Saltire Energy Caledonia Youth Cup U16 Boys
Pool Matches - Caithness v Highland v Orkney
Thurso, 13 February 2022
The format of this competition for the North Pool matches are 30 minute matches so Orkney U16s were faced with playing Caithness followed by Highland both matches played at Caithness RFC. A 21 player squad headed over with every player starting at least one of the matches.
Caithness kicked of and Orkney started playing the ball well setting up rucks and moving the ball confidently. From within the Orkney half the forwards won two quick ruck balls and moved the ball through from Christy MacLeod to Alex Scarth and played Jason Scott into space at half way who ran in for the opening score. Alex Scarth converted.
Caithness kicked off and pushed Orkney back initially. Orkneys forwards again set a few rucks up in a row with Sammy Laughton, William MacDonald and Declan MacLeod making good ground supported by Alastair Park and James Braddock. From some of these quick rucks the backs again were released moving the ball quickly through various hands including Dylan Price and Jason releasing Tommy Stockan to outpace the cover defence and score. Alex converted.
The pattern of play continued and when Caithness did get the play and tried to attack then Orkney’s forwards stopped the rucks and the backs made their tackles. Some good tackles were made by Tyler Wolstenholme and Ryan Linklater.
Orkney attacked again and Alex found space to run in a fine score converting his own try.
From the kick off Orkney went on the attack again and Sammy set the play up with a strong run supported by Thorfinn Sinclair and James. The ball was played through the backs again with Christy moving the quickly and Dylan Price making a strong run in to score and sealing the bonus point. Alex converted.
From the kick off Orkney knocked on and a Caithness scrum was set up within the Orkney half. The ball shot out from the scrum on the blind slide and Sammy reacted the quickest to win the ball. From the quick recycle the ball was moved quickly by Christy to Alex, Dylan and Jason was released into space to score. Alex converted again.
Caithness mounted some pressure on Orkney from the kick off and Orkney conceded a number of penalties allowing Caithness to move up the pitch. From a series of penalties 5 metres out from the Orkney line which were defended strongly with Thorfinn, William, Declan, Christy and Sammy all making big tackles and Alex and Tommy joining in the rucks Caithness eventually crashed over. With the half time whistle it was Caithness 7 – 35 Orkney.
Some changes were made at half time to allow the subs a run out before the Highland game.
The pattern of play was much the same as the first half but Caithness were making more tackles and stopping Orkney moving so quickly. The backs worked the ball well and Aiden Cooper scored.
The forwards worked the rucks strongly and Brogan Russell was released to score a try.
After the restart Alfie Copeland and Angus Dougall made a good break and the ball was recycled back for Aiden who kicked ahead regathered and scored. Aiden convered. The final whistle was blown and the score was Caithness 7 – 52 Orkney.
This game was a game played between the two 22 metre lines with both sides tackling each other hard and not giving too much space. In the first half Highland were quicker to the rucks and taking advantage in this area but Orkney were dominating the scrums and pushing back Highland in this area. Both sides were pressuring each other and there were knock ons and mistakes from both sides.
Highland tried to maul the ball from line outs but Orkney defended this well and pushed the Highland maul over the touchline.
Highland made a break and passed the ball through a number of hands and ran through some weak Orkney tackling. From this, with a passing sequence between three players they managed to run the ball through the Orkney team to score. The try was converted.
The rest of the match was played in a similar manger but gradually throughout the second half Orkney was gaining more dominance in the ruck area but were just a little too frantic at times. Tommy made a couple of good breaks, one of which supported by Brogan nearly led to a breakthrough. There was some good play from Alex and Jason but all came up a little short. With the format of this match just the short 30 minute version time was running out. The match ended with Orkney camped inside the Highland half but unable to create the space to score a try. A good strong game between two fairly evenly matched sides.
Final score Orkney 0 – 7 Highland.
Players Player: 1- Sammy, =2 Christy and William
Coaches Player: 1 Angus, 2 – Tyler, 3 Jason.
Thanks to Caithness RFC for their usual excellent hospitality and to the referee who was excellent.