Boroughmuir Select v Rugby Donau Pirates
A beautiful, dry and crisp Scottish evening at Meggetland saw history being made, as we hosted the FIRST EVER game between an Austrian rugby team and a Scottish team in Scotland.
The Austrian boys may have been sampling the delights of Edinburgh during the day after a bit of Castle and Royal Mile sightseeing, a dram (or two) in the Jolly Judge and a meal (and a dram or two) in Teuchters Bar, but they were still ready to compete with the Scots boys.
That was evident after 2 minutes when Grant Innes was introduced to touring teams with a thundering hit that shook the stand, never mind his bones! The Pirates were here to play rugby and not just make up the numbers. It was always going to be an open game and B'muir settled in and moved the ball wide quickly creating gaps and soon Rob Ure found a space to run through to open the scoring. The returning Muir 1st XV captain Chris Laidlaw converted showing that he may be ready to take on Melrose next Saturday... depending how the drinking games go later!
The game was fast paced and free flowing and both teams were running everything. The Pirates were camped on their own line but their scrum half, Chilean internationalist Jan Hasenlechner, saw a gap and ran 60m before Scotty Richards made a great tackle, turned over ball and fed Laidlaw who passed expertly to Greg Alexander who, with one prairie in front of him, realised he had his spatula hands on and dropped the ball!!!
Kiwi import and MOM for Rugby Donau, Russell Geddes, whose family hail from Caithness by the way, was making in roads and stopping our attacking line frequently. He spent some time at Stew Mel too but we will not hold that against him!
Lee Harrity was also making some excellent headway and was knocking the opposition over on strong barraging runs. It would have been good if he could have tackled them too though! On this occasion he made space for another player who loves an injury, Joe Finnie to make space and power over for try number 2. Laidlaw trying to now be de-selected for the Melrose game decided to miss the conversion.
Next to score was the 'wide backed' Harrity after the most outrageous dummy from Alexander that he has ever pulled off! The pitch opened up and Lee sped slowly through to touch down. Huw Ashhurst-Smith the Pirates centre and tour organiser was feeling the pain after BIG Fijian prop Isaia Ledua stopped him in his tracks with barely legal....but still legal tackle....you could hear the oooohhh-ing round the ground as he took a wee rest for 5 mins.
The cold was setting in and injuries were creeping in so luckily the referee, Ali Cummings, whistled and we all retreated to the terrace for a hot port and a wee beer.
The players now rejuvenated, the game continued and the Pirates were still making the big hits and not giving up although numbers were depleting through a mixture of injury, hangover and the Scottish frost. B’muir threw the ball about and got a little slack as the Pirates winger intercepted and went across field approx. 200 metres and forward 10 metres but could not be tackled with his winding running.
Eventually he was stopped and turned over the powerful Scrum of Young, Blythe and Ledua showed that rugby is a game for all sizes.
Aussie Nick Muller got in on the scoring sheet next with a great angle off a Jack Hamilton pass followed by Rob Ure scoring for the 2nd time moments later. It was great to see guys enjoying a running game and both sides must be applauded for their efforts.
B’Muir continued to run absolutely everything and Hamilton was on the end of the next score after good work at the breakdown from Captain for the day Felix Krasue saw the ball pop out to McDevitt and Jack in the box was there to scamper over. The game finished with Rob Ure getting his hat-trick and collecting a MOM in the process. He worked hard, too hard at times, but he has one of those engines that does not switch off and deserved the plaudits.
All in all a great game and as with all tour games it was fantastic to have the opportunity to see guys run ball and try things with no real pressure on to stick to structures and processes. Smiles on the faces is something that this coach wants to see more of as it tends to bring the best out in the team as a whole. The after match entertainment was brilliant too with, as quite a few supporters and players mentioned, was more like a rugby of old clubhouse atmosphere. Finally, a massive thanks from the players to the supporters who braved the cold and also to the helpers who cooked, served, and prepared. Teams are built from the efforts of those around them and that is very much appreciated.
Lets hope for more of this type of rugby and lets also hope for a trip next year to Vienna!!!
N Muller, L Harrity, G Innes, G Alexander, J Finnie, C Laidlaw, S Richards, R Young, B Blyth, I Ledua, F Krause (cpt) M Davidson, A McLeod, R Ure, O James - subs - C Whitelock, J Hamilton, C McDevitt, A Wildgoose, M Henry, L Robinson, C O'Neill, A Wilson, E Vasakula, A Tabu , Coach - A Knight, Manager- G Scott, Physio- C Cowell
Rugby Donau Pirates Squad;-
Sebastian “Coach” Freydell, Michael Kerschbaumer, Stephan Reiseneder, Huw Ashhurst-Smith, Laurenz Hack, Florian Kierner, Stefan Jilka, Stefan Weber, Rene Bachofner, Phillip “Flipsta” Wipplinger, Sebo Borer, Bogdan “Traitor” Mihajlovic, Laurence Algernon Isambard Edwards, Simon Kapferer, Kajetan Hacker, Kajetan Hacker, Timotheus Hacker, Maximilian Grubner, Georg Eder, Adam Helmut Reischl, Robert Schneide, Matei Buliga, Philipp Hagenauer, Jan “Rabbit Licker” Hasenlechner, Russell “Identity Crisis” Geddes,
Hans Volmary, Constanin Vana, Constanin Vana, Brian O’Shea, Alexander Kraincuk, Leo “Black Mamba” Biamba, Bob “lock up your daughters” Wagner, Luigi Vescovi, Philippe Granbichler, Said Obenland, Alex Spina, Pamela Scharrer - Physio, Julie Sadler
Scorers - ,
Tries Ure (3), Finnie, Muller, Hamilton
Cons Laidlaw (2)