Boys' Rugby: Weekend Sevens' Tournaments
U11 Cargilfield 7s' Tournament
With the excitement of the previous 7s' tournament still fresh in the memory, it wasn’t difficult to recruit players, even with it being a weekend out. There were understandably a few faces missing, due to previous family commitments, but the lure of the Scotland/Fiji match wasn’t too strong to draw many people away. From what I hear, the spectacle of rugby at Cargilfield probably more than made up for it.
We started the tournament strongly with a convincing win against Gordonstoun, running in seven tries, but knew there would be sterner tests to come.
The second game against St Mary’s, was the one we had earmarked as the possible title contender. Whilst we had narrowly beaten them at Loretto, they had gone on to win the tournament. It was an incredibly closely found contest, with the defences being particularly impressive. St Mary’s went ahead, but a strong fight back from the boys in blue led to Hector running in a very important try to tie the game. Belhaven arguably looked the more dangerous side towards the end, but a draw was the fair result. It was rugby played at a high standard for the U11 age group and many people commented to me about the quality of the rugby played.
We followed up the draw to St Mary’s with three comfortable wins against Fettes, Ardvreck and Newcastle Prep.
With only two games to play it was looking likely that the winner of the tournament would be decided on tries scored between Belhaven & St Mary’s. However, the boys were clearly beginning to tire, having played five games with only one substitute.
Up next was Cargilfield, whom we had beaten comfortably twice at the Loretto 7s. The fatigue showed, however, and we simply didn’t play our best rugby. Cargilfield were able to draw on the many substitutes and won the game 2-0.
We finished with a 2-1 win over Loretto to secure second place in the tournament.
In the 15 games the Belhaven boys have played in the two 7s tournaments this season, they have lost just two games: one to North Berwick at Loretto and to the hosts at Cargilfield. In both these games the teams we have played have had considerably more players than the tournament rules have allowed.
Whist difficult for the boys to stomach, I hope that they appreciate that taking the moral high ground is right approach in these situations and winning fairly when it does come will taste even sweeter.
Win 7-0: Gordonstoun (Charlie, Geordie, Hector x3, Rollo x2)
Draw 1-1: St Mary’s (Hector)
Win 4-1: Fettes (Harry x3, Rollo)
Win 3-0: Ardvreck (Geordie, Hector, Harry)
Win 4-1: Newcastle Prep (Rollo, Hector, Charlie, Harry)
Lost 2-0: Cargilfield
Win 2-1: Loretto (Charlie, Harry)
U13 Ardvreck 7s' Tournament
On a typically rainy Sunday of a weekend out, the Belhaven squad arrived from all corners of Scotland for a much-expanded Ardvreck sevens tournament. This year saw the inclusion of several teams from England, which was great for giving the children new challenges while playing different teams. Belhaven were in group B alongside St. Marys, Sedbergh, and Scarborough College.
In the first game Belhaven met a usual opponent in St. Mary's and while the opposition made a strong start, good ball retention and strong running meant Belhaven won their opening fixture 17-0. It is worth noting that in this tournament tries are worth three points and conversions one point.
Our next fixture was against a new and formidable opponent in Sedbergh. While the effort could not be faulted, Belhaven failed to construct any attacking phase play and were pulled apart by some strong Sedbergh attacks. Belhaven were never to find a foothold in this game and eventually lost 20-0.
At this point, the squad agreed that we had seen the very best of them in one game, and their very best effort to lose in the other game. It was decided in our last group game that we would revert to our best efforts to win. After a long break Belhaven took a strong hold on the fixture against Scarborough. Completely dominating possession and exerting big defensive pressure on the opposition, Belhaven ran out comfortable victors 14-3.
This meant Belhaven went into the quarter finals as runners-up in group B. Fettes were the opponent and Belhaven made a good start scoring the first try. From this point onwards though Belhaven were made to defend for most of the game. Fettes did a good job of keeping the ball and in sevens, the energy expended in defending is exhausting. Despite a spirited effort Belhaven were fairly beaten 11-3 and were knocked out of the competition.
Player of the tournament: Javier (For never giving up)
Overall, this was a mixture of success and “could have done better”. The two victories against St. Mary's and Scarborough College were comprehensive and full of the sort of attack we had been working on. Against Sedbergh, and to some extent Fettes, there was a reticence to impose and express ourselves and this will never result in a win when playing sevens. Individually, Laurie and Javier worked super hard; Johnny created great turn-overs; Jamie, Ted, Beetle and Harry Br had some powerful runs; Alfie and Fin showed great footwork and Harry B showed his fantastic pace. There are plenty of positives and learning opportunities to take away from this event.
Final placing: 2nd in group B – Quarter final.