RHC COUGARS’ Anthony Reen enjoyed playing alongside pro players and testing himself against the BT Premiership champions on Saturday when he turned out for the Co-Optimists.
The select side were at Goldenacre to take on Heriot’s and they came out 24-22 winners in an entertaining match in front of a healthy crowd.
The Co-Ops squad put together by coaches Gavin Blackburn and Ruaridh Pye was strong with a number of fringe pros from Edinburgh Rugby and Glasgow Warriors leading the charge.
There were also a number of club players included with back-row Reen showing up well given that he was the only player from BT National League Three selected.
The 33-year-old South African-born player certainly did not look out of place and linked-up well with Ayr’s Andy Dunlop and Glasgow Hawks’ Andy Hill in the back-row.
After the match West Fife rugby development officer Reen said: “It was a real honour to get the call-up to play for the Co-Optimists and when I was sent through the squad list and saw a number of Edinburgh and Glasgow players alongside me it was pretty exciting.
“Obviously we did not have much time to train together, but the quality in the squad was evident in the warm-up and the guys seemed to click pretty quickly.
“I just wanted to do as well as I could and I really enjoyed it out there.
“The main difference between the rugby I am used to and this match was the speed of play which was non-stop.”
In the match, the Co-Ops led 12-0 early on thanks to tries from Gavin Parker, who is based in Exeter but is from Edinburgh, and Junior Bulumakau.
Efforts from Tom Wilson and Glenn Bryce saw Heriot’s go in level at half-time at 12-12.
Edinburgh’s Nathan Fowles and Hill scored for the Co-Ops in the second half with Harry Boisseau and Keith Buchan crossing for Heriot’s.
Gregor McNeish had the chance to level things at the death for Heriot’s by converting Buchan’s try, but he missed and the Co-Ops just held on for the victory.