Schools rugby: Mad March weather sees finals postponed
The Brewin Dolphin Scottish Schools Plate and Bowl finals scheduled to be played at Murrayfield tonight have been postponed following the decision taken yesterday by Scottish Borders Council to heed an amber warning from the Met Office and invoke their ‘Resilient Schools’ mode – or, in simple language, a ‘Snow Day’.
Border schools – Galashiels Academy, Peebles High School, Jedburgh Grammar School and Selkirk High School – are involved in each of the four finals that should have been played.
The severe weather also forced the cancellation of last night’s rescheduled national under-17 trial game as well as today’s Caritas Sevens at Myreside. The understanding is that an under-17 squad will now be selected for a training camp based on performances throughout the season.
It is disappointing for the players involved but it saves the SRU potentially acrimonious repercussions from the decision to hold a national trial and a prestigious finals night for schools rugby on consecutive nights that initially put a number of players involved in both games in an impossible situation.
In the circumstances the organisers of these fixtures can thank the mad March weather for saving them the embarrassment of coming up with this clash. One schools coach with players involved in both the trial and the Brewin Dolphin finals questioned the decision: “Would this have happened on the night before the Cup final?”
Even if Scottish Borders had not stepped in to make the decision for the SRU and the matches had gone ahead there had to be massive concern for spectators who, without the cover of a stand, would have been forced to huddle together for warmth on the touchlines around the two back pitches at Murrayfield being used for the finals.
“Why are these finals not played on the big pitch? The players’ expectations are built up by the prospect of playing at Murrayfield and the reality is that they’re only on the back pitches,” said Kevin Barrie, the coach of under-16 Plate finalists, Jedburgh Grammar School.
That is a sentiment echoed by many schools in the competition, some suggesting that if Murrayfield’s main pitch cannot be used for the Plate and Bowl finals than at least an attempt should be made to find a ground with covered facilities.
As yet no indication as to when the finals will now be played has been given.
Meanwhile, Merchiston warmed up for the National Schools Sevens in London next week by winning the Goldenacre Sevens on Saturday with a 15-12 victory over Edinburgh Academy in the final.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Saturday 25 May 2013
Temperature: 6 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 9 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 14 mph
Wind direction: South west