Merchiston Castle School claimed the Scottish Schools under-16 Cup title with a performance that exhibited a blend of power and pace which the less physical Dollar side could not match.
Power came in the form of No 8 Rudi Brown, who has been playing for Merchiston 1sts, and pace, and indeed clever footwork, was shown by winger and man of the match Amaan Raza.
“Both teams looked a bit nervous. We were lucky to score just before half-time and then again at the beginning of the second half which essentially buried the game,” said Merchiston’s director of rugby Roddy Deans, adding: “This set of boys have worked really hard all year.”
It was Merchiston who struck first with a penalty goal by their scrum-half Matthew De Villiers, the reward for non-stop pressure from the kick-off.
Dollar, however, were showing gritty resistance and after 15 minutes made their first incursion into the Merchiston half count with a try in the corner for full-back Robert Disborough.
But before the break Merchiston hit back effectively as first their No 8 Brown proved unstoppable from five metres out and then wing Raza took an inside pass before sprinting clear, both tries converted by De Villiers for a 17-5 half-time lead.
Merchiston quickly extended their lead with a second try by Raza, again converted by De Villiers, from Brown’s pass and then a close-range effort by flanker Tom Currie, both converted by De Villiers.
The Merchiston scrum-half increased his contribution with a penalty goal and then the conversion of a second try by Brown, to take his tally for the game to 16 points.