1st XV September 16, 2017

BT EAST REGIONAL LEAGUE DIVISION 2
SEPTEMBER 16, 2017, 3:00 PM
Penicuik
1st XV
Match Report
Penicuik 1st XV 7-32 Inverleith 1st XV
16/09/17 – Penicuik

Team: 15. F Doonan, 14. J Tocher, 13. S McPherson, 12. J Jablonski, 11. G Johncock, 10. S Hainey, 9. E McBurnie (V Capt), 8. M Brydon (Capt), 7. P McCaskey, 6. S Hughes, 5. S Jablonski, 4. S McCullough, 3. M Razeto, 2. R Duncan, 1. G Higginbotham. Reps. 16. C Winthrop, 17. R Tidy, 18. R Davidson, 19. S Boendermaker, 20. B John & 21 M Mckenzie (* Subs used)

After 3 Saturdays of pleasant weather normal (micro climate) Penicuik welcomed this match with almost constant rain! Note taking was therefore at a premium and the following report is consequently shorter than normal.

A front row crisis was the main issue prior to this match with the same starting 15 as last week except at prop where Marco and Graeme stepped in. Marco was nursing a sore shoulder and replacement prop, Richard Tidy, was new to the squad and, obviously, an unknown quantity. Chris Winthrop had also agreed to cover hooker despite little experience in the position. As it transpired our scrum held up for the majority of the match with Marco playing for over 50 minutes and Ryan and Graeme playing every minute. Richard came on for Marco and showed his Merchiston pedigree by slotting in as if he had played all season. Simon Boendermaker also came on in the 2nd half taking us to 7 players who have made their debut this season so far.

Early play was a bit scrappy with the wet ball making handling difficult but we were first on the scoreboard with Graeme Johncock crossing for an unconverted try after 16 minutes. Just under 10 minutes later some excellent hands and and good support saw Stewart Hainey cross for our second, Stephen McPherson’s conversion making it 0-12. Penicuik were playing their usual stuffy game with their big forwards driving close in but it was our forward pressure that was rewarded with a penalty after 32 minutes. Stephen slotted it to make it 0-15. We were working hard now to make the most of the slope and a final attack just before the half ended saw JamieTocher show great pace to win the race to a kick ahead to make it 0-20 at half time.

The second half saw Penicuik up their game as our scrum started to falter. A couple of scrums on the 10 minute mark had us under pressure on our 5m line and the referee adjudged us at fault and awarded a penalty try to make it 7-20. This seemed to spur us on and some good kicks, especially from Fionan Doonan, helped us gain field position. 22 minutes into the 2nd half and we produced some excellent handling to release Jamie Tocher down the right wing. Using good pace and strength he crossed for our try bonus score. With the conversion missed by Euan McBurnie, Murray Mckenzie having replaced Stephen, we were up 7-25. We weren’t done though and with the old war horse Robin Davidson on we continued to attack. With 5 minutes to go we produced more excellent hands and Graeme Johncock crossed for his 2nd and Euan’s conversion made the final score 7-32.

Another step forward but still work to be done and training is the place to achieve this. Competition for places is growing all the time so make sure you get down this week if you want to be in the squad for our home game v Ross High next Saturday. Those supporters who have made it along this season know we are trying to play an exciting brand of rugby so get down and support the team. Graeme Johncock is already on 7 tries after 4 games which was the same number that won the try scorer award last season!

There was a lot of competition for the Official Man of the Match award yesterday but overall it was decided that Jamie Tocher deserved to win it. Congratulations Jamie.

David Brennan
DoR