U14s Reach Cup Semi-Finals at Stirling Sevens
The U14 boys performed well in reaching the semi-final at their first ever Sevens tournament
Stirling in the sunshine on Sunday was a great setting for a Sevens competition that brought out some of the best U14 teams across Scotland.
It was Perthshire's first outing in the abbreviated game, and they surpassed all expectations by making it as far as the main Cup semi-finals, before losing out to Currie (the eventual winners of the tournament).
The boys were drawn in a tough group with Boroughmuir, McLaren, Stirling and Glasgow Hawks (McLaren pulled out late in the day and so the three other teams were awarded a 'walk-over win'. In some strange re-scheduling, Perth had to play in the opening two games of the group (losing 7-8 to Boroughmuir, before defeating Stirling 19-0).
It looked initially like it might be a hard day at the office as Boroughmuir didn't let us have a sniff of the ball for the first few minutes. But the Perth defence was outstanding with real commitment shown in the tackle, and when finally we got chances to attack, the boys were clinical in their finishing. A Boroughmuir try was sandwiched between two Alex Bergin tries (one converted by Blair) and we led 7-4 with time up on the clock. With the last play of the game, we were penalised for hands in the ruck on the opposition try-line; Muir spread the ball wide to their 'flyer' and when we didn't close him down quick enough he went the length of the pitch for the winning score. The conversion sailed over, and suddenly we were on the end a gutting single point defeat.
The disappointment of the previous game might have had an effect on the boys, but the reverse was true; they simply blew Stirling away in the second match. A dominant forward performance from Forbes, Blair, Angus and Alex McKenzie lay the foundation, and as a result we ran in five unanswered tries from Jonathon, Alex B, Ross, Noah and Alex M (Noah's try was one of the best team tries we have seen in a long time, with the ball shifted through multiple hands, great lines of attack and a stunning finish). Four of the team tries were converted either by Struan or Blair). Final score 19-0.
In the final game, we lost 4-17 to a very impressive Glasgow Hawks side. Our only try in the game was a cracker from Forbes. With Glasgow Hawks recording four out of four wins, they emerged as winners of the group. Ourselves, Boroughmuir and Stirling all finished with two wins, but Perthshire secured second spot in the group courtesy of a better points difference than the other two sides. As such, we progressed to the Cup knock-out stages - where the 'big boys awaited!
In our quarter-final we faced an aggressive Strathendrick side who took an early lead. However, the boys responded superbly and ran in three tries through Alex B (2) and Aedan (Struan converting twice). Once again, some of the handling was excellent, as was our ability to identify the space and beat the defenders. The final score was 11-3, and a well deserved top four spot secured.
On to the semi-final and the main pitch, where Currie awaited. Having already won all their group games and quarter-final very comfortably, we soon realised just why they have been unbeaten all season and have had much Sevens success this year as well. Their speed and athleticism was impressive, as was their tactical nous; they were dynamic and aggressive in everything they did and it was difficult to live with them at times. Perth battle hard, particularly in the second half where we enjoyed more territory, but we simply weren't able to secure enough ball to trouble the opposition. Currie ran in five unanswered tries to win 22-0. They then went on to beat Ayr in the final and lift the trophy.
And so the boys bowed out to the eventual winners of the competition at the semi-final stage, which is probably more than we ever expected to achieve. This was really good experience for them as a team, and a thoroughly enjoyable day for both the boys and parents who came along to support. Well done to all!
Forbes Wilson, Blair Mackenzie, Alex McKenzie, Angus Carracher, Aedan Milne, Ross Jackson, Struan Griffiths, Alex Bergin, Noah Schembri, Jonathon Dodd