Three excellently taken tries inside 23 minutes from George Watson’s winger Angus Hoffie set the tone for the Under-16 Schools’ Cup final at Murrayfield last night. Although there was a brave rally from Stewart’s Melville during ten minutes either side of half-time, Watson’s held their nerve to secure a comfortable victory over their capital rivals.
Stewart’s Melville dominated the opening exchanges, and had a golden chance to grab the lead with an overlap on the right, but Nuhan Hussain couldn’t quite hold on to the ball. Watson’s, on the other hand, were deadly once they managed to establish some field position and territory, with Hoffie demonstrating not only raw pace but the ability to hit a devastating line, on his way to a well-taken try from a simple scrum manoeuvre.
The impressive winger went one better on 20 minutes with a powerful surge up the right wing, sweeping past two defenders, on his way to the line; and the hat-trick was in the bag three minutes later, when Hoffie appeared in midfield and scrambled in under the posts.
Stewart’s Melville snatched a foothold just before the break when second-row Aaron Robertson rumbled over from close range, and the deficit was wiped out within a few minutes of the resumption with two quickfire tries from left wing Joshua Grant.
However, Watson’s quickly reasserted their authority. Stand-off Alex Harley broke from midfield to score under the posts, quickly followed by centre Angus Cousin coming in from the right.
Any lingering hope Stewart’s Melville may have had of causing an upset evaporated when Olly Snodgrass squeezed over for try number six. Rory Stephen, Gregor Scougall and Harley (for his second) got in on the act before man-of-the-match Hoffie appropriately finished off the scoring in the last play of the match.
Hoffie also contributed 14 points with the boot through seven successful conversions, to take his total tally for the day to 34 points.