Aberdeen Grammar 70 Murrayfield Wanderers 5
Aberdeen Grammar’s new-look team made the most emphatic start to the season with a 12-rey rout of an organised but limited Murrayfield Wanderers, who had no answer to the slick running of the Rubislaw side.
Grammar handed nine players their home debut, all of whom could be very satisfied with their individual and, crucially, collective contributions.
The pick of the new players was former Glasgow Hawk Louis Kinsey, who, at number eight, was a constant threat to the Edinburgh side, while his former team-mate in Glasgow, full back Sean Murray, was an elusive runner. Both players marked the occasion with touchdowns.
Club captain and centre Doug Russell made an impressive debut with to tries.
Winger Calum Ruxton was also on the scoresheet with a brace of his own, as was replacement scrum half Andrew Ovenstone. But while the debutants were making their mark, the old guard also had a day to remember. Veteran of 10 campaigns centre Grant Walker scored two fine tries, while Peceli Nacamavuto got the show on the road with a neat sidestep.
Prop Matthias Schosser scored a late try to cap a splendid performance, while Morgan Ward was a lively number nine, getting his reward with a try of his own before giving way to Ovenstone.
Grammar were also well served at stand off where Sam Knudson had a solid afternoon, leading his line with authority and generally getting his team into the right areas of the field in a game dominated by the Rubislaw side.
The appearance of Alex Hagart in the second half in the key number 10 position was well received after his long lay-off through injury and he clearly relished his return to the game, adding a conversion to the home tally.
Grammar led 36-0 at the break before adding a further 34 points – the only blemish coming when they allowed Murrayfield a late consolation try.
“I would rather we had not conceded any points but otherwise I was very pleased after our first outing,” said coach Stuart Corsar. “The new boys played well but there are little things to sort out. There were some fine individual displays, including the return of Alex Hagart.”
The game was watched by Scotland’s director of rugby Scott Johnson, who said: “I was in Aberdeen on academy business and just couldn’t drive past a game of rugby. It was a highly-entertaining game.”
© Jack Nixon
Aberdeen Grammar: Sean Murray; Peceli (Naka) Nacmavuto, Grant Walker, Doug Russell, Calum Ruxton; Sam Knudson, Morgan Ward; Peter Gillies, Fergus McKenzie, Matthias Schosser; Ed Nimmons, Aaron Robertson; Richard Simms, Greig Ryan ©, Louis Kinsey.
Replacements: Rob Coates, Mike Cox, Calum Champion, Andrew Ovenstone, Alex Hagart.
Murrayfield Wanderers: Bradley Moffat; Inigo Zoroquiain, Ewan Elay, Paul McLeod, Gordon Bird; Jamie Thornton, Calum Gauld; Ally Chambers, Scott Fraser, Michael Fletcher; John Lee, James Meyrick; Tim Hannant, Grant Managh, Ben Thomas.
Replacements: Brendan Reid, Luke Russell, Mick Barron, Chris Wright, Matt Lynn.