Stirling show the Bulls where they need to be.
Under 18s lose by a margin but grow a lot as players in the process
Hamilton and Stirling showed the rest of Scottish club conference rugby, how a structured club can produce good numbers at Under 18 rugby.
Playing two games back to back with both clubs playing more than 30 Under 18 players, rugby participation was certainly a winner on Saturday. It is absolutely correct to give credit to the fact that while Hamilton matched the numbers, Stirling were that level above Hamilton in the execution of their rugby skills. It would however be a mistake to think that execution of skills in either game made any difference to the passion, heart, commitment, desire fight to the very end or the belief in their team shown by all the Hamilton Players in both games.
Every single Stirling player that broke a Hamilton line had to run flat out to score because there was a Hamilton player hot on his heals and on several occasions that chase prevented the score being even greater as a last ditch tackle took him down. This effort was acknowledged by the Stirling coaches and support, as the usual pattern of Stirling breaking a team and then exploiting that, was not being followed. In fact when the last 25 minutes of the 'A' game saw Hamilton almost score on a number of occasions as the heart in the Bull rose to the surface in a late charge. When at 5 minutes after the game should have finished, you are 58 points down and you are still desperately trying to keep the game alive because you believe that you might just get that one score, just shows the coaches, the parents and the supporters why we all do this on a Saturday afternoon. Proud doesn't touch it.
So what have we learned? We have learned where we have to be if we want to compete in the top league in the country. We have learned that the style that we try to play, is not dissimilar to the to the style that the top clubs are playing and it is just the execution that we have to improve on. We have learned that when we play our best, we can compete with any team. Finally we have learned that we will fear no one in the second half of the league. Roll on the second half!
Thank you to Stirling for being great sports and great hosts. Thanks to the parents, guardians and supporters for a great touchline support. Also thanks to Libby our team photographer.