Thursday 19 March 2015

President's Blog - 19 March 2015

Those few of us at Raeburn Place on Saturday saw the 1st XV go out with some pride, winning their last Premiership game of this season, against Stirling, 15-12. More impressive was that we came back from being 0-12 down after 26 minutes and scored three tries, the first five minutes before half time and the other two in the first 20 minutes of the second half.

The 2nd XV also had a good 38-31 win against Stirling, in a game moved from Inverleith Park to Broughton High School as yet again the City of Edinburgh Council didn't want to spoil the grass in the park.

With this win the 2nd XV finish the season in third place in the Reserve League National 1, finishing just six points below the winners and ten points ahead of the fourth team. It was a fitting end to Andrew Easson's coaching regime with the 2nd XV. He is now taking a break whilst he settles into his probationary year teaching job, we wish him well.

We have four remaining XVs games this season. On Saturday, before the Irish international, an Accies XV will play Old Wesley at 11am. The following week we have the final Development XV league game against Biggar 2nd XV and an Accies XV will once again take on Merchistonians. Those of us who were there last season will remember that two star-studded XVs played a crowd-thrilling game that Accies won 31-29 in the final minutes.

Our final XVs game of the season at Raeburn Place will be on 1 April when BATs U18s play Edinburgh Academy 1st XV at 5.30pm. This is an important game for the Club as it introduces lots of players who will soon be leaving school to the Club and we need to do all we can to encourage them to play senior rugby, whether at Raeburn Place or elsewhere. Your support for our future would be very welcome.

I think our policy of developing our youth through the Accies Minis, BATs, local schools, Edinburgh Academy and ACE is the right one, unlike many other clubs who will just poach/buy to survive. It’s a policy we started to develop nearly 20 years ago and one that took a big boost when we started BATs in 2005.

This summer BATs is 10 years old. It has an impressive list of young men who have gone on to represent their country at one level or another, have played at a high level professionally – both in Scotland and elsewhere – and at the top level of club rugby in Scotland, England and France. Indeed, there are a significant number of BATs - can I say graduates? - who have played for our Club, which makes me very proud.

After last year's great 7s season, preparations for this season are already underway, under the watchful eye of Graham Bonner. We have a good number of players training specifically for the various tournaments.

We will be attending all 10 of the King of the 7s tournaments and four 2nd VIIs tournaments. With Nyle Godsmark now playing with the Scottish VII, Jamie Sole takes over as captain of the 1st VII this season. We do expect to see Nyle when not needed by Scotland. The first tournaments are the weekend of 4 April.

Congratulations to Nyle Godsmark and Chris Dean who are both with the Scotland VII that will be playing in Hong Kong and then Tokyo over the first two weekends of April. Congratulations also to Jamie Farndale who has been sent out to play in the Hong Kong 10s and as an injury replacement for Scotland 7s. Well done to all three.

Time now to go and prepare what I'm going to say at our Club Dinner and Players’ Awards evening on Friday. It looks as if it's going to be a good evening.

I do hope we see you at Raeburn on Saturday morning. You can then stay on and watch the Six Nations 'super Saturday' on TV. Italy v Wales at 12.30pm, Scotland v Ireland at 2pm and the final game, England v France, at 5pm. Have a great rugby weekend!



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