Orkney hosted Caithness RFC and Shetland RFC at the weekend with sixty players aiming to show their coaches and opposition what they can do. With limited games available in the North for Under 14s this was much welcomed competition with everyone keen to see how the games progressed, developed and gauge how training has gone to date.
First up it was Orkney v Shetland and from the start it was obvious Shetland had improved greatly from last season’s games. Both sides showed that they have the capabilities to entertain the crowd with fast flowing rugby, hard tackling and passion from the start.
With both teams trying hard, scrappy play was inevitable and the ball became unplayable at times. Shetland had a solid scrum and took two balls against the head which allowed their backs to run at the Orkney defence but solid tackling from Arron Gibson, Harry Siderfin and Cameron Fraser stopped Shetland on the gain line.
Orkney continued to apply pressure with good support play after a Douglas Murray run which gave Fallows his second try of the match. Shetlands forwards continued their strong play and pick and go tactics and finally got a well deserved try which saw the final score 10-5 to Orkney.
The Orkney players played well in this first game and produced a solid performance which everyone was happy with.
Next Caithness played Shetland which was a magnificent game with both teams showing physicality beyond their years. Caithness scored and converted after a long period of pressure but Shetland stormed back with a try of their own.
In the final quarter of the game Caithness struggled with the strong Shetland runs and conceded a well worked try from the Shetland prop, scrum half and winger.
Shetland won 10-7.
Orkney played Caithness in the last game which was a mouth watering encounter with both teams now with a game under their belts and Orkney ready to claim their second win. The last encounter before Christmas Caithness won with the last kick off the game but this was still fresh in the minds of the Orkney boys who came out and played good rugby from the start and scored three tries in the first seven minutes.
Caithness were shell shocked with the Orkney boys determination and aggression at the ruck and couldn’t stop the rampaging Adam Fallows, Douglas Murray, Bruce Ritch, and Liam Thomson. The little ball Caithness did get was met with hard tackling from Thomson, Gibson and Drever.
Calum McArthur also put in a fantastic try saving tackle after a fifty metre run from the Caithness winger. Orkney ran away with the game by half time and despite Caithness scoring four late tries the score was 56 – 20 at the final whistle.
The Orkney tries came from the ever present Adam Fallows and Douglas Murray with Ali Morgan taking a smart penalty and catching the Caithness defence sleeping to score in the corner & Robbie Scott who ran sixty metres to score.
Development Officer Bruce Ruthven commented;
“This has been a great day’s rugby and I am very pleased with the Orkney performances. All the players enjoyed the games and did their best which is all we can ask for. The teams require competitive rugby and it has been proven today that all teams have some quality players and everyone is developing at an encouraging rate. Well done to Colin Sangster and Daniel Meadows for their input, support for their players and we look forward to the next tournament.”