Losing four of their six games this season and being relegated from the Scottish Conference was a bit of a shock for the University of Edinburgh side, who have won the league for the past two years, but they have a chance to redeem themselves in two weeks time when they travel down South to play Birmingham in the first round of the national university knock out competition. The Journal caught up with the rugby club captain and No. 8 Kyle Vivian to discuss the sting of relegation and their chances of knockout success.
What was your assessment of this season’s performance?
It was a productive season, the results weren’t good but we’ve got a young side. We lost a lot of players through graduation last year and we’ve taken lots of freshers on board. We got better as the season’s gone on, and I think we’ve done well with the resources available to us. Our captain Lawson Steel has been injured all season but he took on a coaching role and he’s been paramount in holding the team together. We’ve all stuck together as a team.
Has any player stood out?
Our captain Lawson Steel has been injured all season but he took on a coaching role and he’s been paramount in holding the team together. We’ve all stuck together as a team and produced performances as a team.
What weaknesses will you hope to address for next year?
Our only problem is lack of experience, loads of new players have come in but we’re only going to be loosing one player next season, so we’ll be more or less unchanged, that means the team can really gel. With more support coming along on Saturdays I’m sure we’ll be able to bounce back. It would be great to see more people coming down to watch the games.
How did the team handle relegation?
They’re restructuring the BUSA league at the moment so we’re not sure what the format will be next season. The way it looks is that we’ll be relegated and Aberdeen will take our place. We won it for the past two years, each year I’ve been at Edinburgh we’ve won so it was really hard for us to take, especially for the older guys. As far as the new players in the team, it was a really productive season for them, they had some tough games, learned a lot, and are relishing the opportunity to get back next year.
What about the knockout this season?
We’ve got Birmingham in the first round- we played them last year, the match went to extra time and they won with a penalty in the last play. We know what to expect, it’s going to be a tough game. Birmingham have only won one game all season so they’ll be in a similar situation to us.
How have you prepared?
The lads are training really hard; we’ve been hitting the weights and getting fitter. Injury permitting we should have a full strength team. We’ve got some tough games in the national shield against Linlithgow and Falkirk and that’ll help us to perfect our game. They’ll be a great preparation for the match against Birmingham.