15 asides: How Alan Lawson benefitted from one man’s rugby perseverence

Who is in this week's 15 asides Mystery Picture?
Who is in this week's 15 asides Mystery Picture?

Our columnist hails local man Rab Williams’ rugby role in Falkirk and ponders M ark Dodson and Scottish Rugby’s next move after the World Cup typhoon storm.

NO ABACUS REQUIRED: An interesting Facebook post by Glasgow Warriors.”All the best to the six teams competing in the FOSROC Super 6 this season.” Well, would you have believed that- six teams in the Super Six?

A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME: Boroughmuir Bears and Stirling County played the first match of the new tournament which has courted its fair share of controversy. A crowd of just over 1,500 saw County emerge with a 27-24 win in a game played in freezing cold conditions. This tournament is designed to develop playing and coaching talent, but what was new? Probably the physicality and the presentation, but it was not too different from the game we would have seen last season. Time will tell.

MUSEUM PIECE: Good progress is being made at Raeburn Place Edinburgh with the proposed facilities which include a museum of international rugby. Those behind the Foundation deserve credit for their perseverance in the face of considerable problems, and I’m sure rugby will have a facility to be proud of. Raeburn Place was the site of the world’s first ever rugby international on March 27, 1871 between Scotland and England.

A LEVEL PLAYING FIELD?: Saracens faced the wrath of the Gloucester crowd in their 21-12 win at Kingsholm and the waving of fake £50 notes must have been hard to take. The 35 point deduction and the £5.36m fine will be appealed- but the ripples from this will carry on for ages.

TYPHOON IN A TEA CUP: What now for Mark Dodson and Scottish Rugby? There are rights and wrongs on both sides. The World Rugby arrangements for cancellations were poor. Dodson’s outburst was poor. The Disputes Committee were poor. Who decided to have a Rugby World Cup in Japan in the typhoon season? Don’t let this stramash distract from a great tournament, superbly hosted and let us remember the performance of a home team who wanted to play running rugby.

MYSTERY PICTURE: The mystery picture featured former Howe of Fife, Scotland and British Lions prop David Rollo. Who is in this week’s?

ANSWER: The game with the 113 line-outs was Scotland v Wales, and Clive “Top Cat” Rowlands was the scrum- half whose obsession with kicking to touch led to the change to the laws of the game.

QUIZ TIME: Which former Scotland Rugby captain was also a Great Britain basketball internationalist?

MORE PIONEERS: Last time we featured the start of ICI Grangemouth Rugby Club and it shows that the oval ball game can be started in the most unlikely of places. Step forward Rab Williams who decided to start the sport in the football hot-bed that was Falkirk High School. He persevered when many schools refused to give them fixtures, or “allowed” them to play lower grade XVs. The game thrived, and one of his early rugby pupils went on to play for Scotland- scrum-half Alan Lawson.

LOCAL RESULTS: Falkirk 10 Glasgow Accies. 13; Grangemouth 11 Dunfermline 15; Biggar 31 Stirling Wolves 15; Hawick Linden P Linlithgow P (Frozen Pitch).