders starting the stronger working well within the contact and constantly shifting the point of attack. The first try came from a strong Jack Paterson run and offload to Kenneth Drummond which was followed by electric pace from Ross McCann to leave the Crusaders clear at half-time. The Stormers pulled themselves back into the game with a try from centre Calum Young worked from a well-rehearsed lineout. The Crusaders then upped the tempo to score a further three tries led by strong-running prop Finlay Richardson, winger Paterson scoring his second. Robbie Chalmers finished the Stormers points for the day with Gilroy scoring his second to end the game 25 - 10 winners.

Western Warriors 32 - 10 Eastern Eagles

The first-half presented a feast of rugby for the spectators with end-to-end rugby shown by both sides resulting in Murray Watson finishing off the opening score for Eastern Eagles. Sam Cooke added to their lead from a quick tap penalty move, and a sidestep which took him over the line. Warriors replied through a break from captain Kyle Brunton who passed to Harry Borthwick showing good support to score. The second half swung in the Warriors’ favour as they took control and scored five unanswered tries demonstrating good vision, handling and pace to win 32 -10. Tries for the Warriors came from Thomas Kelin, an Aiden Turner hat-trick, and a second try for Borthwick.

East Lothian Falcons 36 – 12 Western Chargers

East Lothian Falcons demonstrated an excellent first-half performance of defensive physicality mixed with expansive and accurate attacking rugby. An early try scored by Harry Bowles and conversion from Alex Mackay set the Falcons underway. This was followed by a length-of-the-field try involving almost all of the team with Jake Roulstane finishing off. The conversion again followed. The Chargers responded with some good facets of play but were unable to finish their opportunities whilst the Falcons ruthlessly finished a further try through John Gardener. The second-half started positively for the Chargers as fly-half Fraser Wright scored after several phases and a conversion added to the scoreboard. An immediate response came from the Falcons through centre Cammy Hutchison barging his way over to cancel out the score. Danny Darrie scored a great individual try with ample footwork and pace to extend the Falcons lead. This was followed after more pressure by the Falcons and a period of play in the tight capped off by a try for Thomas Hamilton. The Chargers ended the game with a deserved try from the restart to rumble over through prop Ross Dunbar.

CENTRAL

Only one match was featured at Kirkcaldy RFC with friends and family turning out to support the teams.

Central 0 – 29 Tayside & Fife

The first 20 minutes was dominated by Tayside possession as tries came from Matt Agerson, Ross McFarlane, and an excellent chip and re-gather by Ewan Fox who also slotted a conversion. Central soon battened down the hatches as they held out their opponents until half-time. Central came out stronger in the second-half as they took up the lion’s share of possession, but couldn’t convert their efforts. Tayside then came into their own and with a little more class from their outside backs, they then scored two late tries, another for Matt Fagerson, and the other scored by Bill Murray which was converted by Fox. A great effort by both sides, Tayside&Fife featured some skilled individuals which produced the try of the match when the ball was handled by seven players out of the back field before a Ross McFarlane touchdown. But credit to Central as they toiled away and disrupted a lot of the Tayside flare. Hopefully they will look to capitalise on their hard work from last weekend’s efforts for this Sunday’s fixture.

NORTH

One match was played at the home of Highland RFC, Canal Park in Inverness.

Highlands & Islands 20 – 38 North East

Aiden Kent’s men hailing from the Highlands and Islands won the battle upfront on the day with relentless go forward and physical ball carrying resulting in four tries from Leigh Ryder, Ciarian Drever, Konnor Prittchet, and Cameron Grant. However it wasn’t enough to stop the North East’s pace and handling in their backline which produced well-worked long-range tries. Jamie Rae and Connor Anderson both scored one a piece with standout player Bruce Sorbet scoring four tries. Both sets of coaches commented on how high the standard of the fixture was and the improvement shown in the players.

This Sunday 18 August will see another round of matches between the local area teams.

Matches this Sunday 18 August:
Lasswade RFC, Hawthornden:
East Lothian Falcons v Capital Crusaders – 12.00pm;
Western Warriors v Western Chargers – 1.30pm;
Eastern Stormers v Eastern Eagles – 3pm
Kinross RFC: Central v Highlands & Islands – 12 noon

Woodside, Aberdeen: North East v Tayside & Fife – 1pm

Braidholm, Glasgow:
Hurricanes v Chiefs – 10.30am
Warriors v Giants – 11am
Giants v Hurricanes – 11.30am
Warriors v Chiefs – 12 noon.