Scottish Rugby News and Opinion


Age Grade Takeaways: Edinburgh vs Borders & East Lothian

Age Grades
© Scottish Rugby Blog

Edinburgh’s age-grade sides won two from three in the second leg of the age-grade Regional Championships at Lasswade Tuesday and our man Moody Blue was watching on. Here are ten points he took away from the day’s games between Edinburgh and the Borders & East Lothian.

BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy Regional Championship
Tuesday 24 th July 2018 at Lasswade

Edinburgh U16 45 – 45 The Borders & East Lothian U16
Edinburgh U18 31 – 12 The Borders & East Lothian U18
Edinburgh U20 54 – 17 The Borders & East Lothian U20

Ten Takeaways from the Games

1. In the battle of Russell v Rutherford at Stand Off in the Under 16 game, Matthew Russell of Stewarts Melville scored 2 tries and 5 conversions, while Harrison Rutherford of Gala scored 3 tries, but it was Rutherford who impressed most with his vision, sidestep, range of passing and time on the ball.

2. Aidan Boyle and Bruce McNulty, again of Stewarts Melville, stood out in the backs firstly for their bleached hair highlights, but also for their work rate, speed and ball handling ability.

3. Borders & East Lothian U16 had the outstanding player on the field in No 8 Rudi Brown of Melrose / Merchiston. A rangy No 8 with good hands and plenty of stamina, he never stopped trying and dragged his team back into the game on more than one occasion when all seemed lost.

4. In a poor Under 18 game, Michael Jones of Lasswade High School stood out in the Edinburgh back row for his direct running and powerful tackling. A young John Barclay in the making – and a famous name for a back row to boot.

5. Ethan McVicker, the Boroughmuir 9, played like a young Ali Price with two speed settings – fast and very fast; Cameron Scott had great hands in the centre and the leggy Fettes back three player Harry Patterson had an eye for the gap.

6. A poor Borders & East Lothian side struggled for any momentum in the game but Rhys Tait, the Hawick flanker, stood out for his work rate and linking play.

7. The outstanding team on the evening was Edinburgh Under 20 with their varying half backs giving them control throughout the game. They started with Robbie Davis at 9 and George Goodenough at 10; brought Patrick Ritchie on at 9, and moved Davis to 10, and finished with Goodenough back on at 9, and Ritchie moving to 10. Great versatility all round. You should expect to see Davis and Goodenough push on to the Scotland U20s set up this year.

8. Lomond McPherson, the Watsons winger, neither looks particularly big, nor fast, but he certainly has a nose for the try line. He scored 4 tries in the game, and every one of them showcased different skills. He could beat a man on the outside for speed, stand up an opponent with a side step, cut an angle off a scrum through the midfield. He had the lot.

9. I hadn’t seen any of the Edinburgh back rows in action before, but the blend of the powerful Kit Buchan, the rangy Callum Rowberry, and the ground work of Gavin Inkster was outstanding.

10. Roan Frostwick, from North Berwick, and now playing at Currie, looks a thoroughbred. In a team that struggled to get parity anywhere against dominant opposition, his game management skills looked top drawer.

Previous results:

Caledonia Regional Championship
Caledonia U16 12-5 Glasgow & the West
Caledonia U16 28-27 Glasgow & the West
Caledonia U16 55-40 Glasgow & the West

Next stop for the age grade Regional Championships is Broadwood Stadium in Cumbernauld, this Sunday 29th July. All four regional age-grade sides will be in action at U16 and U18 level from 12 noon and admission is free.

18 Responses

  1. Well at least we now know that one guy with a cover up name is watching kids..

    Left a bad taste in the mouth to be honest. dont think talent this young should be showed off. Let the SRU and the local clubs manage their wellbeing and development.

    The article is well written and some thought has gone into it so i will give you some credit for that at least.

    1. Moody Blue has been writing for the site far longer than you’ve been commenting, on all levels of the game but focusing on club and age grade. You can keep your poor attempts at humour to yourself please Neil.

  2. Good article Moody Blue. I enjoy reading your stuff as it’s good to hear about good young players coming through. I don’t know WTF Neil is on about.

  3. Nice article Moody Blue, thanks. This is the first many of us in the more far-flung corners and otherwise will here about these lads coming through and it’s always nice to know who/what’s on the radar. If Goodenough makes the grade then he’s going to be a headline writer’s dream!

  4. Neil has really shamed himself.

    Good article. Always good to look forward to seeing some of these names on pro team or even Scotland team sheets in the future.

  5. I’m ashamed of Neil’s comment. He maybe thinks all sports journalists are just there for the bare legs. Obviously meant to be funny but most of his posts are slightly immature, to be honest, so maybe he’s at that difficult age.
    The article caught my eye just because of the detail. I’m looking forward to Lomond McPherson (what a name) getting a pro contract. Sounds like a natural successor to Sean Maitland (not particularly big or fast, but scoring tries with a mixture of nous and skill).

  6. I made the U20’s game and was also impressed by Lomond McPherson. It would have been hard not to be as his 4 tries were all from decent range and as Moody Blue says they were all different. He also got himself yellow carded for illegally killing a Borders attack and didn’t seem shy of a tackle.

  7. It has nothing to do with immaturity.

    I just wouldnt want my kids being advertised at that young an age for a multitude of reasons.

    Yes the SRU should have reports on the performances etc, but it shouldnt be shown to every Tom/Dick and Harry, These players are only kids after all.

    1. There is something really unnerving about your comments. What you are hinting at makes me wonder what’s really going on in your head when watching rugby.

  8. Interesting to read up on age grade rugby. And despite what Neil thinks great for those named to see their name in the press, must be a proud moment for them and their families.

    What chance BBC Alba might start showing some of these games? You can bet S4C would be showing them if they were in Wales.

    1. I know the father of one of the Edinburgh u20 squad. He is as proud as punch of his lad (rightly so), and doesn’t spare sharing it on social media. As you say James, a proud moment for all concerned to make progress up the representative ladder.

      And it would be great to see these games covered on BBC Alba. S4C cover Welsh games at all levels, and the schools game in NZ is given a very high profile.

      Yes, younger players should be allowed to develop and learn to play without fear of making a mistake, but that doesn’t mean it has to be behind closed doors.

      1. I think the Irish schools cup final is televised as well, possibly other games over there as well. Now that the beeb has lost Pro14 rights it’d be good to see them show some other rugby instead: schools; age grade; prem1.

  9. Hi all, just wondering if there will be a write up of the fixtures this weekend and if @moodyblue will be in attendance?

    I attended the Caledonia vs Glasgow fixtures U16’s and 18’s fixtures last weekend in Aberdeen and was very impressed by the under 18’s game . I was there to watch two of my pupils both representing Caledonia – the Stephen brothers, Callum and Alasdair, at under 16’s and 18’s respectively.

    Thoughts on the 16’s game were that overall it was a poor fixture and very stop start in nature due to it being the first time these teams had come together. There were lots of handling errors and a lot of penalties conceded also.

    Caledonia Hooker Archie Falconer (Ellon) showed up well in the loose and scored two tries and No 12 Callum Beckett (Stirling County) had the moment of the match to set up Falconer’s second try with a BO’D through the legs no look pass. No 10 Adam Wight (Merchiston Castle) looked to move the play quickly and showed up well.

    In the 18’s game player of the match would be no 12 for Caledonia Harry Mercer. He had an excellent sidestep, carries hard and had excellent use of the ball. Also second rows Alex Samuel (Madras)and Gregor brown (Robert Gordon’s) were very effective in the set piece and in the loose making yards and having soft hands. This game was played at a real pace and was a lot more polished than the 16’s. Defences were broken easier and there was lots more offloading causing line breaks compared to the 16’s matches.

    I realise I have not spoken about Glasgow but TBH I was there to support my pupils and Caledonia so thought I could at least give a small run down of players to look for and speak about the games.

    I hope there is a write up of this weeks games as it’s great to hear of players coming through. Keep up the good work.

    1. Mark, sadly I was only able to pop in to Broadwood for one game on Sunday – the Caley U16s v Bords U16s. The boys you highlighted from last week – Falconer, Beckett and Wight – all showed up well again. We seem to be producing a good wee production line of visionary 10s – Goodenough and Wight both fit the bill – in the mould of George Horne. The problem is that like Horne found, its difficult to play 10 at the top level with big forwards coming down that channel, without some physicality. I wonder if they will end up moving to 9 like Horne in the future? The Dundee 8 Keough and Stirling 7 Lynn also showed up well for Caley 16s. Sadly not long enough viewing to give any more detailed observations fairly

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