Its week 2 and our opening League weekend for our 1xv, with both sides meant to be on the road. (Best laid plans of mice and men)
This week we have club president Gav McQuillan, match reviews and previews from Mark Blair and Rich Mann. Sean Kitching talks us through his experience leading the 1xv for the first time last weekend and P1-3 mini’s coach Gav Holmes tells us about how his side settled into their opening games. Oh… and thought it would be good to hear from 1xv captain Aidan Dean on how his social life is working out.
Grab a coffee sit back and have a read.
Club President : Gavin McQuillan
So the slightly cooler mornings and darker evenings signal that September is here and the proper start to the season. Both senior teams were heading down into the borders this weekend with the first XV, after their encouraging performance against Linlithgow last week, heading to Hawick to start their league campaign and the seconds heading to our friends down in Walkerburn.
Disappointingly due to a lack of a referee!!!! the Hawick game has been postponed to September the 24th. So if you are looking for some live rugby this Saturday then Walkerburn is your your destination to enjoy what should be an enjoyable game. For those of you who follow such things you will have noticed a high number of games cancelled last weekend across Scotland as many teams struggleto field a full first team.
While not being complacent the fact we are fielding 2 squads week on week is huge positive down to many peoples continued commitment and hard work – while always more to do a really positive position for the club to be in.
Sunday sees mini training continue and the second week of our new micros group. Thanks to the volunteers who have stepped up to make this happen and give the opportunity to our smallest players to have fun and enjoy rugby.
Our thoughts this week however go to the Aitken family and the tragic news of Robyn’s passing. She brought a smile to everyones face in the rugby club and has very much been a friend to all. Sincere condolences to Davie, Andrew, Louise & Lindsay at this time.
We also wish our 1990 captain George Watson all the best in his recovery from his recent illness.
Membership details can be found at https://penicuikrugby.org/online-membership/ please note the discount is valid till the end of September.
Director of Rugby : Mark Blair
Penicuik 11 – 34 Linlithgow (National Shield)
Tries : G Shillinglaw
Pen : O.Malone (2)
We got out of last weekend exactly what we wanted, the players getting a good run out against decent opposition and an opportunity to see what the 2022/23 squad is all about. Look, it would have been unrealistic to expect a win. Linlithgow are a well drilled side who had 3 pre-season games under their belts against quality opposition and that showed in their passages of play and their players working together.
This was the first time our 9,10,12 & 13 had ever played in the same team together. its one thing to run moves on a training night and another against a well drilled defence in the league above us. The close score at half time certainly gave me plenty comfort we have the potential to play well this season.
full photo album (credit to Bob Keith) available at https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.5867593146619113&type=3
I thought Sean led the team magnificently and hope he can take that form into this weekends league opener against Hawick Linden given 1xv captain Aidan Dean is again unavailable. We have had some mixed results down at Linden the last few years but the 39-7 win there last season should give the boys confidence we can win on road trips.
That being said, Hawick had a good pre-season win against Gala YM 49-0 last week with 5 separate players getting their tries. Our defence will need to be wary their attack can come from anywhere and will need to be on their toes.
I’m excited to see our fast youngsters run well on the 3G pitch at Volunteer Park and its great to get back into league action.
2xv coach : Rich Mann
Penicuik 2xv 26 – 28 Currie 3xv
Tries : P Hope, G Holmes, S Hawkins & J Graham
Con : A Findlay (3)
Last Saturday’s game against Currie was all about us blooding players and helping Currie get their 3rd XV off the ground again. What we ended with was a very entertaining match where both teams played some very fast flowing and skilful rugby.
The penalty count was high on both sides as the new breakdown rules were still being worked out by both teams. Clearing out and supporting players on the ground is something we are going to have to work on.
Seeing former Colts Andrew Cartwright and Jacob Lee making their mark on the senior game was very satisfying. Steven Hawkins getting his first senior try was magnificent. The highlight of the day was seeing Ben, Jon and Andrew playing in the same team.
(full photo album available at https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.5867613546617073&type=3) (credit to Bob Keith)
The score line did not matter, what we showed was that we can play rugby and play rugby against good opposition. The 2 try’s Currie scored to come back were a wee bit disappointing as they came about due to us not doing what we had been doing really well (Defensive duties and support).
If we take our confident style of play and dominant pack into this weekend game we will see another sporting and entertaining game of rugby.
It’s always a great away trip to Walkerburn who provide great hospitality in the clubhouse after the game. It was superb news to hear last season James Grieve had managed to pull together a new crop of players and also get the Walkerburn 7’s back up and running. Rugby is about enjoyment and having fun after all.
Weekends Squads (correct at time of publish)
1xv : A couple of changes from last weekend, we still have some injuries and a number of players are unavailable due to work schedules and pre-planned events. Danny comes in at prop for his first start for the club, and Kaihe swaps with Euan Reid. The same 13 get a chance to run out together again and continue forming playing relationships. We have a good bench with players who can come on and change the game and it’s great to welcome back Luke after his recent injury and hopefully sausage will get a run out today.
2xv :Massively disappointing to be chasing around for players in a match which has been on the list for a couple months now. It’s great to have Andy Watt back in the squad who brings a real drive to the front row, its club debuts for brothers Matt & Luke Randall. Ally McCormick returns to the side at stand off and hopefully an appearance off the bench for Mickey to add to his ever growing number of caps for the club.
1xv captain : Aidan Dean
We had hoped to have heard from our 2022/23 1xv captain Aidan Dean this week, however in his absence here’s the first in what will be a weekly game…. Where’s Aidan this weekend???
This weekends choices
- New York
- At the races
Answers on a postcard to the Old Pavilion please.
Mini’s round up : Gavin Holmes (P1-3 coach)
It was great to welcome Royal High Rhinos to Penicuik last weekend as our P1-P3 went into our first game weekend after only two weeks of training.
There was some great skills on show and the coaching team were delighted to see the skills we have been working hard on in the training paddock go onto the pitch!
We are working hard on the basics of rugby along with our number one aim of having fun. This was clearly on display today with over 25 having fun in the sun whilst displaying some great skills.
The P1-P3 section continues to attract a good number of kids and we have seen some new faces this season to join and compliment the existing Players returning this year.
The introduction of our new Micro’s (for pre-school aged 3-4) section worked well with 12 kids turning up for their first session. As a coach this is ideal as we can now see who will be moving into the P1 side next season and allows us to plan transition more smoothly
The coaching team are encouraged with this start and are excited for the rest of this season.
Meet The Player : Sean Kitching
Sean has been a key member of the 1xv front row for the past 5 seasons, he brings to the pitch his own personality which often continues onto the post game action. Often leading the way with any opportunity for some fancy dress
Sean gave his verdict of lasts weekends defeat to Linlithgow
“It was a privilege to captain Penicuik for the first game of the season and I enjoyed every minute of the game, we didn’t get the win that we wanted but I couldn’t have been happier with the performance the guys put in. A lot of new faces starting for the 1XV this season and for our first game back we started to find our rhythm and played some excellent rugby for periods of the game.
Very excited for the season to start and show what this team can do when we are in full swing. Normally our first bus away trip contains some sort of fancy dress/games, however we have an increased professionalism this season and want our heads focused on the game and not the after party which has hampered previous bus trip results”
Name : Sean Kitching
Position : Prop
Age : 27
Favorite Group Chat : Pints and That
Last Song Listened to : Chris Stapleton – Tennesse Whiskey
Current Box Set : The Sandman
Who do you sit next in the locker room : Whoever brings along the post game changing room beers
Current Job : Repair Controller (Car Body Shop)
We kick off rugby weekends with the opening off our U16’s campaign on Saturday morning (10am) home to Clifton Hall School. Our 1xv entertain Forrester FP in a friendly and our 2xv open their 2022/23 league account home to Corstorphine, both are 3pm kick offs.
Sat evening its the Captains Quiz night, if you haven’t already booked your team of 6, please contact Aidan as all but one table has been sold (correct as of time of publish)
Sunday morning our Mini’s entertain Livingston at 11am and our micro’s section continue aswell
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