Back (l-r): C Spence (coach), J Johnstone, S Bergius, M Black, J Hannay, J Duncan, C Taylor, L Bargery, H Lindsay, A St Clair, M Campbell, R Warnock, A Greig, R Mackintosh, A Hagart, D Gibb-Morris, B Lockie (coach). Front: A Masson, C Halliday, J Morgan, R McPhail (capt), D St Clair, C Gilfillan, I Miller. Sitting: A Hughes.

THE EDINBURGH school fended off challenges from far and wide to earn their first-ever Team of the Month award for their terrific run in the Brewin Dolphin Scottish Schools Cup.

Stewart’s Melville got to their third consecutive final and reversed last year’s loss against Edinburgh Academy by beating their capital city rivals 19-10 in front of a raucous 4,000 crowd at Murrayfield. In a full-blooded and close contest, a try by wing Adam Greig plus 14 points from the boot of fly-half Alex Hagart prevailed.

With only four boys returning from the previous year and no one finding favour with the Scottish selectors, prospects weren’t rosy at the start of the season.

The XV started slowly, with defeats in their first three games, but improved radically under the outstanding leadership of non-stop flanker Ross McPhail.

After decisive wins in the pool phase over Royal High School, Gordonstoun, Fettes and George Heriot’s, there followed tough cup defeats of Dollar Academy and George Watson’s. A try by centre Jack Hannay and a conversion and penalty by Hagart squeezed them past the latter team, 10-5.

The school has always believed in expansive rugby and this has been evident with both wings, Leo Bargery and Andrew Hughes, being the leading try-scorers in a season to remember.

Check out April 2011′s School Team of the Month…

This article appeared in the May 2011 issue of Rugby World Magazine. To find a newsagent which sells Rugby World in UK visit http://www.ipcmedia.com/availability/index.php?code=rugby

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