The University of St Andrews Rugby Men’s 1st XV lifted the Caledonia 2Midlands league title on Saturday as they triumphed 75-0 over Kinross at University Park. The hard work however was done the week before as Saints hosted league leaders Grangemouth, who were undefeated all season, and put them to the sword with a dominant performance all over the pitch, winning 26-12.
With the full five points secured against Grangemouth in an enthralling match, and in front of the largest crowd seen at this level of league rugby for many years, Saints leap-frogged Grangemouth into pole position with only Kinross to beat at home. That they did in some style in glorious sunshine with the league trophy waiting in the wings to be presented.
SRU Council representative Don Burns was on hand to present the trophy to 1st XV Captain Alan Little who commented on how special the win was:
“The club has played at this level on a Saturday for over 15 years and although we have always been in contention to do well, we have never seen it through due to numerous reasons associated with student rugby like holidays and exams. This season has been different though with a 1st XV squad of 38 guys who have been together since the start of the season working hard on the training pitch and in the gym. We have come back into town when on holiday and ensured that although with the pressures of our academic commitments we get a welcomed break from our studies by coming to rugby practice. The commitment from the players has been fantastic.”
Director of Rugby, David Ross added:
“This season has been a real turning point for the club. For the first time the students have taken rugby seriously on a Saturday and not only the BUCS games on a Wednesday. After playing in the Scottish Varsity match down in London in front of 1500 people and being beaten by an impressive Edinburgh Uni team, we identified that our whole rugby programme needed to be at a higher level and winning this league is stage one of that plan. Winning the promotion play off that we are now in versus Moray RFC is stage two and the boys are looking forward to the challenge. The win versus Grangemouth was special not only due to us scoring a bonus point and dominating the game but simply because all the hard work we had put in on the training field and in the gym was executed perfectly by the squad and in a winner takes all big match, we performed really well.”
The playoff for promotion to Caledonia league 1 will take place via home and away ties against Moray RFC on 7 April in St Andrews and 14 April in Elgin.