Fair play to the Pirates who did well at Strathie

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Brechin Pirates were in action on Sunday, April 15 at Strathie.

The tournament saw the debut of the “Fair Play” trophy – an event where players, officials and parents take a part in the scoring.

Five points were available for each match awarded, not for the final score, but for the following criteria: playing within the rules, no talking back to the referee by players or shouting at the ref from parents/coaches, no high tackles, team play as opposed to individual flair, sportsmanship on the pitch, and shaking hands at the end of each game.

The players were always interested in the final try scores of each match but soon got the hang of the fair play system (quicker than the adults) and were asking how many points they were scoring from each game.

Though cold at times the weather was fine for rugby.

The Brechin P4/5 team combined numbers to form a team from the Dundee Wasps.

Their efforts in the five games earned them a well deserved win of the best playing P4/5 team of the Strathie festival of rugby.

All credit has to go to both teams as they quickly formed a strong and well organised pack.

Squad: Alix Morland, Nicholas Leslie-Melville, Arran Murray, Rachel Johnstone, Mia White and Guy O’Connell. The Brechin Pirates P6/7 squad, together with their guest players from Dundee Wasps, played Blairgowrie, Strathmore, Carnoustie, Montrose and Arbroath, playing ten-minute matches with eight players on the pitch.

Coach Dianne Morland said: “As usual, as the tournament progressed so did the quality of play and we were fortunate to have the full ten-player squad.

“They say good things come in small packages and so it was as we watched some amazing nimble foot displays by Cain as he switched this way and that leaving the opposition grabbing air before going over for a well earned try.

“Callum and Kyle showed off their speed as time and again they ran the ball wide, drawing the opposition and creating gaps to exploit – with Kyle eventually rewarded with a try.

“Ninja worked well, always smiling, stealing the loose balls, tackling, and suddenly running over a great try; at last with two hands on the ball.

“We were fortunate in having all three reliable forwards together - Lee, Cammy and Sawdust, with Hamster becoming a natural scrum half often tucked in behind these three, taking the quick passes and putting in good tackles of his own.

“Lee and Sawdust were making thundering tackles, braving the hardening pitch, working steadily forward and constantly stopping the opposition in their tracks, whilst Cammy just seemed to carry the opposition with him scoring three tries before unfortunately hitting an opponent with his nose that then required plugging before he went back on.

“New to rugby Blair was getting stuck in with great enthusiasm and is showing early promise.

“Drew, Kier and John of the Wasps each ran-in tries and along with Matt and Ryan played a very hard, fair and good natured tournament in support of the Pirates.

“Overall things were going from strength to strength when in our last game fatigue probably played its part.

“A few unintended high tackles occurred and the referee justly punished us by docking a point relegating us to joint second in the tournament for the P6/P7 Fair Play Trophy.

“The boys all worked hard throughout the day and kept their spirits up and on-pitch behaviour impeccable. Well done.”

Squad: Cain Anderson, Blair Downie, Kyle Healey, Tom Marwood, Henry ‘Ninja’ O’Connell, Callum Pert, Lee Robertson, Josh ‘Hamster’ Sharpe, Callum ‘Cammy’ Whyte and Jack ‘Sawdust’ Wood; with guest players from the Dundee Wasps – Drew, John, Keir, Matt and Ryan.

“Our thanks go to first, our hosts Strathie for a well organised and run tournament and a ‘Bravo’ for a first with the ‘Fair Play’ concept,” continued Dianne.

“Thanks also to all the Dundee Wasp players and coaches for their tremendous support in the best spirit of the game; a credit to their club.

“Finally huge thanks to the parents who braved the cold for a great turnout and excellent touchline support and discipline.”