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.
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.