Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Blind Faith

So, if I thought losing against Heriot’s sucked, just exactly how bad was the Ayr game? It’s a question I’m not sure I want to answer, I don’t think I could do it without swearing more than Gordon Ramsey.

Instead, let’s focus on the potential for victory against West of Scotland at the weekend. The Milngavie side are level on points with us after eight games – I have to admit I’m surprised by that as I pegged them and Stirling for the drop this season, just shows you what I know.

They’ve certainly had some impressive results, including their defeat of fellow new boys Selkirk last week, and though they came pretty well unstuck at Millbrae, we all know that can happen to the best of teams.

Clearly, their success is purely down to the fact that they’ve been blinding the opposition with their kit. Seriously, it looks like something Stade Francais might sport if they were a bit more outlandish. I mean, I know West have their traditional colours (though who first put them together should be ashamed) but their version for this season does seem slightly over the top in the brightness stakes.

Having said that, and despite our form over the past two weeks, I’m fully expecting victory at Meggetland. Let’s face it, we need it. And I simply can’t believe that a group of players as talented as those we have can play so very badly for three games running.

I suppose it might be foolhardy to rely on blind faith, but if we lose I think I might have a few more things to worry about that me looking a bit stupid. And these players have done things over the past twelve months to engender a bit of blind faith, it’s the least they deserve for the memories of winning that league trophy. Now they just need to prove me right.
Photograph ©

Friday, 17 October 2008

Episode #9 - Bob McKillop, Mark Hare & Andy Hadden

In Episode 9 of the BRFC Podcast, we have reviews of the action from last weekend as well an interviews with Heriot's coach Bob McKillop, Scotland U-19 centre Mark Hare and returning 2nd XV fly-half Andy Hadden.

You can download the podcast via iTunes or by clicking here

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Losing Sucks

I don’t like watching Boroughmuir lose. That may seem an obvious thing to say, but it’s something I’ve become less and less used to over the past year and a bit. Indeed, the last time we lost at Meggetland was back in early 2007, so watching the boys capitulate against Heriot’s on Saturday was about as disappointed as I’ve been since we got forty points stuck on us by Aberdeen some two years ago.

Everything seemed to be going fine at half time, even Senior WebMonkey admitted that the game was ours for the taking. Confidence is such a fragile thing though, particularly in Boroughmuir hands, and glaring missed chances either side of the break appeared to shatter everything that had been built up in the previous few weeks.

As Heriot’s barged their way back into the match, ’Muir tried harder and harder to get their foothold back, throwing passes out of tackles and trying to run from everywhere. When it comes off, it looks spectacular, but the harder they tried against the Nails, the further and further they got from a coherent game.

That shouldn’t take away from Heriot’s performance in the second half. Their back row got in the faces of their Meggetland counterparts, and it’s very rare that such a unit will leave Meggetland thinking they’ve come out on top of the battle, such is the fearsome reputation that ’Muir’s loose forwards have built themselves.

This would also be a prudent time to issue my second apology in as many weeks. Before the match I was expressing an opinion that I felt Heriot’s winger David McCall wasn’t up to much if you avoided giving him any space. Remembering him from his Stewart’s Melville days, he was fast as lightning but didn’t have the guile to go with it.

Well, time spent with the Edinburgh bunch has certainly taught him a thing or two. There was one run in the first half when he appeared to have run out of space on five or six occasions, only to spot a gap and dance his way through it. It was a run that really deserved a try, but luckily Greg Cottrell wrapped himself round McCall’s legs and hung on for dear life.

Crowning his performance with two typical wingers’ scores was at very least what McCall deserved from the day, just as five points were exactly what Heriot’s deserved from their cross-city journey, if just for the ability they showed to take a chance when they found it. The only solace that can be taken from the defeat is that, the last time it happened this season, we bounced back in the very next game to score sixty-odd points. It’ll be very difficult to repeat that in Ayr, but a man can hope.

Friday, 10 October 2008

Episode #8 - Greig Scott & Greg Cottrell

In Episode 8 of the BRFC Podcast we have news of the Colinton Derby against Watsonians and interviews with Greig Scott and Greg Cottrell, as well as news of a TV deal for Scottish Club Rugby.

Apologies to Mark Ross, who would also have featured on this week's episode had I remembered to turn the mic on when interviewing him. Mark's dulcet tones will make their appearance in the coming weeks.

You can download the podcast vis iTunes or by clicking here.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Notes from Myreside

There are three things on my mind this week.

1) Apologies to Greig Scott. Video evidence suggests his sprint to the line for his try against Watsonians was more in the region of forty-five yards than the thirty-five suggested in my match report. As a forward who doesn't get the ball over the line too often, I'm sure Greig will be claiming every one of the hard yards his gangly legs carried him.

On the subject of Mr. Scott, it's great just to see him back playing. There was a time during his spell out when I wondered if he might go the same way as another lock forward at the club, Ally Ness, but he's shown great spirit to overcome his shoulder problems and right now he's playing as well as he ever has.

Like the rest of 'Muir's forwards, he had a wonderful game against Watsons. They systematically took their Myreside opponents apart and by the end of the game had a level of domination that was, quite frankly, staggering. I wasn't sure under the new rules whether it was going to be possible to see one side drive another back some thirty metres via superb use of the rolling maul, but that's exactly what we saw about an hour into Saturday's match. It was an example of just how superior 'Muir's pack were on the day.

2) When, as they did on Saturday, Boroughmuir play well and show a distinct superiority over their opponents, the Senior WebMonkey starts acting like the Energizer Bunny on crack. Seriously, he bounces around more excited than an eight year-old with ADHD, but it is nice at least to see that it all matters so much to the old man.

During the games he takes notes on a Dictaphone, from which I later write the match report. If it's clear from early on that 'Muir are going to win, and from the time Ed Mills cut a perfect angle to finish off Greg Cottrell's searing break on Saturday, it was that clear, his notes become more and more infused with hyperbole as the match progresses. By the end of the tape I was expecting to hear, "Bring on Toulouse, we'd take those French numpties, nae problem."

3) The refereeing performance during the match on Saturday was, shall we say, baffling. It was noted by more than a few people during the match that the three WebMonkys (Auxiliary Monkey joined us after he finished work) were none too amused at some of the decisions made by Mr. Healy of GHA; we each yelled ourselves horse at the Baldy Whistler.

I'm in no way accusing the man of being biased, I'm sure that if I were a Watsonians fan (perish the thought) I would have been just as stumped in trying to fathom some of his decisions in 'Muir's favour, but there were some absolute shockers.

I could sit here for hours and list some of his bizarre calls, but it'll suffice to say that I think both Ed Mills and Neil Malloy were unlucky to be shown yellow cards - though not as unlucky as Joni Hare, who didn't even get on the pitch but had Bill Lothian reporting that it was he, not Malloy, who was sent to the sin bin - and I was never aware that there was an offside line in open play. In fact, I'm pretty sure there isn't. Maybe I'm wrong though, it could just have been an ELV that the IRB forgot to announce.

Friday, 3 October 2008

Episode #7 - Brian Richardson & Tom Bury

For the return of the BRFC Podcast, we take a look at how each team has done during September, and in particular the 1st XV's triumph over Hawick in the Hugh Macmaster Trophy.

We talk to Brian Richardson and Tom Bury about how the season has panned out so far, and ask what they think ahead of the derby clash with Watsonians on Saturday.

Download the podcast here or via iTunes by clicking on the 'subscribe' button.