Madrascals p4 - Report
|Madrascals||vs||Ayr, Currie, Edinburgh Accies, Heriots, Howe of Fife, Melrose, Stewarts Melville, Stirling & Watsons|
Spectacular Home Tournament
In a full day of glorious sunshine the P4's battled it out against Scotland's best at the Madrascals 2012 Home Tournament.
Madrascals Blues were represented by; Rory Angus, Charlie Thomson, Douglas Jack, Harry Paul, Max Musgrave, Micah van Blerk, Ben Birrell, Will Rust and Angus Cook.
Madrascals Saints were represented by; Hamish Noble, Tristan Bruce, Finn McCallum, Ruaridh Griffiths, Jock Robertson, Callum Herzog, Sam Thompson and Jamie Weir.
In the first game against the Howe Blues the Madrascals Blues got off to an attacking start and with a brilliant run down the line Angus was the first to score. Ben followed with another try as the Madrascals team pushed through a well defended Howe line. In a theme which was to continue throughout the game, Will used the training instilled in the team over the last few matches and took full advantage of the field to escape the Howe defence and land a try in the corner. Madras were on the attack and soon Angus battled through with another try. A high tackle by Madrascals was blown but they didn't let this turnover of possession stop them and soon Douglas had pushed through for the 5th try. Suddenly it was the turn of Howe to fight back and they landed their first try of the match. However it was quickly answered by try number 6 scored by Rory making it 6-1 to Madrascals at half time. The second half was much the same as the first with Madrascals dominating the try scoring with Will, Harry and Ben all touching down. Howe fought back a little harder and landed a few more tries, but the final whistle saw the Madrascals Blues victorious with a final score of 11-4.
Saints first game saw them face one of the brightest P4 teams they have ever encountered, Heriots, who quickly dominated the game, scoring two fast run tries before the Madrascals awakened to the prospect before them. Madrascals settled down, drew on their foundations, and opened up the game by passing the ball wide to the wing, allowing Callum to leg it down the touch line to place an easy try in the corner. This must have incensed Heriots and the first half saw them put a further 3 ties on the scoreboard. The second half commenced in a similar vein with Heriots running a fast try through the Madrascals defence. Saints again managed to find their bearings, and through dedicated forward running, clever offloading, and subtle shimmying, Finn scored a brilliant try for Madrascals. Again though, Heriots bounced back, and Madrascals were subjected to a barrage of well run attacking moves by Heriots that allowed them to score a further 3 tries. Final score Heriots 9, Saints 2.
Madrascals Blues second match saw them play Currie. There was a hesitant start to the game as the boys sized each other up. The Madrascals Blues scored the first try but this was followed by a slower, harder fought game in which neither team seemed to make headway. Suddenly, no doubt aided by his small size, Micah emerged from a messy pack to land the second try in the far corner of the field. Excellent teamwork led to a brilliant run by Charlie who was able to dodge and weave his way to try number three. Score 3-0 at half time. A knock on by Madrascals was the start of some error strewn matches later on and broke Max's run for what would have been try number four. Nevertheless a good run by Angus set Douglas up for a great try and by this time Currie seemed to be losing heart. Further tries by Max and Douglas sealed the victory, despite losing possession a few times because of knock on's. They were to pay for these mistakes in the following matches. Final score was a hard fought 6 - 0 to the Madrascals Blues which did not reflect the heroic tackling by a brave Currie side.
Saints second match was against Ayr, and opened with Saints sending a well worked attack deep into Ayr’s half, with Ruaridh stopped yards from Ayr’s try line by a push into touch. Ayr worked hard from their re-start and great passing allowing them to put the first try on the score board. Madrascals were not to be deterred though, and quickly responded by running wide allowing Callum to score. Ayr restarted well, and Saints failed to make the necessary tackles, allowing Ayr to enter the half time break 2 – 1 up. The second half saw both teams run end to end, but Ayr’s better defence allowed them the advantage, and despite excellent running and passing by Madrascals, allowing tries by Callum, Jamie, and Tristan who, like a steamroller, cut a swathe through the Ayr defence. Final score Ayr 7, Saints 4.
Filled with confidence the Blues started the game against Melrose. With a tough match ahead, Madrascals Blues allowed Melrose to quickly break free and score the first try. With a great struggle Max fought through a strong defence to answer the first effort by Melrose and scored the Madrascals Blues first try. The match slowed and hard tackling was evident on both sides as the battle for the next try went on. Melrose scored again and soon after both teams learned a lesson in sportsmanship after a high tackle led to an unpleasant incident on the sidelines. Half time couldn't have come at a better time and gave everyone the opportunity to calm down a reassess their strategy. However the second half was dominated by the strong tackling Melrose team. Max made a brave run but was brought down by strong tackles. Despite this Douglas and Ben were able to get through for one more each, but it was not enough. The Madrascals Blues went down 3-7 to Melrose. It was a team the Madrascals Blues may have beaten with more disciplined play, but it would have been a hard game under any circumstances.
The third Saints game was against their second Edinburgh opponent, Watsons. The first half commenced with end to end runs by the team in possession, with neither defensive line able to stop the excellent wide running wings. Watsons defence had the better of it though, allowing the Watsons to end the first half 4 – 2 up, Saints tries by Jock and Callum. The second half saw the Saints defence find it hard to cope under repeated Watsons attacks allowing Watsons to run four further tries without response. Despite the final score of Watsons 9, Saints 2, it was clear from the Saints play, that the score line did not reflect the commitment of the Madras players.
The fourth Blues game against Edinburgh Accies was characterised by heroic defence by both teams. Although Madrascals were clearly the stronger team, Accies did not waver in their defence throughout the entire game. First half scores by Charlie and Douglas were all that Accies allowed through and they went to half time 2-0 down. The second half was characterised by the same big-hearted play by Accies and the errors made by Madrascals Blues did not help their situation. Madrascals were blown for playing the ball on the ground, constantly losing possession as a result and were repeatedly forced into touch very near the try line by the brave Accies side. Although Accies made some good runs, Madrascals defended well and this earned them a victory in what was otherwise an error strewn game by the Madrascals. Final score was 2 - 0.
Saints faced up to Stewarts Melville in their fourth game, and following their recent visit to the Lion’s tournament, approached the field with trepidation. That apprehension was well founded as Stew Mel quickly rifled through the Madras defence to score two tries, before Madras answered with a try by Callum. Stew Mel again took possession, and Saints were unable to defend against great running from Stew Mel that allowed them to put a further two tries their way. Saints fought back valiantly, and well worked moves by the team, saw an excellent run by Jock allow them to enter the half time break behind by one point at 4 – 3. Saints blazed onto the pitch in the second half and despite heroic defence by Stew Mel, Ruaridh’s determination allowed him to ground the ball for Saints equalising try. Stewarts Melville were quick to respond and breaking two tackles by a slow Saints defence, were soon to take the lead again. Saints rallied at the restart, and with good forward movement through a dogged and determined defence, Jamie managed to stretch an extra inch or two to place a well earned try over the line. Unfortunately, a lack of defensive tackles by the Saints thereafter saw them lose the game 10 – 5.
The final game against Stirling had the coach using all his powers of persuasion to rally the team, but one suspects he knew that they were going to struggle given the mistakes which were mounting as the tournament progressed. A fast attack by Stirling was stopped dead by Madrascals. After some scrappy play a good run down the line by Micah gained territory and set Max up to score the first try. Stirling answered quickly with their first try and the game was on. Max scored again but it was again answered by a Stirling try as the teams went neck and neck for a while. Douglas saved the first half by levelling the scores 3-3 at half time, but the sense that Stirling were the stronger team was unmistakeable. In the second half Stirling quickly dominated with some good runs and some hard tackles taking the score to 6- 3 in their favour. Quick substitutions allowed the Madrascal Blues to come back well at the end of the game with tries by Max and Harry, but the final whistle blew with the score at 6-5 in Stirling's favour.
Saints final game was against the Howe Whites. Howe fielded, without doubt, the biggest player of the tournament, and used him to their advantage, passing the ball up to him, to watch him step through the Saints players desperately grappling on to try and slow the leviathan from scoring the first two tries of the match. Madrascals soon got the measure of the Howe game plan, and once the giant was outsmarted by Finn, Saints soon showed Howe the expansive, running game they are capable of, allowing well run tries by Callum (2), Jock and Ruaridh before half time. The second half was a closely fought game, with both teams passing the ball wide to send the wings running through the defending lines to score. Howe, on this occasion, managed to close down the Saints attacks to their advantage and despite further great tries by Ruaridh, Callum and Jock, Howe sneaked the victory at 8 – 7.
All in all it was a great day of rugby for players and spectators alike, some great rugby was on display, some good lessons were learned and there is no doubt that the Madrascals can compete with the best in P4 rugby in Scotland. A huge thank you must be made to all the coaches, referees and tournament helpers that made the day the most spectacular tournament in Scotland’s mini rugby fixture list.
Report by Mike Musgrave and Curt Herzog.