‘Worst rugby team’ finally breaks losing streak after 49 games

Liberton captain John Green and president Mike Hood celebrate
Liberton captain John Green and president Mike Hood celebrate
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THEY are the never-say-die rugby outfit who refused to give up – despite being dubbed the worst team in Scotland.

Liberton Rugby Club is celebrating after recording its first victory in 49 competitive starts at the weekend.

Liberton FP Rugby Football Club

Liberton FP Rugby Football Club

An 11-7 triumph over Queensferry saw the south Edinburgh side finally end a losing streak that began after their last win on March 21, 2009.

The victory was down to a last-minute penalty try – although predictably the side still missed the conversion from directly in front of the posts.

As the Evening News revealed last November, long-suffering previous coach Craig Young had brought in three Scottish Rugby Union coaches to help the team out after losing all 11 games that season and conceding an incredible 656 points. They also failed to win at all in 2008-09.

Clubhouse celebrations went on long into the night and were summed up by prop forward Mike Steele, who had turned out despite snapping the bone in his finger the previous week.

He said: “We had been hammering away at the try-line forcing a succession of penalties from Queensferry.

“After about six or seven the referee decided enough was enough and said he was awarding a penalty try.

“While our opponents sank to their knees we were jumping for joy and high-fiving.”

Mr Steele said new coach Phil Murphy had persuaded the team they could get a crucial win if they persevered.

He added: “Aware of how we were knocking on the door of a win, Phil kept encouraging us by saying if we continued to train and play the way we had then eventually a corner would be turned.”

Liberton’s tale of woe was so widely known that other teams from across the division sent messages of congratulation.

The side, who play at Double Hedges Park and compete in East Regional Division Three, have struggled to find experienced players – or even those who had played a single game.

Club president Michael Hood said: “There’s three or four guys in the team who have only played a few games of rugby, so this will be a very pleasing win for them.”

Mr Hood said that the side had been short of several of their players, and only had two substitutes, so are confident they will go on to win again with a full squad.

He said: “Hopefully it will spur us on. I think it’s the boost the team needed.”

He added: “We had a good celebration and we had a few beers. I certainly did anyway.

“It’s the first win since I’ve been president.”