Bodies crashing into one another. Bones thundering together. Players in matching jerseys piling on top of one another with the ball lost beneath the swarm.
Yes - rugby is back on the school curriculum at the Nicolson Institute as the school’s new rugby pitch finally welcomed a competitive match onto the turf for the first time in almost five years.
The Stornoway school sent their Under-16 boys across the painted white line and into sporting battle against visiting 3 Counties Caledonia North in the under-16s School’s Quaich Competition.
The teenagers produced a masterclass in rugby, synonymous with skill, intensity and success. All the players who pulled the school crested jerseys over their heads stood tall, powerfully and dominantly against their shellshocked guests who were steamrolled into the new, lush, green turf at the rear of the school.
Tam Maclennan led the onslaught with a powerhouse display at No.8 where he was a marauding presence at the heart of the field and he fittingly helped himself to two thundering tries of his own.
Also on the scoresheet was David Campbell with a pair of tries himself, Ryan Campbell, Ciaran Peck and Nathanael Millar who was caught on the left wing by a 3 Counties rival but Millar showed great strength and tenacity to shrug and throw off his rival to then gallop into open green space and touch down over the line himself.
Harry Bray showed superb technique in his boots to convert four coversions clean between the posts too as the Nicolson ran out 43-24 winners on a thrilling morning in the Stornoway drizzle.
The Nicolson will now go on to play Mackie Academy in the next round of the competition.