Helensburgh Rugby Club: Youth section prepare for semi-finals this weekend

HELENSBURGH Rugby Club coaches have renewed their call for new young players to come and try rugby – as three of the club’s youth teams prepare for the semi-finals this weekend.

The Burgh U15s finished their group stage matches with a 52-24 home defeat to Whitecraigs last weekend – but now have the prospect of a Bowl semi-final against Dalziel to look forward to this Sunday.

With low squads in both teams, it was decided to play 13, but Burgh’s side – not for the first time – were slower to start and Whitecraigs scored two tries in quick succession.

A real focus on the tackle allowed Burgh to retain much more ball and set up full-back Shaun Callan to break down the right wing and get out of the final tackle for the Greens’ first try.

And an all-out attacking approach for the home side, with superb runs from Lee, Mace, Jonathan, Ethan and Ewan, culminated in a long pass from scrum-half Tom McClearn clearing out two defenders and setting up Euan Branch for the second scoreline of Helensburgh. of the afternoon.

Helensburgh Rugby Club Under 15s in action against Whitecraigs at Ardencaple

Whitecraigs responded with a third down, but just before the break Burgh fought back up the field and a solid finish from Rhuairidh Hall leveled the scores at half-time.

Whitecraigs scored two more quick tries early in the second half, and although another excellent line-break from Ewan McCartney and a solid finish saw Ben Grayson score an excellent team try – his first after four rugby seasons! – an interception and another kick and chase saw the game for Whitecraigs.

Special mention has to go to Ewan McCartney for his line breaks, but the player of the match was Harry Kemp for his leadership and phenomenal work rate.

Helensburgh Rugby Clubs Under 15s in action against Whitecraigs at Ardencaple

Helensburgh Rugby Club Under 15s in action against Whitecraigs at Ardencaple

The Burgh’s Bowl semi-final against Dalziel will be played away this Sunday, March 20, with kick-off at 2 p.m.

If you’re interested in trying out the sport, come train at Ardencaple on Thursday night with a pair of boots, mouth guard, top and shorts and you’ll be welcome.

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Elsewhere, the Helensburgh Under-16s ended their own Western Cup pool matches on a high with a fine 43-10 win at Strathaven in windy conditions.

Burgh started with great intensity: on a penalty, noticing an overlap, Alex Brown took a quick slap and Tom Fleming sent it to winger Thomas Pretty, who pointed for his first try.

Burgh kept the pressure on and after quick penalties Rhys Elias crossed a close-range pick and go – and, continuing the direct run from the previous week’s narrow loss to East Kilbride, Burgh crossed the line again with a simple work through the hands, Rory Dunlop crossing for his first of the day.

Action from a 43-10 win for the Helensburgh Under-16s at Strathaven (Photo - Solomon Blake)

Action from a 43-10 win for the Helensburgh Under-16s at Strathaven (Photo – Solomon Blake)

Strathaven responded well and eventually broke Burgh’s superb defense for their first try, but a Matthew Smith-Ballantyne interception score allowed the visitors to add a fourth.

Despite excellent tackles from Burgh’s side, a relentless series of picks from the hosts earned Strathaven their second try just before the break to leave the Greens 24-10 ahead at half-time.

Excellent defending by both teams meant 20 minutes without a goal early in the second half, with Harry Chan and Alex Tacchi making fine tackles and Mackenzie Nielson and Mikey Miller making big runs and crossing the winning line.

Action from a 43-10 win for the Helensburgh Under-16s at Strathaven (Photo - Solomon Blake)

Action from a 43-10 win for the Helensburgh Under-16s at Strathaven (Photo – Solomon Blake)

An excellent tackle thrown by Rory Dunlop prevented a third try from Strathaven and led to a turnover from Helensburgh which Tom Fleming, using the wind, cleared to relieve the pressure.

Helensburgh’s physical condition showed in the closing stages and they added three more tries late in the game: Oscar Deighan collected and scored after a loose pass was thrown, before Dunlop scored his second after superb sniping from the rucks side by David Crombie set up a big break.

Helensburgh took his try count to seven with the final game of the game with Rhyes Elias using his strength and power to score his second tally.

Action from a 43-10 win for the Helensburgh Under-16s at Strathaven (Photo - Solomon Blake)

Action from a 43-10 win for the Helensburgh Under-16s at Strathaven (Photo – Solomon Blake)

This game really highlighted how defense wins you games and offense decides how many. Every player improves week by week and the hard work put in in training shows up in matches to create exciting, fast and attacking rugby.

The U16s’ next match will be West Quaich’s semi-final at Whitecraigs this Sunday March 20 (kick-off 2pm).

At Under-14 level, a depleted Lomond/Helensburgh side put up a solid team performance to overcome the loss of the first two tries at Strathendrick/Balfron on Sunday.

Action from a 43-10 win for the Helensburgh Under-16s at Strathaven (Photo - Solomon Blake)

Action from a 43-10 win for the Helensburgh Under-16s at Strathaven (Photo – Solomon Blake)

Despite wet and muddy conditions which worsened in the second half, and despite only one substitute, the Lomond/Helensburgh side switched gears after the break and turned a 12-0 deficit into a 19-12 victory against a much larger team.

Helensburgh Under-13s were beaten 38-3 away by their Strathendrick counterparts on Sunday: seven magnificent Burgh lads, aided by the hosts kindly loaning a few players, set up, with several playing out of position , but Strathendrick was a bit more consistent in a game that quickly turned into a mudfest for both teams.

Action from a 43-10 win for the Helensburgh Under-16s at Strathaven (Photo - Solomon Blake)

Action from a 43-10 win for the Helensburgh Under-16s at Strathaven (Photo – Solomon Blake)

The Helensburgh Under-18s lost in a development match at home to Balfron/Strathendrick on Saturday but will look to put that behind them when they travel to Waysiders/Drumpellier for their West Regional Shield semi-final this Saturday March 19.

Kick-off at St Andrew’s High School in Coatbridge is at noon.