Not such a Blues Monday for the Burgh

In front of an appreciative crowd on a mild Meggetland evening, an Edinburgh A side came together to beat Canadian visitors, Ontario Blues, 41-15.

The Blues have won four straight national titles, lifting the Championship’s MacTier Cup annually from 2011-14. Eight Blues players and two coaches were named in the Canadian national side competing in the IRB Americas Rugby Championship throughout October, while five were named in Canada’s national men’s sevens side which took part in the Gold Coast Sevens in the HSBC Sevens World Series earlier this month.

Meanwhile the Edinburgh side featured BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy players including Chris Auld and Jake Kerr, alongside full time professionals such as Grayson Hart and Tom Brown, and club players including Heriot’s captain Jack Turley and Gala flanker Gary Graham.

The home side were first out of the blocks with returning-from-injured Brown powering his way over the line first, the score converted by Hart. Minutes later Heriot’s Jason Hill added his name to the score sheet, the Edinburgh players gelling to put on a united front.

Chris Auld, currently on loan to London Scottish, Brown, Hart and Turley combined for a breathtaking phase of attack before the visitors killed the ball but the home side retaliated moments later when Graham broke to cross and Hart converted.

Ontario immediately turned up the gas and, after sustained pressure on the line, scoring through Alistair Clark just before half time.

The half time team talk from coaches Bryan Easson and Stevie Scott hit the mark as centre Chris Dean showed great skills to scoop up and offload to Brown who completed his brace to make it 24-5.

After an immense break from flanker George Turner, he offloaded to Turley who showed impressive pace to touch down in the corner. Callum Anderson had barely been on the field, replacing Brown, when he too touched down in the corner, supported in the run-up by Chris Dean.

After Ontario added another three points, Lucas Rumball rolling over the line, Edinburgh’s last score was an unexpected but crowd-pleasing show and go from Simon Berghan, the big prop clearly delighted with his try.

Into the last five minutes and Ontario threw everything at the game, determined to add to their score, ultimately putting Paul Cuilini over in the dying seconds to make it 41-15.

Coach Stevie Scott, working alongside Easson, said: "Some of the individual performances of the club players were excellent – we asked the senior players to take the lead and the club players to follow that and we achieved that tonight. I was really happy with the result.

"Tom throws his body around and it was good he got through sixty minutes. We also had a good replacement in Callum Anderson who came on and got a try.

"These games are good to have, you can see the club players putting their hands up to play at a higher level.."