Edinburgh rugby’s newest debutant continued to use the BT Premiership as a stepping stone for a speedy return to the pro game with a notable display in Boroughmuir’s 33-15 victory at Edinburgh Accies.
Introduced to Edinburgh’s ranks for the final ten minutes of the concluding pre-season friendly against Newcastle ten days ago, Magnus Bradbury, 19, appears to have drawn on that experience to fuel determination to reach the very top.
As well as contributing one of the five Boroughmuir tries, Bradbury’s ability to break tackles helped directly to create others for Rory Scott and Ed Farquharson. Not that Boroughmuir and their mighty pack had it all their own way and as well as Sam Pecqueur showing plenty of pace out wide for a smash-and-grab try there was a fiesty showing at scrum-half from Chris Glashan.
However, after ’Muir turned round 15-10 ahead there was only one winner, Bradbury revealing: “We paid a lot of attention to improving our work at the breakdown, dug in then kicked on.” That was shorthand for collectively adapting better to the referee’s calls at ruck-time, retaining possession then forcing errors.
At the heart of it all was Bradbury, though it may be a case of catch this hot prospect while you can as he is likely to be on club duty only up until Christmas when he will again be withdrawn to concentrate on another under-20 international campaign.
“Getting ten minutes for Edinburgh recently showed me how fast and physical that level is. I’m applying what I have learned in the Premiership in trying to reach as high a level as I can,” said Bradbury.
’Muir coach Bruce Aitchison is in no doubt about the 6ft 4in and 17st 5lb teenager’s potential. “Magnus is a tremendous player.
“He has a lot to learn but being in that pro environment with Edinburgh is magnificent for him.
“We used him smartly and as a decoy freeing up space for others. He’s only going to get better.”
Aitchison used the interval to reinforce tactics, revealing: “We had a chat at half-time having been told the next player to transgress at the breakdown was going to be yellow carded.
“The problem is that it is a different kind of ruck these days with people arriving on their own and not bound in. It isn’t so clearly defined so you have to listen to the ref. We had to ensure our tacklers rolled away with the next man in making it clear he was not the tackler.
“To get through without a card showed maturity. If we hadn’t paid attention we could have been down to 14 or even 13 and that would have made it harder to hold on to the ball and force Accies to chase.”
Accies coach Phil Leck also made it clear his side had struggled to get on the appropriate wavelength at breakdown, insisting: “The breakdown was a shambles last week and again this week. It wasn’t clear cut as there were lots of players not supporting their body weight and tacklers not rolling away on both sides.
“Our line-out was better but our scrum was lightweight.
“We got bullied. Well done to Boroughmuir, their game plan was pretty straight forward and based on keeping the ball. They did that well.”
Ironically on a day when Accies were without injured ex-pro Lewis Niven in their front row, Boroughmuir were able to call on Neil Cochran and Simon Berghan, a hooker and prop, respectively, from Edinburgh.
That pair’s presence was crucial including when early pressure proved unrewarding apart from a Graeme Blackhall penalty and Wilson’s try.
Accies responded with a converted try from Jamie McCarthy off a line-out but Rory Scott’s try and Blackhall’s conversion was insurance against further points from Glashan’s boot.
After the interval, ’Muir opened up a gap with tries from Bradbury and Jordan Edmunds and though Sam Pecqueur interrupted the flow Farquharson’s try and a David Reekie penalty provided a suitable victory margin.
Edinburgh Accies: Tries - McCarthy, S Pecqueur. Conversion - Glashan. Penalty - Glashan.
Boroughmuir: Tries - R Wilson, Edmunds, Bradbury, Scott, Farquharson. Conversion - Blackhall. Penalties - Blackhall, Reekie.
Edinburgh Accies: R Young, J Pecqueur, C Dean, R Wilson, S Pecqueur, I Chisholm, A Glashan, D Morrison, M Liness, L Launders, J McCarthy, G Campbell (captain), N Aitken, R Seydak, J Sole. Subs: C Lacqor, D Bates, J Munro, G Douglas, J Winks.
Boroughmuir: E Farquharson, R Scott, C Hardie, S Wilson, J Edmonds, G Blackhall, J Adams, R Wilson, N Cochrane, S Berghan, I Moody (captain), T Sutton, C Keddie, M Bradbury, M Entwhistle. Subs: C Davies, J Latta, A Rose, S Johnson, D Reekie.
Referee: G Wells.