Forrester RFC
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Forrester Rubies

We are an over 35's team who play various friendlies and in Golden Oldies Rugby Festivals.
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Forrester U16's21-Mar-2012 10:39  top of page
Sunday 25th March 2012
Edinburgh & Borders Shield Final
Forrester U16's v Linlithgow U16's
Venue Dunbar RFC
Kick off 1pm
All supporters welcome to cheer the boys on.
Youth Games01-Mar-2012 09:28  top of page
Sunday 4th march 2012
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Forrester v Murrayfield Wanderers

P1-P7 Sunday 4th march 2012


Meet at the club 11am warm up 11.30am, games start 12pm


The Youths need two parent volunteers to hand out the food after the games.If you can help out please contact Colin McArthur on 07772139020



Halloween Party29-Oct-2011 19:30  top of page

Come along and support the youth section

Saturday 29th October 2011. Family Halloween party.
Time - 7:30pm - 12:00am. (Disco & party games for both adults and kids)

Tickets will be available from the club or committee.

Ticket prices;

£10.00 per family (2 adults 2 children or 2 adults & 3 children)


£2.50 per person.

There will be a prize for the best dressed Child and a prize for the best dressed Adult.

All funds will go towards the youth section.
Forrester U16 XV v Preston Lodge26-Sep-2011 09:09  top of page
Unfortunately Preston Lodge only had 10 players therefore conceded the game before it had started. But to make a match of it Forrester gave PL 5 players to even up the sides.

There was some great running rugby played throughout the day with scores from;

George Archibald, Aaron Mason (3), Brad Graham (2), Ross Murray, Findlay Rae, Daniel Park, Josh McLeod.

And conversion’s from Andrew Keron (4), Josh McLeod (1) and Ruairidh Irwin (1).

HT score was 38 – 0

FT score was 62 – 17.

Would like to thank the players that played for PL, as this showed some great sportsmanship and also allowed us to play a match instead of just train.

Match Overview - By Event

'3 Try George Archibald
'11 Try Aaron Mason
'12 Conversion Andrew Keron
'18 Try Aaron Mason
'18 Conversion Andrew Keron
'20 Try Brad Graham
'22 Conversion Andrew Keron
'22 Try Ross Murray
'26 Try Brad Graham
'26 Conversion Ruairidh Irwin
'34 Try Findlay Rae
'41 Try Daniel Park
'42 Conversion Andrew Keron
'50 Try Aaron Mason
'50 Conversion Josh McLeod
'53 Try Josh McLeod
'60 Man of the Match George Archibald

Match Overview - By Player

1. Cameron Craig
2. Kieran Newton
3. Daniel Maweu
4. Cameron Walker
5. Josh McLeod Try ('53) Conversion ('50)
6. Aaron Mason Try ('11, '18, '50)
7. Tony Rodger
8. Daniel Park Try ('41)
9. Findlay Rae Try ('34)
10. George Archibald Try ('3)
11. Ruairidh Irwin Conversion ('26)
12. Brad Graham Try ('20, '26)
13. Ross Murray Try ('22)
14. Andrew Keron Conversion ('12, '18, '22, '42)
15. Kris Coyle
16. Kevin Robertson
17. Arron Reeder
18. Michael Merritt
19. Michael Elder
21. Fraser Gordon
22. Blair Lamond
U16 XV Team for Sunday23-Sep-2011 00:10  top of page
Position Player
Cameron Craig
2 Kieran Newton
3 Daniel Maweu
4 Cameron Walker
5 Josh McLeod
6 Aaron Mason
7 Tony Rodger
8 Daniel Park
9 Findlay Rae - Captain
10 George Archibald
11 Ruairidh Irwin
12 Brad Graham
13 Ross Murray
14 Andrew Keron
15 Kris Coyle
16 Kevin Robertson
17 Arron Reeder
18 Michael Merritt
19 Michael Elder
20 Ben Norby
21 Fraser Gordon
22 Blair Lamond
Forrester U16's vs. Haddington U16's01-Sep-2011 13:10  top of page

Hi All,

This week the Under 16's take on Haddington in there second league fixture.

They had a disappointing start to the league campaign with a defeat to Murryfield but they are hoping to bounce back this week with there first home fixture.

The KO is 13:30 with a meet time of 12:30.

Please come changed as the mini/mico's are on before us and could still be in the changing rooms.

Team for Sunday is as follow's;


1. C Craig

2. K Newton

3. A Reeder

4. J McLeod

5. M Elder

6. F Gordon

7. T Rodger

8. D Park

9. A Keron

10. G Archibald

11. R Irwin

12. A Mason

13. B Graham

14. F Rae

15. K Coyle



16. K Robertson

17. D Maweu

18. B Norby

19. M Merritt

20. O Bartusik

21. R Murray

All support welcome to the game!

Mini/Micro's start at 11am.



Falkirk U16's Vs Forrester U16's02-Aug-2011 22:16  top of page
This Sunday see the under 16's take on Falkirk in there first friendly match.
The game is away, with the mini bus going to the game.
Meet time is 11am. KO 1pm.
all support would be greatly appreciated.
Under 16's Training (Sunday 31st July)28-Jul-2011 13:42  top of page
Hi All,
Letting everyone know, that there is training booked in for this Sunday. 12pm at the club.
Can we all make the effort to get down as the first friemdly game is next week and need as many people down at the next few sessions as possible, to start team shape.
Can all let me know if they are not going to make it?
Mixed Touch Tournament (Sunday 24th July)18-Jul-2011 15:57  top of page
(Under 14's, U16's & U18's)

Fun day out at Forrester RFC for membership's day.

On the 24th July (Membership day), we are going to have a mixed touch tournament between S1/S2's, Under 16's & Under 18's.

Team's will be draw out a hat at the start of the tournament.

The tournament will be a round-robin type, with the top 2 team's at the end of the tournament playing a final.

It will be a 10am start for the tournament for all players wanting to play, and we hope to have it all finished by 1pm.

There will be a BBQ down at pitch-side all day for food and entertainment through out the day.

I would invited all players, parents and friend's down to this event for an enjoyable day out.

Any Questions feel free to contact Gav/Bill.

Gavin Sisson – 07885262918
Bill Smith – 07971446947

Look forward to seeing you all down for a fun day out!!!


This will also be the last chance to pay for your subs at the discounted rate.



Under 16's training13-Jul-2011 09:23  top of page
Hi Guys,
All training has re-started for the Under 16's.
We will be training;
Monday & Wednesday's - 6:30pm - 8pm.
Sunday's - 11am - 12:30pm
Please pass the message on to all players and get everyone back down!
Look forward to seeing you back down....
RAF Sponsor Colts for Season 2010/201116-Jun-2010 18:14  top of page
click to view full image for : RAF Sponsor Colts for Season 2010/2011

The RAF have sponsored our Colts team for season 2010/ 2011 and presented the team with a full set of playing kit.

RAF Sponsorship 10-Jun-2010 05:44  top of page
'A chance meeting in a local gym between one of the Club's 'veteran' players Garry McLoughlin'and Sgt Scott Deuchars, RAF Careers Motivational Outreach Team resulted in our U18 team being provided with a complete new set of strips through the RAFs sports token scheme.
Recognising the good work being done by React 2 Rugby and also the Club to develop youth in west Edinburgh the RAF intimated they are keen to support and integrate with R2R's activities.
The jerseys were formally handed over by Flt. Lt. Jim Thomson to Bill Smith.
After the presentation, Sgt Deuchars organised a selected group of the youth team to undergo mentally and slightly physically challenging exercises in the Club's carpark. Despite trying to get them to think outside the box, it would be fair to say that Sgt. Deuchars had to 'enlighten' the team as to how to successfully complete the exercises.
R2R and the youth team are very grateful to the RAF for their sponsorship and support of the the Trust's and Club's activities.
We look forward to a deep and continuous relationship with them.
From the Head of PE at Craigmount High School01-Jun-2010 09:09  top of page
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Forrester RFC have now been delivering sessions to Craigmount High School students for several years. In recent times we have enjoyed exciting sessions which the students look forward to. There has been delivery from S1 through to Higher PE at S5 / S6 with enthusiasm clear from both coaches and students.

All sessions incorporate the latest developments in Rugby and education with Curriculum for Excellence being a focal point. This relationship has had a direct impact on the quality of Rugby being demonstrated by Craigmount students with selections at regional and national level being achieved.

Our main source of feedback in schools comes from the learners, and it is clear that the programs we have in place are successful.

Mike Irving

Principal Teacher of Physical Education

Craigmount High School


RAF Presentation01-Jun-2010 09:03  top of page
The RAF have sponsored our Colts team for season 2010/ 2011 and presented the team with a full set of playing kit.
Edinburgh Crew25-Feb-2010 21:21  top of page
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Edinburgh Rugby Club recently launched their new Junior Supporter’s Club called the Edinburgh Crew.  This is available to anyone under the age of 18 who loves Rugby – and is easy to sign up.


When a child signs up for the Edinburgh Crew, they will be entitled to some great benefits including two free tickets to an Edinburgh match (for the child and an accompanying adult).  The other benefits include:


• Opportunity to meet the Edinburgh and Scotland stars AND get their signatures!
• Exclusive access to the Scotland Junior supporters website
• Christmas card and gift from the Scotland team (in first year of membership)
• Entry into exclusive competitions
• Invite to attend events such as a player Q&A and chance to train with the Scotland team

Forrester Youths who have won competitions this season to be become mascots for Scotland are;

Daniel Bradshaw (v Fiji), Merryn Gunderson (v Australia) and Patrick Ramage (v England)


The next match which the FREE ticket offer applies to is the Heineken Cup match against Ulster on the weekend of 24th April (Date and kick off to be confirmed).  In order to claim your two FREE tickets to this match, please sign up before midday on Friday 16th April.


It is easy to sign up – all you need to do is log on to and complete the registration form.  There are also more details about the Supporters Club on the website.


Forrester S1 and S2 Up for a Challenge07-Feb-2010 21:41  top of page
Forrester versus Heriots

As I drew up and walked into Goldenacre, I was transported back to my childhood days when I first played this fantastic game. It was a typical dewy February morning, slightly overcast, not cold, perfect for running rugby and the city pulsing with Six Nations fever.

The players were already warming up in preparation to take on Heriots, a team we knew would move the ball and would have good skills. However we were pretty confident our skills were improving and we could give them a run for their money.

We were playing on the big pitch, it was always big when I played on it, thought it would be daunting to the lads but they just took it in their stride.

The initial exchanges were good and Forresters handling skills were standing up well. All the weeks of practice saw them moving the ball through 1st receivers hands quickly, exploiting the space and making good lines breaks. It was Forresters decision making and rucking technique that prevented them from taking advantage of the good play. Heriots however had no problem with their finishing and worked two tries in the first half. The Greenies heads did not drop and they responded with some beautiful simple rugby (the best kind) – Blair moved the ball quickly to Jamie who in concert with Brad released Adam Millar to outstrip the Heriots defence and spot down between the posts.

The second half saw both teams having a real go at each other, both willing to spread the ball at every opportunity. Forrester were just edged in the close quarter exchanges and like the national side out scrummed. The scoring was much like the same as the first half with Heriots crossing twice and Forrester replying with a try which encouragingly involved both the forwards and backs. After a positive run by brad, connecting with George and good work by Josh, Connor, Michael, Aaron and Cameron. Rory Notman drove over to score.

As a coach I was delighted to see the marked improvement in the handling of all the players and the desire showed by the players. We will need to work on the break down area and the scrum – at least we know and you can expect some fun combat on Wed. Finally we were as good as Heriots even given the loss and the future looks bright is this team continues to work hard at their skills.


Falkirk Vs Forrester

This game was a different kettle of Fish altogether. Falkirk sported a large pack who were always going to test the Green pack. Forrester had the creativity and hands to take them on, all they needed was the ball. Unfortuneately the forwards did not have the ball in the early exchanges with Falkirks big pack driving the ball upfield and an offside at the ruck gave them very good field position in the corner. The resulting line out saw a rehearsed move and Falkirk crashed over. Forrester needed ball, however restarted by running straight at Falkirks strength and ultimately relinquishing possession. This resulted in the Falkirk driving up field and scoring in the corner.

Forrester were struggling to get a foot in the game, however the tireless working forwards won some ball and immediately the greens backs put it to good use and after a break and offload by Brad, Adam Millar was released to romp home.

The second half was better from the Forrester forwards and they produced some more ball. Forrester also crafted the try of the match, from a poor ball going back the ball was moved to Blair who showed beautiful composure under pressure and moved the ball through his hands, Jamie held the inside defence releasing Brad who just had to connect with Yes Adam Millar who cut the line at pace to gallop under the sticks. Adam got up to convert his try.

Falkirk scored twice in the second half again through their forward power, however Forrester had begun to play the style of rugby they have been aiming for and produce a peach of a try. With a poor heal, Scottie passed the ball to Bob/Andrew? Keron (not sure if I have this right) realising the need for width Bob exploded of his right leg (straight of the training field) and pushed a long accurate pass out to Jamie who was creative all afternoon and he made a lovely break to release Yes Again Adam Millar to scurry over for his hat trick.

Forrester forwards are to be commended for their grit and determination and they kept Falkirk out at the end of the match. Forrester were unlucky to not win after another tremendously creative break by Jamie and offload to Tony who whizzing down the touchline was brought back for a forward pass.

I have not mentioned every player in this report and all the guys who played put in a fantastic effort, we have much to take out of these games and will begin the fun of developing our other skills over the next few weeks.

We play Falkirk again next week so lets see you all on Wed.



Micros, Minis and Midis Dinner Photos 21-Jun-200930-Jun-2009 19:13  top of page
Micros, Minis and Midis Dinner Photos 21-Jun-2009 have been uploaded please click here to view.
Colin McArthur
Photos from Murrayfield Minis Tournament on 26-Apr-200904-May-2009 21:34  top of page
click for photos
Forrester U18 v Gala Wanderers U1826-Mar-2009 00:55  top of page

Forrester 33 Gala Wanderers 22

Saturday saw a lovely day for rugby greet the teams at Union Park . The home side had lost some players to the 1sts and 2nds, however still had a reserve on the touchline.

It was the home side that came out the changing room with the better tempo and immediately began to recycle some quick ruck ball.

An early lineout in Forresters half saw good pressure applied at the front of the line by Colin Dunlop, forcing the visitors to palm. Hooker Aidan Beveridge needed no invitation and was through, great off load to 2nd Row Shaun Hardie who showed soft hands to realease Craig Morrison No 8. Craig linked with Neil Robertson who distributed accurately to Robbie Douglas. Ball recycled and moved back for a score. This score was right out the top drawer for me, you can’t get better than backs and forwards interacting with pace and accuracy on execution.

This was evident for most of the first 20 mins and Gala struggled to get in the game.

Tries from Wing Robbie Douglas (thorn in Galas side all game), Wing Forward Colin Dunlop (starting at 6 for the first time this season),  a brace from Full Back Euan Higgins (yet another outstanding performance). Centre Neil Robertson adding a penalty and conversion. Captain Murray Johnstone and Neil Robertson distribution was excellent .

Gala answered with a break away try after an interception.

Half time Forrester 25 Gala 7.

Not surprisingly in the second half things slowed down, Forrester fitness and Galas determination having an impact on the game. Even the introduction of Chris Anderson at Wing Forward was not enough although he would have a hand in Forresters final try Gala had the better of the second half with three tries to Forresters reply from wing Robbie Douglas completing his brace. I should mention that there are many unsung heroes not named in this report, however whos contribution can not be under estimated. As I said in the changing room you need GUYS TO DO THE NITTY GRITTY and without them tries will never be scored.

This game undoubtedly brought a smile to all the coaches faces and I am sure like me I appreciated the effort that had been made.



Report Card of Forrester Colts V Gala Wanderers


As with all report cards I will start with the good and end with the good, nice pupil, needs to realise their potential and should keep up the effort.

Those parents out there will recognise the later half of the previous sentence in todays society, as educations speak for needs a good kick up the backside.


Handling – Standards continue to be very high. High completion rate in all areas of the field. Great interaction between all team members. Knowledge of type, pace and timing of pass is in the upper quarter of quality. I feel confident an A pass can be achieved in this area.


Scrum/Line Out – High level of success was achieved throughout the game. Scrum Defence is still an issue but will be looked at in  the future. All should continue to maintain and develop their techniques to strive for a 100% success rate on own ball. Projected mark A/B


Backs Attack – Probably the greatest improvement of all. Always looked a threat, skills levels high and quality of tries scored excellent. I would have projected a C but this recent improvement has adjusted my assessment and would predict B is definitely achievable with an A not discounted should this improvement continue.


Ruck/Maul – Tried hard and created some good fast ball in the first 20 mins, started to park on the ball and decision making slowed down (See Fitness below). I’m sure they are beginning to see the value of this subject, however will only ever achieve a high mark if they are not tired when undertaking this.


Off Load – An area that was employed more in this game than I have seen in previous games. The success rate was reasonable and I expect this to continue as more practice in this valuable technique is undertaken.


Passion/Team – This is an area I feel passionately about and had discussed with the team before the game. I am glad to report that a clear improvement was made on Saturday. A long way to go, it would good to see people displaying positive outward visual body language. From the touchline you could visibly see when the body language dropped and that this coincided with the lack of encouragement for one another. Rugby is a wonderful game that allows different people from different walks of life with different talents and of different shapes and sizes to contribute to a team. It supports the idea there is no ‘I’ in team.


Punctuality – I have put this below team because respect within a team is created by togetherness. That begins with arriving on time, being prepared to play (right kit, fit), proud of who you represent.


Fitness – Some of the team will have to look towards improving this area. It is without doubt the cause of a slowing of ball, loss of ball due to lack of support, mistakes made and ones ability to think clearly under pressure. It can be carried out at home, it is all about commitment and routine.


Summary – As you will see this team has most of the skills to play great rugby and need to improve on passion/team, punctuality/togetherness and fitness.

This is undoubtedly achievable, these areas are easily rectified if there is a willingness from the individual and a determination from the team.


Forrester V Duns 21-Feb-200924-Feb-2009 20:30  top of page

Forrester V Duns

Saturday saw a blustery day greet the visit of Duns to Forrester. The visitors had a big squad unlike the home side that had given 3 players to the 2nds to help them fulfil their fixture.

The 15 took the field and started with some nice continuity rugby, creating a number of chances, not all accepted, the encouraging thing for the coaches was the endeavour to create the shape, strength of run and hands worked on through the week.

There were two tries for the home side, after some good work Jordan Smith went over in the corner and the impressive Euan Higgins dotted down in the other corner converted by Neil Robertson. The later had a very good game dominating the high ball and commanding his area returning with strong runs and linking well.

Callum McBain controlled the middle of the line out – a constant source of ball and had the side made some good decisions there could have been 4 or 5 tries in the first have, however we had the opportunities to squander. This with 14 players as surprise surprise we had someone in the bin and rightly so.

The visitors replied with a penalty, 12-3 at the half.

Forrester could have expected to turn round and dominate the proceedings with the wind at their backs. The classic mistake of thinking the game was won was made and they immediately let Duns retrieve the kick off, move upfield and score. This gave the visitors the confidence they needed and it was not long before the visitors were scoring again.

From the far end of the pitch I watched with interest, were we going to capitulate again or did we have enough team spirit and togetherness to pull through. I am pleased to say the later prevailed and it was not long before some good driving at the lineouts, movement of ball over the gain line with quick ball saw us establish the desired field position. A superbly executed backs move had Robbie Douglas at full tilt, cut through the defence to score.

Tactical Decision Making continued to be good from Neil Robertson and Forrester found themselves in the scoring zone again. The pressure counted, Duns dropped the ball and the impressive Robbie Douglas was onto it like a flash to score.

Forrester had control for most of the second half and finished with the ball going along the back line for Euan Higgins to finish the scoring.

Saturday coming will be a tougher proposition, but if we continue to play the continuity rugby, develop the pace we do it at and exploit the chances we make we will have a great chance of winning again.


Forrester U16 v Preston Lodge U1614-Jan-2009 14:35  top of page

Well the roving reporter put down his Broons book, left the warm security of home and ventured out to watch Forresters U16s at Craigmount on Sunday.

Was the soaking worth it, you bet your bottom dollar, I watch a side with a lot of commitment, undoubted talent throughout and when together as a team a good unit.

I have to apologise for not knowing their names and missing the first 10 minutes, however when I arrived there had been no score yet.

Forrester had most of the pressure, missing their first shot at goal (the right decision, keep the score board ticking over) and although having good field position it took till late in the first period to score. There back rower blasting over from close range. This converted try was followed by a penalty and the teams turned at half time with Forrester 10 – 0 up.

This weekend has been all about tactics and how they are dictated by the weather among other things. The U16s fell fowl of the tactics given the conditions; they also tried to run ball often sideways in their 22, putting lots of pressure and isolating themselves. Preston Lodge took advantage of this in the first 10 min of the second half to score two converted tries. 10 – 14

However that was to be the last and the forwards started to put it together (driving up field like an army of driver ants) winning ruck ball after ruck ball. Their commitment brought warmth to this supporter, with backs trying to get on the end of any break out. Preston Lodge rarely threatened after this and Forrester ploughed a furrow upfield almost scoring.

They resolutely stuck to the task at hand and every player was in on the act (just as it should be), the full back powerfully running back a temporary relieving kick by PL.

This supporter was pleased with what he saw, there are areas to work on, but this is true of every team. The coaches should be justly proud for their team showed guts, determination and commitment. When players have this you know you have something valuable to work with.

Good Luck next week, I hope you play as well as you did in the last third this week. It was worth the soaking.

Final score 10 – 14


Forrester Colts v Biggar14-Jan-2009 13:58  top of page


Well Saturday was one of these days more suited to sitting beside a roaring fire and making a start on the Broons Annual you got for Christmas.

Both teams took the field and the support braved the weather. Forrester started with a bang so much so I missed it. I had gone to get something from the changing room and on my return we were 7-0 up. As discussed we were going to kick the ball behind them, Murray Johnstone put up a good box ball, chased hard by Jordan Smith and Neil Robertson. This pressure brought the desired mistake from the Biggar Fullback and Neil was in underneath the sticks, converting his own try.

Biggar found it hard to get into the game and Forrester had much of the pressure, however silly penalties near the line gave Biggar the easy way out, on days like these mistakes can be easily made as we had seen from the first play of the match and sometimes it may be wiser to let the opposition the opportunity to make them.

Forrester had a penalty in the Biggar half and decided to kick the line instead of keeping the score board ticking over.

Biggar grew in confidence as the game progressed and caught the Forrester blindside defence sleeping of a ruck and handled to put their wing away to score. 7-5 met the halftime whistle.

Some changes were made at halftime and the need to keep the ball behind our opposition was the call for the day. Play rugby in their half. Unfortunately this must have been lost in the cold wet weather. As much of the second half was played in the Forrester half and early on this pressure saw Biggar driving over from short range. 7-10.

There was plenty of time left in the match, yet as Forrester were given penalties to gain field position or relieve pressure they continued to try and play rugby handling from deep. There will be days where this type of adventure would be welcomed but this was not one of them.

What was welcome was the rucking and counter rucking that took place, the scrum was solid throughout, the line out was a lottery but it was encouraging to see the team try variations to gain secure ball.

This day reminded me of watching Scotland as a boy, freezing on the terraces, wind blasting rain against the face and on the pitch the ball is being hoofed upfield to shouts of ‘feet Scotland feet’. That was undoubtedly the tactic for the day. Its not pretty but it is the way, given the circumstances.

As a coach there was much to be pleased about and the endeavour of the guys to bring what we have covered at training onto the field buoys ones mood. Currie on Saturday the prep starts know.



Future – ‘The best way to predict the future is to invent it.’ Alan Kay28-Dec-2008 16:56  top of page

As we look forward to the second half of season its time for us as players and coaches to reflect on what we have achieved, identify where we want to go and set ourselves targets.

This year the colts have played well on the whole, however if the truth be known they can play even better. We cannot afford results like that against Portobello; we need to play as we did in the second half against Boroughmuir. Our Discipline, Team attitude, Fitness and mental attitude are not solid throughout the squad yet. These areas are important to any side and can be undermined by the very few.

As a coach I look towards my own performance, reflecting on the effectiveness of my sessions, what has been achieved, what needs to be achieved, do we use our coaches well, are my sessions appropriate and most importantly am I developing all the players in the squad?

This brings me back to the quote above; this is relevant to all involved in rugby, coaches, players, committee members and supporters. The future is in our hands.


Quality – In communities where men build ships for their own sons to fish or fight from, quality is never a problem. J Deville

Congratulations to Murray Johnstone making the Edinburgh under 18 final squad. We wish him well in the up and coming fixtures and hope he gets the chance to show his true talent.

Congratulations are also due to Craig Johnstone and Robbie Douglas for getting to the trials for the under 17 teams. It is great to see the talent that is coming through this team. They are not alone and there are many more with great skills, who will be fantastic attributes to the club.

Mention should also be made of the nearby school teams. Last year a composite side of Craigmount, St Augustines and Forrester reached the quarter finals of the Bell Lawrie Bowl. This year Craigmount have reached the quarter final on their own and a Forrester/St Augustine side just need to beat Wallace Academy to meet them in a local derby which is raising a lot of interest from ex pupils already. This is a sign of how rugby in the west of Edinburgh is developing and as part of that development we should be justly proud.


I would finally like to thank all the coaches, committee, supporters and players for their effort and commitment. Wish them and their families all the best for the coming year.

My reflection has renewed my enthusiasm for the future, for rugby, for developing players and my coaching methods.

Happy New Year Everybody


Scotland V South Africa - Mascot13-Nov-2008 10:46  top of page
Congratulations to Scott Macarthur on being selected as mascot for the Scotland v South Africa match on Saturday 15th November.

Match Report Musselburgh U18 XV - Forrester U18 XV 09-Nov-2008 23:29  top of page

Many would think that the writer would be ready to criticise, be full of gloom and doom after the colts result of Saturday. Not A BIT OF IT, I often preach the mantra of it is performance that matters. All of us will have experienced losing and know what it is like. We all want to win. On Saturday our up and coming took another step in becoming better players. The game was against one of the top sides in the league, Forrester played some free flowing rugby, there 1st phase defence systems improved tenfold, Both scrum and line out operated well, they created sufficient clear cut chances and all that was really missing was that cutting edge/finishing execution.

As a coach you can only ask your players to continue to raise the bar to a higher standard and with the vast majority (but unfortuneately not ALL) of this squad that is clearly happening. As you can see from above there are many positives but also there are areas of  improvement, but if the prodigies work hard and are willing this squad will continue to progress forward with every game.

The first half of this game was a good contest, Forrester did not choke, in fact far from it they moved the ball from all areas of the park and were more than prepared to have a go – I was delighted. Having withheld the early pressure from the home side through good first phase defence. Forrester progressed up field and were rewarded with a penalty far out, looking for an early score they correctly went for goal and Neil Robertson cracked the left hand upright.

At times you had the impression we were forcing the play in the first half and lacked that little bit of poise you require in high profile games like these. It was always going to be a mistake which would open the scoring and failure to clear a ball kicked into the 22 saw Forrester caught in possession and Musselburgh crashed over from close range.

Still reeling from this mistake, Forrester were soon to lose a second with a missed tackle midfield off Second phase ball (area to be worked on) and Musselburgh were between the sticks.

Forrester had plenty chances first half, the pick of which was a good back row move involving the blindside, seeing Murray Johnstone (Capt) break, find Nick Priestly who just tried to force the pass to Craig Morrison yards out.

The second half started 14-0 and it just showed that although having much of the first half possession how certain teams can punish you and in this case did (learning curve).

The second half started much like the first with both teams cancelling each other out, the team had been changed and Murray Johnstone (Capt) found himself at Full Back. It was from this position he ran out side Graeme Dudgeon (only started playing this season) who released a lovely pass for Murray to fly down the wing only to be stopped by a terrible high tackle(similar to the tackle on Sackey in the English game) – Penalty Try- declined by the ref. The ball was worked in field and another penalty was conceded from this pressure and Forresters first points were on the board with Neil Robertson carving it through the sticks.

14-3 and Forrester were now to be given a very valuable lesson, whether they will take heid – I know not. But in these close games you cannot afford to lose a player. Forrester did and it was too be a telling factor in relaxing the nerves of the home side. The space this creates and the strain it puts on ones team mates was evident. Musselburgh managed to put phases together and the second phase defence of Forrester creaked and another unconverted try was conceded.

Musselburgh went on to score another try and penalty, but much of the game had been played out by then.

As a coach there were many positives and it clearly identified areas that still need to be worked on. But undoubtedly progress is being made and THE FUTURE IS LOOKING GOOD for the majority of this squad.


Forrester versus Lasswade 1 November 200802-Nov-2008 14:17  top of page

A glorious Autumnal Saturday graced the teams as they ran out for this keenly contested fixture. Lasswade were quick out the blocks and opened the scoring with a penalty from in front. However this had not shaken the leaves from the tree of the ever green machine and the pack began to turn the screw.

Pressure from a scrum saw a terrible mix up in the Lasswade backs and Ross Buchan was onto it like a “baggy up a border burn” ( Bill McLaren). And out stripped the cover to score in the corner. Neil Robertson who has been place kicking beautifully did not disappoint and cleaved it through the sticks from wide out.

The home side continued to press for much of the half with the forwards grinding and pounding the resilience out of their opponents. After running a number of penalties near to the lasswade line and it being close to half time. The ball was given to the trustee boot of Neil Robertson and he was again successful from wide out.

10-3 at the half and I felt that the collective effort of all deserved more, but the forwards had the bit between their teeth and they continued their unstinting industry and the second half started as the first had ended with John McMillan spoiling line out ball and it was from this that Forresters next try was crafted. With Danny Loe taking the ball round the ruck making good yardage across the gain line and Callum Aitken bulldozing at the unguarded open side. With good support and a quick ruck the backs moved the ball through the hands to allow Ross Buchan to dot down for his brace. From the touch line Neil Robertson was unlucky when the ball came back off the upright.

Lasswade then had their best spell of the match for them moving the ball around, gaining ground and making the greens defend. This pressure caused Forrester to concede a penalty which was put over from right in front.

This day was not to be spoilt and the disciplined Forrester charges were united in their common aim and majestically charged up field like a herd of wildebeest. It was Lasswades turn to concede a penalty under pressure and the trustee boot of Neil Robertson was expediently deployed and slotted 3 from near the left hand touchline.

As we entered the final quarter the coaches tinkered with the pack which had an immediate impact. A shortened lineout saw quick ball off the top, whipped away by captain Murray Johnstone, Neil Robertson released the rampaging Nick Priestley. Nick ploughed into the Lasswade back division, off loaded to his fellow back rower Kevin Carson who penetrated deep behind enemy lines to get a lovely round the back off load to the last of the back row trio, Craig Morrison to dot down. Un believably Neil Robertson missed - he is human after all!!.   The game ended as it started with a penalty and the score ended Forrester 26 Lasswade 6

Forrester deserved this win their forwards worked hard, the backs were creative, the team discipline was far better than their opponents who received two yellows and a red card, their team spirit coursed through their veins and they took a large step forward. Yes all this and I feel there is still more to come from this ever improving side.

The writer who has not been slow to criticise this team, but credit is due by the writer in spades this week. I was proud as were my fellow coaches and yes Paddy that’s 4.  

Forrester U18's v Perthshire U18's26-Oct-2008 11:07  top of page
I received a call Saturday morning; we could have a game against Perthshire. Given the writers enthusiasm for rugby he jumped at the chance. Unfortuneately a number of the squad he coaches do not share the same enthusiasm and only 15 players turned up 4 of which were props.
Robert Blyth and Stuart Edwards stepped into the back row and John McMillan moved to the wing.
It was a day that could only be described as filthy and both teams started the match as quickly as possible. Perthshire had the wind, they took advantage of it and the weak mental attitude that plagued some of the Forrester charges. Some poor tackling saw the visitors get an early score.
Despite this the Forrester won some ball in the first half and developed passages of play which took them up field. However they ran out of support and the attack frittered out. It was during one of these frays that Forrester were turned over and the visitors handled wide and with good support dotted down between the sticks.
With Forrester trailing 24-0 the teams turned round and with the wind at their backs Forrester had some periods of sustained pressure but poor body angles and tenacious tackling by the visitors kept them out.
The Full time score Forrester 0 Perthshire 24.
Match Report20-Oct-2008 09:53  top of page
Preston Lodge U18 XV - Forrester U18 XV
It was a windy sqaully day in East Lothian as Forresters under 18s took the field. Preston Lodge only having 11 players, the points had been conceeded and forrester players made up the shortfall for their opponents. Forrester were first on the sheet a heel against the head (that tuesday scrumming session was worth it) put John Mcmillan away down the blind to offload timely to Craig Morrison to score. Neil Robertsons kicking form continued with a strike from wide out. It was not long before we were on the attack again, Tom Ross bursting up the middle feeding Nyasha Kepekepe to set the ball up for Craig Johnston to attack the gaurdless blind and put Shaun Hardie in in the corner for an uncoverted try. The first half was strewn with mistakes Forrester squandering a number of overlaps(encouragingly they were creating them) and there were some impressive bullocking runs by Callum Aitken that provided a cutting edge. The pressure was all Forresters and a quick penalty in the 22 saw a fast transfer to allow Euan Higgins to scamper in unopposed. He was almost immediately back on the score sheet when Robbie Douglas returned a poor kick out with interest and fed the winger to grab his brace. The game lacked a competitive edge in the first half.
The coach mixed things up at half time and changed the whole back row, giving PL the repaced players. The young charges started the second half a little awestruck as these loaned players started to carry the ball at Forrester and Craig Morrison powered over for the opposition.
Would the team crumble or stand up and be counted. Never fear the Nick Priestley ripped the ball and started a move that was to be the best in the game, with backs and forwards working in harmony, transfering the ball quickly, producing fast ruck ball and finished with a lovely outside run by Robbie Douglas to dot down between the posts. PL responded with a try our on loan players to the fore, John McMillan feeding the winger to score.
The competitive second half continued and Forrester were soon to gain a scrum near the PL line, Neil Robertson explioted the blind side and fed Graeme Dudgeon who skipped past the defense to score.
Again PL responded with a try our on loan players to the fore, John McMillan feeding the winger to score. Need to look at that blind side defense.
However Forrester finished the competitive second with the back row working in unison. A Barrelling run by Nick Priestley from the base of the scrum, supported by Kevin Carson who slipped a great offload to Chris Anderson, who returned the ball to Nick breeeng over.
Neil Robertsons kicking was excellent considering the conditions he slotted 5 form 7.
Final Score PL 15 Forrester 45
Forrester Colts v RHC Colts06-Oct-2008 13:27  top of page
On Saturday Forrester young charges came through convincing winners 52 – 5. Having given the opposition two players to even up the sides and allow for contested scrums the game kicked off. The early pressure came from RHC, this was due to some ill discipline by Forrester.
Following some free flowing rugby Forrester scored 4 tries in succession with Neil Robertson converting at will from all areas of the park.
Is was encouraging to see such an array of try scores including, Callum Aitken (prop), Murray Johnstone (Scrum Half) (2), Ross Buchan (Flanker), John McMillan (No8), Neil Robertson (Stand Off), Robbie Douglas (Centre) to name those I can remember.
The game was cut short by the ref and we had seen glimpses of what this team has to offer. However I feel there is much more to come.
Lynch pin of junior rugby sees project reach 25-year mark07-Aug-2008 15:19  top of page
By Bill Lothian
FORRESTER are celebrating 25 years of junior rugby with a four-day summer camp at their Broomhouse headquarters for some of their 100-strong membership, and the get-together also marks the 50th year of rugby involvement for the man who kicked off the project with a mini-section, Bill Smith who is currently the club's director of rugby. Bill Smith, 66, believes Forrester were facing extinction if foresight was not shown back in 1983.
"I realised that myself and other team-members were approaching the end of our playing careers at the same time. With very little rugby development work being done in a majority of schools at that time due to a dispute which saw teachers' restricting after-hours involvement I took on responsibilities myself.
"Fortunately I had good staff at my butcher's shop who allowed me to slip away when necessary and knock on the doors of headmistresses and headmasters offering to teach their pupils rugby.

"It was very different back then and, unlike today, nothing had to go through Active Sports Co-Ordinators. Eventually we had 18 primaries and four secondary schools attached to Forrester rugby club and I took the view that, if you put a jersey on a kids' back and gave him a game against another team, things would snowball because they'd tell their pals to come along too.
"I worked out also that, if we could get an initial 40 youngsters playing under a ten-year plan, then from primary four standard they would go on to enter our senior teams. One of those in that first group, Neil Gunderson, has gone on to become one of our present coaches while Kevin Robertson has given great service like his late dad, Jim.
"Other mainstays who have come through our ranks include the Panther brothers Craig, Stuart and Alan," said Smith.

For many clubs such a structure alone would be sufficient but, for Smith's beloved Forrester, that was still not enough.
"We formed the React-2-Rugby charity and brought in a fund-raiser, Gerry Saunders, who has contributed 60,000 over three years. Having charitable status meant we could approach other charities for assistance including Scotland Against Drugs who saw rugby as an ideal alternative to having kids hanging around the streets.
"Even with such support we have to maintain our own fund-raising efforts so as not to be seen as over-reliant on charities. Events have included a successful sportsman's dinner which Scotland coach Frank Hadden addressed last winter." With all revenue streams being explored Forrester have also been able to appoint Richard Fleming as full-time development officer helped by 20 per cent funding from Scottish Rugby.
We also have SVQ student Niall Clawson is employed as a part-time rugby development officer under a West Edinburgh initiative involving Forrester, Craigmount, Queensferry and St Augustine's joining forces with Merchiston Castle School. Now progress is being translated to the senior side who, having gained promotion two seasons ago, finished third in Scottish Hydro Electric National League Division Two and are ready to move forward again.

"There is a lot happening on and off the pitch," says Smith, adding: "Our major benefactor and former player John Connor has given us such backing that he will shortly be opening a lounge in our new clubroom's named after him."
The Broomhouse playing fields are subject to massive redevelopment causing the club to be relocated by a few 100 yards.
"Meanwhile we started our season with a bonding weekend at Premiership outfit Kelso under the direction of head coach Dougie Dingwall and his new assistant, Andy Knight, who has signed up from Boroughmuir," Smith went on. "By the start of the leagues at the end of this month we will be well prepared under their guidance with three teams scheduled for action in addition to under-18s."

More than 20 young rugby players turned out in the rain to meet Edinburgh Rugby hero Ben Gissing at the Forrester rugby camp today.

As part of the camp, organised by Forrester React-2-Rugby development officer, Richard Fleming, participating children aged between nine and 13 from the west of Edinburgh and South Queensferry took part in the three-day camp geared towards having fun with rugby.

The three-day camp began by focusing on hand-catching skills and some fun game-play before utilising the experience of the Edinburgh Rugby's Ben Gissing on day-two to focus on accuracy in contact and hands in contact.

Unfortunately the heavy rain meant that outdoor rugby activities were moved indoors however it was never going to dampen the spirits of the young campers who grabbed the chance to grill Edinburgh Rugbys Ben Gissing in the shelter of the Forrester clubhouse.

Richard Fleming said: "Obviously the weather wasnt that great today but the kids still had a great time meeting Ben and are now all preparing for tomorrow where well get outside again - fingers crossed.

Ben was great. Having a pro-player down to the camp makes a big difference to the kids as theyre massive role models and show the link between the club and professional game."

This is the 25th year of mini rugby at Forrester and our numbers are pretty good though were always looking to recruit hopefully with our school visits and player appearances we can continue to make good progress.

Weather permitting the kids can look forward to putting the new skills and advice into practice tomorrow on the camps third and final day which will feature rugby rounders, tag and touch, as well as the more traditional contact and non-contact aspects of training to play the game.