Friday 5 November 2010

Programme Notes, 6 November

Coach's Comments

At the start of the season, the coaches sat down every Monday night for a couple of hours, to thrash out game-plans, training sessions, strike attacks and defensive principles. It is really important to me that each Accies team has the same calls and the same standards. The coaches oversee the standards, but it’s down to the players to live up to them. During these Monday meetings, we set ourselves coaching goals. The 1st XV to finish in the top four, the 2nd XV to avoid relegation; the Blues and Whites to compete for promotion; the U20’s to win their League and Cup. L

ast Saturday was a real show of strength and a sign that the Club is in very good shape. Standing back and watching the 1st XV take control of their nearby rivals was great to see, and the culmination of months of hard work. Jonny and I are not the all-encompassing coaches screaming calls from the sidelines and trying to dictate play. Our day is done. We are here to facilitate these players in the way they want to play the game, not ours. Credit must go to Jonny for his hard work - I’m sure you’ll all agree that the attack so far this season has been exciting to watch and difficult to keep out!

Malcy and Andrew’s efforts with the 2nd XV have been an absolute revelation too. From the start of the season they have used 51 players and managed to secure themselves an incredible mid-table league position. Whilst this might not seem like something so shout about, it really is. They are up against Premier One opposition nearly every week and have already racked up bonus point wins against Watsonian’s and Currie. It’s a young side with some great characters like Paul Arnold and Jimmy Oliphant leading the way. Their success and efforts are directly responsible for the 1st XV results. Jonny and I have used 32 players this season, a figure that might surprise a few people, because the transition of players has been relatively seamless. That credit must go to the 2nd XV and their coaches.

Elsewhere, the Blues are sweeping almost everyone aside, in a league that has become much tougher this season with the introduction of the Border teams. The Whites are now finding their feet and matching everyone they play and Graham Bonner’s work with the U20’s still sees them unbeaten! I think that’s two years now! I would like to thank Andy Garden for stepping in and helping George Menzies out with the Blues and Whites whilst Troy was gallivanting around South Africa on a months leave, it’s was a tough ask and you did a superb job, thank you.

Welcome to Jed again, this time in the Cup. It was a hard fought game last time out against a side that simply will not give up. Despite the impending fixture against Selkirk, we respect Jed too much to rest any players. It’s important to keep this momentum going and only a full strength team will be good enough today. There are debuts today for James Taggart, Stewart Normand and David Rattray, congratulations to them and congratulations also to Euan Bonner for his first game last week. Let’s hope the weather holds and allows for a free flowing game, there are two exciting teams on show, that like to play rugby.

Enjoy the game!

Simon Cross

President's Welcome

A warm welcome to our friends from Riverside, Jed-Forest RFC, and in particular their President, Lawrence White, his committee and all their supporters. Also, we welcome the match officials - referee Andy MacPherson and assistants David Jack and Kevin McGhee - for without them there would be no game.

These Jeddart men are a tough bunch – our last encounter in the league was a close affair and we just edged it 20-18. Today we need to be on top form again if we want a successful start to our Cup campaign. As always, the back row battle will be key and in that regard we are glad to welcome back Greg Campbell to full fitness (after eating a dodgy prawn a couple of weeks ago). With Andy Lamb missing allows James Taggart to make his much anticipated debut on the flank. The former Currie openside is a very useful player and, with possibly our form player of the moment Robin Snape on the bench, we will be looking to win the back row battle and get in the faces of the opposition. Congratulations are also due to Stewart Normand and the experienced David Rattray, both making their season debuts.

It has been great to see the tries flowing lately – all that hard work on the training paddock seems to be paying off with the ball skills of all the players noticeably improved and what seems like a genuine desire to play a fast action-packed game. Congrats to all the coaches and players led so well by our Head Coach, Simon Cross.

And finally, a mention must go to a true Accie legend - GPS (Phil) Macpherson – who was honoured this week with his induction, along with 11 others, into the Scottish Rugby Hall of Fame. Phil won 26 caps, captained Scotland to their first Grand Slam in 1925 and was rated as ‘the most brilliant attacking centre of his era bar none’. Congratulations also to another rugby legend and great friend and Honorary Life Member of the Club, Finlay Calder, who was also inducted.

I hope you have a good day and look forward to welcoming you back again soon.

Willie Liston

View from the Touch Line

As I was away on one of my autumn jaunts I missed the last visit to Raeburn Place, on the 9th October, of our longstanding friends from Riverside Park. A quote from their website revealed how Jed reacted to that match and the result: 'Jed Slump: Jed suffered another agonisingly close defeat, going down 20-18 to Edinburgh Accies'. While we are delighted to see Jed again this afternoon, we very much hope that our 1st XV will, at the very least, repeat the result of that last match and if at all possible replicate the try-fest of our more recent games.

This afternoon's game is the first of 3 in a revised Scottish Cup competition, which has been changed partly to ensure every club gets a minimum of three 'meaningful' games, partly to stop 100 point plus games and partly to fit in with the new league and play-off structure. P1, P2 and P3 clubs compete in the Premier Cup, which comprises 9 groups of four clubs - each club will play the other club in their group once. After that the 'slide rule' will be needed as there will be nine group winners BUT only eight will go through to the Premier Cup quarter-finals! We have got Jed, Glasgow Hawks and Dumfries in our group. We play Glasgow Hawks away on 8th January and Dumfries away on 12th February.

As you will have gathered from press and other comment, having completed our P2 matches in top position we now enter Group 2 of the revised leagues. I would like to think that we have had a pretty fair crack of the whip fixture-wise in that we have 4 home matches (3 against P1 sides) and 3 away matches (1 against a P1 side). We play these matches on the following dates: 13th Nov Selkirk (H) 2pm ko, 20th Nov Peebles (A) 12 noon ko, 27th Nov Stirling (A) 12 noon ko, 4th Dec Aberdeen (H) 2pm ko, 29th Jan Gala (A) 3pm ko, 19th Feb Watsonians (H) 3pm ko and finally 2nd Apr West (H) 3pm ko. There will be pre-match lunches in the clubhouse before the Watsonians and West games – these have been a sell out thus far so get your places booked ASAP by contacting Jason Parrott on 07799 484 863 or by email at sponsorship@edinburghaccies.com. A date for the ‘Hasbeens’ lunch has also just been announced – 4th December before the Aberdeen league match – contact Rod Mitchell on 07812 366 138 or by email at rod.mitchell@horsetiger.co.uk to book your place – players past and present and friends all very welcome!

Finally, in this our 153rd season, a big thanks to you all for your support - without it we would not survive. And, if this is your first visit to Raeburn Place I hope you are treated to a feast of running rugby this afternoon, and that it will be the first visit of many.

Vincent O’Donoghue

Edinburgh BATs Rugby RUGBY FOR ALL ….. in the North Edinburgh Community

With our U18’s players otherwise committed with school games and U14’s training it was left to our U16’s to fly the flag for BATs last Sunday with a home game against Gala.

Ideal weather and underfoot conditions set things up for what turned out to be a feast of running rugby. With our Edinburgh Academy players unavailable, plus Steven Collins and Rory Scott injured, BATs were down to bare bones and things looked ominous as a powerful Gala pack dominated the early exchanges running in 2 tries in the first 10 minutes. BATs were, however, not rolling over easily and with Callum Stewart running the show at 10, BATs looked to move the ball wide at every opportunity. Stewart opened BATs’ account showing great support to be on hand to score a well taken try which he converted from out wide.

This was followed by the try of the game from the outstanding player on the pitch, centre Harry Skehel, who ran the length of the pitch weaving his way past several Gala defenders to score under the posts. Gala scored again, making the half time score 3 tries to 2 in their favour.

The 2nd half continued in similar fashion with Gala looking to use their big forwards and BATs playing a fast open game. Tries followed at regular intervals with the final score being 57-45 to Gala. The commitment of all the boys was outstanding and many showed real ability - we just need a full squad to be available to challenge most teams. T

his weekend sees the U18’s travel to Biggar on Saturday with a 1pm kick off and our U16;s away to Preston Lodge on Sunday also with a 1pm kick off. As always, good luck to all our BATs players involved at the weekend!

The BATs are the future of rugby in the community……… and that future is bright.

Andrew Walker/Ian Berthinussen

 

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