SCOTLAND’S worst rugby team has ended their losing streak – after conceding 49 games in a row.
Liberton Rugby Club last won a game in March 2009, but romped home to an 11-7 victory at the weekend.
The victory, at the expense of Queensferry, was thanks to a last minute penalty try but, true to form, the team were unable to convert the try for an extra two points – despite standing right in front of the posts.
Desperate former coach Craig Young resorted to bringing in three Scottish Rugby Union coaches last November to tackle the problem after losing all of their 11 games last season, conceding 656 points in the process.
They also failed to win any of their fixtures in the 2008-09 season.
Club captain Mike Steele, who turned out despite breaking his finger the previous week, said: “We had been hammering away at the try-line forcing a succession of penalties from Queensferry.
“After about six or seven the referee decided enough was enough and said he was awarding a penalty try.
“While our opponents sank to their knees we were jumping for joy and high fiving.”
The team’s new coach, Phil Murphy had convinced the players a win was on the cards.
Mike added: “Aware of how we were knocking on the door of a win, Phil kept encouraging us by saying if we continued to train and play the way we had then eventually a corner would be turned.”
Teams from across the country were quick to send their congratulations
The club has struggled to find experienced players – or even those who had played the game before.
Club president Michael Hood said: “There’s three or four guys in the team who have only played a few games of rugby, so this will be a very pleasing win for them.”
Mr Hood added that the club had been missing several of their players when they played Queensferry and had only two substitutes, so they are confident they will go on to win again when they are back to full strength.
He said: “Hopefully it will spur us on. I think it’s the boost the team needed.”
He added: “We had a good celebration and we had a few beers. I certainly did anyway.
“It’s the first win since I’ve been president.”
Despite the club’s dismal recent run, they have previously fielded Scotland-standard players.
The late Bruce Hay, who went on to earn 23 caps for the national team, as well as serving on two British Lions tours back in the 1970s, started his playing career with Liberton.