The first game of the season for the S1/2 squad did not disappoint those watching on. The sun made a guest appearance and the rain stayed away.
At 11 a.m. sharp the squad of 19 boys took on their first opponents – Aberdeen. Thirteen of this squad are S1s and so this was a venture into new territory: a full size-pitch, contested scrums, contested line-outs, hand-offs, kicking anywhere, conversions, penalty kicks and 15 a-side. Startled hares in the headlights? No! This squad owned their half of the pitch for the first 15 minutes.
Little quarter was given and any ground given up was quickly recovered. Positions were held, scrums were smooth, line-outs were won. Support in contact at the ruck was the only area where the boys lacked discipline – possibly down to the larger area they now needed to cover as a team. The first score came from a break down the wing. The boys had resisted 3 other attacks on that side but this time an Aberdeen player found some space and the defenders were chasing all the way. First score to Aberdeen.
Prior to this game the S2 players were asked to lead the S1s by example and the S1s were asked to perform to the example set. This is how the game ran and how the boys equalled the score just moments later. The forward pack is an evenly balanced S1/S2 mix. It is the S2 forwards though that set the standard for the S1s to seize upon. Ewan, James and Mark forged deep, hard-hitting runs all game. The all-S1 front row of Benjamin, Joshua and Craig followed the example with their own attacks backed up by flankers Grant and Jack. Jack was appearing in his first game for the Club and showed spirit and determination beyond his limited time with the Club, one to watch for the future! The next try came from a deep run from James, pushed over by the forwards. The score would remain level until half-time.
The rest of the game ebbed-and-flowed. The pace never slowed. We discovered that the backs had some special moves of their own. Led out by Scott Anderson (we call him “Scott 2”) we saw moves from Scott 1, Cameron, Kevin and Rhys in the centre. Our various wingers throughout the game (Rowan, Samuel, Daniel and Logan) held their positions which was crucial against this team as that was their only way through us. Amodio, who held the 15 position until injury cut short his involvement in the first half, formed a very special centre pairing in the second half with Cameron - last year's P7 Player of the Year (Amodio) and last year's overall Wee Blues Player of the Year (Cameron) working in tandem together moving the ball quickly down field. We even saw a guest appearance by our hooker Craig as a back as he kicked the team out of danger from the try-line!
As injuries started to impact on the team, changes were needed as the game progressed. Harry stepped into scrum-half to release Scott 2 to No.10. Scott 2 is clearly the “general” of this team – he bossed the forwards into the contact and he directed the backs into position for quick, fast moves off the contact. All the time he, like all his fellow S2s, guided the S1s in their first “big pitch” adventure. Team-work of the highest order.
The game ended with an exchange of tries. First an identical wing break from Aberdeen – having pestered and probed both wide channels to no avail before finally getting a break. Then in a ferocious and non-stop period of direct play from the forwards, Ewan and his S2 forward pals gained ground with pick-and-go moves until they bundled over for a try right in front of the ref. The deciding factor in this game was one conversion from Aberdeen .
This group of boys held their heads high and were perfect representatives of the Club. They played a great game of rugby and should all be proud of their performances. The game was excellently marshaled by Bill Berry as referee and brilliantly supported by both teams.
Final Score: KRFC 6 (2 tries) Aberdeen 7 (2 tries and 1 conversion)
Squad: Ewan, Grant, Kevin, James, Mark, Scott (S2s); Joshua Amodio, Benjamin, Cameron, Craig, Daniel, Harry, Jack, Logan , Rhys, Rowan, Samuel, Scott (S1s)
Coaches: Collas, Dave, James