As we settle into the term, it is fantastic to see the continued high rates of attendance at all our co-curricular sports clubs. Whether it’s half an hour of Netball at lunch time or two hours of Basketball after school on a Monday, there is definitely something for everyone. Badminton Club was open to all Senior year groups on the same evening on Friday and due to its continued position as one of our most popular clubs, we provided a third bus from Schoolhill so that there is enough room for everyone keen to attend.
On Saturday morning we welcomed Ellon Rugby and Gordonstoun to Countesswells in addition to Morrison’s Academy for girls hockey. It was a very early start for some of our hockey teams who left at 6.30am, the boys headed for Edinburgh Academy and the Senior girls to Crieff for the Morrison’s away matches.
It was another great turnout for P6 rugby, with the 21 boys producing three teams to play very competitive games against Ellon. Our players moved the ball well in attack but there is work to do on improving first up tackles which let us down at times. Similar high numbers took to the field for P7 which was very encouraging. This week our tackling was much more consistent and we were able defend as a team, as a result conceding only three tries. Again our attack was fluid and the boys scored eight tries in total.
S1 put out two mixed teams against Ellon, both of whom carried the ball well and out rucked the opposition which was very encouraging. Ellon reacted just a little bit quicker when penalties were awarded and also had the edge in scrummaging. Overall though, coach Mr Buckley was very pleased to see big improvements in the team. S2s had two games against Ellon, winning both, and one against each other. Tackling was much improved and the boys really came together as a squad.
S3A played a very tight game against Gordonstoun and although our boys were against a number of big players, they kept their composure and managed to hold onto their structure. Our tackling is improving each week and this was a good test for the boys. A number of handling errors prevented us from capitalising on more try scoring opportunities but the work that was done resulted in a win for RGC.
S4 put in a physically dominant display against a bigger Ellon side. RGC were good in support play, beating Ellon to the ruck often as well as putting in some strong tackling throughout the game. Well done to the boys on some super individual performances to score eight tries and win the match.
1st XV played a physical and well-drilled Ellon team that unsettled us initially but we responded well with wide play and accuracy in our handling to unlock their defence. Both teams were very physical and our boys had to work very hard for each score and overall win.
P7A gave a much improved performance on Saturday. Our passing and structure were better and the tackling and distribution from defence was excellent. It was a really well balanced game with lots of saves from both keepers. We were just unlucky at the end with Morrison’s scoring in the last minute on a counter attack. P7B were short of players so thank you to our two P6 players, Katy and Harriet, who certainly made a positive impact. This was a game of two halves; in the first we defended poorly and didn’t play as a team which was reflected in the score, but the second half was much improved and determined, with no further goals conceded.
The S1A match was a challenging fixture for the girls, but this forced them to think carefully about their passing options and marking tight. The girls had many opportunities at goal and were close to scoring more than the two that secured the win, and they did a fantastic job of substituting on and off and cheering each other on from the side.
S2A faced a strong Morrison’s side who were more clinical in front of goal and superior with their off the ball movement. To our credit we kept them down to only one goal in each half with some last ditch defending. Towards the end of the second half we had opportunities to capitalise on Morrison’s defensive errors but unfortunately our decision making when on the ball meant we never really threatened and it was a loss for RGC.
S3A started the game on the front foot and we put our opponents under concerted pressure leading to the opening goal. Two further goals followed in the first half. Possibly due to the amount of substitutions we made so all 17 outfield players got some pitch time in our 40 minute game, we lost control a bit in the second half. This resulted in some excellent defensive displays by Morrison’s. The game was never in doubt though and the girls displayed hard working qualities to secure the win.
The 1st XI had a difficult and frustrating first half in which we lost 2 goals early on through rusty basics and lack of playing wide and around. A productive half time team talk saw the girls pull their socks up and provide a second half performance to be proud of. They played with far better shape and structure along with tempo of pass. A far more passionate defensive effort saw us score goals to rescue a deserved draw. There is lots to work on but the team played a great second half and coach Mr Stuart was pleased to see that everyone reacted very well to adversity.
2nd XI continued their fantastic start to the season with another dominant and controlled victory. The girls again delivered all the key coaching points in playing with head up strong connections on passes and a ferocious work rate off the ball to win the ball back. Mr Stuart set some challenges for the second half in terms of ball possession and basic shape which the girls achieved incredibly well. This was a far more controlled and confident performance from last week and a well-deserved win for the team.
3rd XI came into the game low in confidence after last week’s defeat however they performed admirably and showed huge improvement and development. At times they played some incredibly exciting and well put together hockey. In particular we saw huge development in our defensive work and tackling. Sadly in the last minute, one of the Morrison’s 1st XI forwards helping their team scored a nice goal resulting in a narrow loss for RGC. Mr Stuart said he could not have been prouder of the girls who put in such a fantastic effort.
The U14 Hockey Development team of S1 and S2 boys took to the road on Saturday to play their first full 11 a-side game. Their Edinburgh Academy opponents proved to be a stern test, especially in the first half, where we took a while to find some positional awareness due to this new experience against a team that had already played a couple of matches. Despite being under the cosh the boys defended incredibly well. Our stand-in goalie was very busy and helped keep the scores level until fairly late on when we conceded after sustained pressure. At the end we nearly equalised, but alas the ball went just wide. A narrow loss, but much has been gained in terms of looking to the future.
It was also the first fixture for the U15 boys and a tough contest against a strong Edinburgh Academy team. The boys started strongly, moving up the pitch and taking a commanding start, with opportunities for both teams coming thick and fast. Our opponents took their chance and scored a short corner to put them ahead. After half time the boys showed great grit to keep themselves in the game. Our excellent goalie kept the boys in with a fighting chance, making multiple saves in a row and having great clearance. The boys struggled to convert any opportunities they had in the second half but played some exciting hockey and should hold their heads high over their performance.
The 1st XI took on a well organised Edinburgh Academy side. A confident start saw the team create a handful of chances but failed to find the net. The opponents took control of the game halfway through the first half, leading after a fine solo effort. The team recovered after the restart, dictating plenty of the play, and deservedly found an equaliser with a great finish at a short corner. Both teams created chances as the game wore on, and both goalkeepers made some great saves to make sure the scoreline finished in a draw. Special mentions must go to the 8 players making their debut, who contributed greatly to a team performance that gives everyone confidence going into the first Scottish Cup game in a couple of weeks.
Team of the Week
Competition was tough to secure this week’s accolade, but congratulations go to the winners, S2 Rugby Red team.
All scores can be found on our Sport Website.