Back row (from left): T Grey, A Lutton, J Lennon, T Mitchell, T Salisbury, M Miller, R Simpson. Middle row: J Haining, Z Muir, R Orr, G Brown, A Swan, J Bredin, J Brackenridge. Front row: F Smith, J Maclean, C Simpson, C Dean (capt), A Glashan, C Thomson, R Seydak

Edinburgh Academy held off the challenges of Gower College, Woodhouse Grove, Tregib CS and Sedbergh after beating George Watson’s 12-11 in the Brewin Dolphin U18 Scottish Schools Cup final. It crowned a wonderful term’s rugby for the XV and their No 8 Chris Dean, who led his side to their 14th successive win.

Hugely impressive wins over Robert Gordon’s and Merchiston Castle – wing Freddie Smith grabbing four tries in the latter tie – took them to Murrayfield.

In front of a big Saturday crowd, they beat their old Edinburgh rivals by the smallest of margins after trailing 3-0 at half-time. The critical spell came when Smith and full-back Rory Orr crossed for tries when Watson’s had a man in the sin-bin, centre Alex Swan adding a vital conversion.

Winners and runners-up in the past two U18 finals, the Academy had eight old colours and five players from last year’s winning U16 side and the experience gained proved important in the frenetic exchanges in the final.

The Academy possessed strength all over the pitch but it was the pack’s back five of Chris Thomson, Jamie Maclean, Cameron and Rory Simpson, and Dean that was the key to success.

Half-backs Alex Glashan and Alexander Muir combined wonderfully whilst the backs were not only quick in attack but defended extremely well.

Click here to see October’s School Team of the Month

This article appeared in the February 2012 issue of Rugby World Magazine.

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