Two Marr teams to play at Murrayfield in Schools Rugby Finals
By Duncan Beckwith
Marr U16s overcome stuffy Lasswade to reach Shield Final
Marr U16's travelled through to Lasswade hoping to emulate the achievement of the Under 18s the day before and reach the schools finals at Murrayfield. Lasswade won the toss and opted to play with the wind and the slope. However it was Marr who exerted the early pressure and from a scrum close to the line the ball was moved to David Craig and he fought off the attention of three defenders to open the scoring for Marr. Beckwith was successful with the conversion to extend the score to seven points. The perfect start.
Lasswade looked physically stronger and certainly had the heavier pack. However the Marr eight were a more cohesive unit and more than held their own. From a lineout in their own 22 Marr had the confidence to move the ball along the three-quarter line. Ryan Brown made the break and fed winger Nathan Headland who beat a number of defenders before running the length of the pitch to touchdown. The conversion was unsuccessful but Marr now had a 12 point lead.
Lasswade then had a period of play and from a penalty kicked to the corner they won lineout ball and released their centre to score under the posts. 12-7. Marr's response was immediate and from a scrum won ten metres out scrum half Nairn Calder called a switch with his winger only to hold onto the ball and go through the defence for a try of individual brilliance. Again the conversion attempt from wideout narrowly missed. 17-7 at half time.
In the second half after their team talk Lasswade came out as if they meant business and from a penalty 5 metres out the ball was passed to one of their huge front row units and despite some brave tackling there was no stopping him from that distance. 17-12.
Marr then upped a gear and had a real purple patch. First Calum Inglis charged down a clearance kick and won the race for the touchdown. Then after a kick ahead by Marr the Lasswade full back failed to gather the ball and David Craig ran in from thirty metres for his second try of the afternoon. Scott Toner then finished off some impressive support work by the forwards. A further try came straight from the kick off as the ball was moved sweetly to Scott McDonald who ran in from half way. Further tries followed shortly after from Nairn Calder and Scott Rodger. Beckwith was successful with a further three kicks which made the score 53-12. With the game won this allowed Marr the luxury to bring on all the substitutes to play their part in the semi final. To their credit Lasswade didn't give up and scored two late tries to make the final score 53-24.
A healthy Marr support came through to support the boys and were treated to a truly committed performance with some great skill on display. The attention now turns to Murrayfeld and the Shield Final against Earlston (Melrose). If they play with the same level of determination and commitment who knows what might happen.