U18s challenge themselves despite the odds
By Ross Whiteside
Growth every week with the Colts
It was fair to say that the young Bulls were not expecting much from the score board on their visit to Stirling at the weekend but there was still a lot to be taken from a game against arguably the top club team in Scotland. Targets were set by the coaches that were not based on the final score. The primary objective was to play our game in the style that we have been training for over the last few months. Second objective was to play for seventy minutes and leave everything on the pitch. The final objective was use the first two objectives to leave a mark on the score which has eluded many opponents of Stirling in the last few years.
The first half, to be fair to Stirling was mainly one way traffic and Stirling were clinical in the way they exploited Hamilton's mistakes and any possession. Hamilton learned and grew into the game, scoring two tries of their own against the flow of the game but it did show the young Bulls that there could be gaps in the Stirling defence if put under pressure.
The second half started in a stronger vein. Hamilton scored first and were obviously the strongest team in the first twenty two minutes of the half supported by the fact that Stirling were barely in the Hamilton half in that period and it took them eighteen minutes to even get on the scoreboard in the half. Hamilton did this by attacking with speed and width forcing Stirling into a lot of mistakes and penalties, showing that they were definitely under pressure. The effort and the determination cost Hamilton a few injuries allowing Stirling to eventually get back into their form and finishing the game with a further three tries.
At the end of the game both the Stirling Coaches and the referee were full of praise for the way that Hamilton fought for seventy minutes and took the game to Stirling, causing them problems by attacking them and never giving in. The Referee who normally referees National 2 senior games said that that was the fastest game he had ever refereed and was impressed that both teams wanted to play rugby for the whole game.
They joined the Hamilton Coaches in applauding the Hamilton team in scoring nineteen points. This is only the second time in three seasons that any team have scored more than 14 points against Stirling Under 18s, which gives a measure of the task that the boys undertook in playing this game. So often the scoreboard is used to judge a performance but in reality the scoreboard did not come near to telling Hamilton's story in this game. Well done boys!
Thank you to Stirling for a great game and to our travelling support who once again encouraged the boys to another fantastic step towards our final rugby destination