What a night at Murrayfield for the Watson’s supporters who were out in force to support both our U16 and our U18 teams in the finals of the Scottish Schools’ Cup.
The atmosphere was tense on what was to be one of the most exciting evenings of rugby experienced by the Watson’s family, possibly ever!
For the U16s, a draw at full-time meant that we shared the cup with Strathallan, and with 10 seconds to go in the U18 match against Dollar Academy, it looked like we were going to win a historic double by sharing two cups. However with less than 10 seconds to go Fraser Peters (S6) stepped up and remaining about the only calm Watsonian at Murrayfield as he kicked the winning penalty with the last kick of the match, and Watson’s made history as the only team to win the cup four years in a row.
U18 Captain Kenny Drummond (S6) said before the match, “Before the competitive season began, a strong pre-season allowed the team to gel with each other and the coaches. Sadly early on we lost our captain Ewan Malloch (S6) to injury, which meant we would lose him for the cup. I was asked to act as captain in Mal’s absence and I accepted, hoping to do half as good a job as Mal would. To reach the final again with my year group is an incredible feeling and to get this far is a great achievement by the team. I couldn’t be prouder to have had the opportunity to lead the boys out.”
Murray Tink (S4), his counterpart in the U16 team, said, “Schoolboy rugby in S4 is all about the Scottish Schools’ Cup and wanting to be in one of the School teams that run out onto the pitch at Murrayfield in the final. It is what most of us have thought about since S1. Our preparations started in S2 with our new coach, Mr Ker. The team is so very proud to be representing Watson’s at Murrayfield in the final. We were told to enjoy the occasion!”
Mike Ker, coach of the U16s reflecting on the match said, “I was immensely proud of the boys and on their attitude and desire on the night. I have coached them since S2 and to see them progress so far and play at Murrayfield is outstanding. They showed great maturity and determination to play for the full 70 minutes and it was a real squad effort with all the injuries we got on the night. We know we could have played better and there is slight disappointment on that front but with all the injuries it was difficult to build any momentum and continuity in the game, especially after halftime. Overall even though it was a draw they are all winners and no one can take that away from them that they are Scottish U16 champions. To have experienced playing on that pitch in that atmosphere as 14–16-year-olds will give them valuable experience for their future rugby at GWC and beyond.
Meanwhile Ally Donaldson, the U18 coach said, “I was very proud of the character and determination the boys showed. They faced some setbacks during the game, which they were able to deal with positively and to overcome. Dollar was a really tough opponent and the match went right to the wire. I'm delighted the boys have been rewarded for all their hard work.”
In summary, our Principal Melvyn Roffe said, “Rugby is a test of character as well as skill, strength and speed and both our teams showed character in abundance. They were matched against formidable opposition and I congratulate all the players in all the teams on the spirit in which a great night of rugby was played.” This was definitely a night to remember.