Earlston High is top of the class
Earlston High School U16s 26, Glasgow High School U16s 12
Earlston High School capped a strong campaign this season by winning the Scottish Schools Under-16 Plate with a 26-12 win over Glasgow High School in Wednesday’s final at Murrayfield.
This was a deserved win by the Earlston boys who, over the piece, looked slicker on the ball and who defended well against a lively Glasgow High School side which dominated the game in the opening phases.
“The boys were well worth their win,” said Earlston coach Richard Brown. “In the first 10-15 minutes they really came at us, using their big forwards, but we defended the fringes well.”
He added : “I think they settled much more quickly than we did but, once we got into the game, we showed we could move the ball out wide. In the second half we used the wind well.
“We’ve been good all year with ball in hand. If we can get parity up front, then we can use our backs.
“We have a good midfield who have quick hands and we have two strong wingers and a running full back to complement them.
“Our scrum is our strength. We have Jake Fairley at loosehead and, hopefully he’ll be there and thereabouts for international rugby this season.”
Earlston also had a strong scrummager in their tighthead prop, Euan Brydon. Elsewhere in the forwards, back rows Gregor Lindsay and Trystan Andrews carried ball effectively.
Behind the scrum, stand-off Harry Makowski controlled the game cleverly from stand-off, while centres Roly Brett and Darren King constantly threatened the Glasgow defence.
It was Glasgow High School who opened the scoring with a converted try after a strong start in which they dominated possession.
But, when Earlston composed themselves and launched an attack inside the Glasgow 22m area, King burst through midfield to lay on a try for Makowski. King added the conversion goal to level the scores.
Then, when Earlston moved the ball wide again with slick handling, left wing Callum Weston finished the move with an unconverted try to put his side into the lead for the first time in the game.
After the break, Earlston looked much the better side and, again, it was the work of the forwards and the handling in midfield that put pressure on Glasgow High. It resulted in a third try – this time by Brett, with the conversion points by King.
Earlston then had to defend tenaciously as Glasgow High School laid siege on the Borderers’ line but with no tangible gain.
Then, after Earlston has worked their way down to the other end of the field it was try time again as King used power, pace and not a little panache to cross for his side’s fourth try before adding the extras.
To their credit, Glasgow High School kept their effort on the boil and were rewarded with a late score, the final points of the match.
Earlston HS: Cammie Meager, Mathew Pender, Darren King, Roly Brett, Callum Weston, Harry Makowski, Hamish Weir, Jake Fairley, Lewis Klein, Euan Brydon, Arran Paterson, Will Irvine, Callum Hastings, Gregor Lindsay, Trystan Andrews. Subs: Connor Russell, Jamie Clarke, Will Catterall, Lewis Marshall, Jamie Brown, Keiran Clarke, Jamie Lile.