Men’s Tour Report

From our prior research on Wikipedia, “In Poland, because rugby union is viewed as a ‘power sport’, flamboyance is not encouraged.” Knowing this we were unsure how our champagne style of rugby would be received, given we had no additional information about the match or team we were scheduled to play.

Entering a mini stadium, we were alarmed to find that the team we were facing, Posnania Rugby, was one of Poland’s top teams.

Our dreams of a casual run about were quickly fading.

Wearing our hand-drawn warm up tops, our 15 strong squad jogged onto the playing field with the pitch side ambulance and medical team contributing to the unsettled stomachs from the previous night’s £1 pint brewery tour.

When approaching their 6’4 bear of captain, distinguishable as the only member of their team without a grade one buzzcut, we soon discussed terms for the game. My jaw dropped when he said, “For us, this is a training game, so let’s not try and have too many fights.” Turning back to the Saints, I was convinced that at least one poor soul would be going home with the medical team.

Thankfully our assumptions were false and we won comfortably 42-24 with all players still intact. Whilst Posnania lacked some flair during the game, their hospitality was second to none. The post match meal, or as they called it, the ‘third half’ was hugely appreciated by all in the touring squad. Hopefully we can host this incredibly friendly team on Uni Park in the future.

With the rugby out of the way, the rest of the tour went off without a hitch. Poland offered an environment very conducive to our wildly bunch of lads. Man of tour went to our very own fresher, Edward Quinn-Savory, who took no prisoners and when informed of his nocturnal activities replied with what soon became a theme of the trip, “Haha, stories.”

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Results Roundup

The second half of the season saw the Saints return from Christmas break rested and ready for an intensive end to the BUCS schedule. The Men’s 1st XV endured several tight results, including a last minute loss, 32-33, in the first game back from break. Narrow victory to Leeds Beckett in the 4th round saw the Saints emerge victors 31-29 and set up a Varsity rematch against Edinburgh in the Quarter Finals. Under lights and in front of a substantial crowd, the Saints sadly fell in a gutsy performance of high intensity and physical rugby having been held up with the final play of the game, 18-22. However, fantastic Rugby was played, particularly in the Saints’ 78-0 victory against Worcester, and rounded out the season with a champagne filled performance at Manchester, where over 100 points were scored, and the Saints emerging on top 59-45.

 

The Women’s 1st XV endured a rather tough half of the season, matching up against eventual League winners, Stirling, twice. Despite an abundance of heart-filled performances, the Women fell narrowly to Aberdeen and 2nd place Glasgow in final BUCS’ play that pushed every member of the squad to their limits.

 

The Men’s 2nd XV had an equally heart-filled end to their BUCS campaign. With tough losses to Scottish 3A winners, Strathclyde in back-to-back weeks. A victory against Aberdeen in the cup highlighted the talent throughout the Club in a convincing 34-12 victory. A fitting end for the spirited squad.

 

The Men’s 3rd XV unfortunately only managed to take the field on one occasion since Christmas. A lack of opposition and frustrating weather failing them on regular occasions. Despite this, their sole fixture against the University of the West of Scotland 1st XV showed the increasing potential of some of the younger members of the club. With a squad consisting mainly of Freshers, the 3s put on a courageous display on Uni Park under the sun in a dominant display highlighted by the 29-15 final. A victory against a 1st team should fill many of the younger boys with confidence as the schedule now shifts to Sevens, and with momentous tournaments, such as Melrose 7s, on the horizon, there is much more rugby to remain excited over.

Alumni Donations

Once again can we say a huge thank you to those alumni, parents and friends of Saints Rugby for their generous donations to our rugby programme. We are still working our way towards our aim of recruiting a full time coach to the programme and any help that you would be able to contribute to this aim would be most appreciated.

Our coaching team have made significant improvements to our players both on and off the pitch and to have a position that is full time supporting the Director of Rugby would help catapult the club to the next level.

https://sparc.st-andrews.ac.uk/giving/sports/rugby1858

New Long-Term Vision for the Club

In January, the club set out its new vision to become the best student rugby club in the world by 2020 which has captured not only the imagination of our current members but the interest of the wider rugby public.

The vision does not concern itself with being the best performing 1st XV in the world, rather growing the best student rugby club environment possible in order for our club members to enjoy every aspect of club life to the fullest. Our 5 strategic areas of the vision are

1) The rugby programme

2) Our work with the university

3) Our work with the local community

4) International connections

5) Our social activities and events

There is no doubt that this a lofty ambition for the club but we feel there are no excuses as why we cannot achieve it. We have world class facilities, a sustainable infrastructure and significant support from the university so the club simply needs to work hard on continuous improvement in these strategic areas and remember to have as much fun as possible along the way.

More information on our vision can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQQJRN8Z8Gw&t=51s

6 Saints Represent Scottish Students

Well done to Ashton Squires, Finn Murphy, Scott Docherty, Toby Hall and Roland Walker who were selected to play for Scottish Students against Scotland 19s in February. The students totally dominated their counterparts throughout the game in horrendous conditions in Edinburgh and ran out 24-5 winners playing some sensational rugby.

The Scottish Students squad was headed up by Director of Rugby David Ross as Head Coach of the team and Burhan Torgut who added analysis support. Well done to all involved

160th Celebrations- SAVE THE DATE

160th Celebrations – SAVE THE DATE

Next year sees the club celebrate its 160th year having been founded in 1858. We are in the early stages of planning a big event in St Andrews to commemorate such an occasion and we hope that you would be able to join us at the end of May 2018 (date tbc). More information will follow as soon as we have it.

Melrose 7s

University of St Andrews will face our historic rivals University of Edinburgh at the world renowned Melrose 7s on Saturday 8th April at The Greenyards. The match will be a showpiece game between the oldest varsity adversaries in world in a match scheduled just before the final of the competition and is to be live on BBC 2 Scotland and played in front of the 14,000 strong spectators.

This is a significant invitation for our club and highlights how other parts of the Scottish rugby community are recognising the performance and high level programmes that both universities have. Thank you to Melrose RFC for your recognition and we look forward to play at the home of 7s.

Tickets for the event can be purchased here: http://melrose7s.com/