1st XV September 23, 2017

SEPTEMBER 23, 2017, 3:00 PM
Arboreteum Road
1st XV
Match Report
Inverleith 1st XV 0 – 43 Ross High 1st XV
23/09/17 –Arboretum

Team: 15. M Mckenzie, 14. J Tocher, 13. S McPherson, 12. J Jablonski, 11. G Johncock, 10. S Hainey, 9. D Binnie, 8. M Brydon (Capt), 7. P McCaskey, 6. S Hughes, 5. S Jablonski 4. S McCullough, 3. C Williamson, 2. R Duncan, 1. M Razeto. Reps. 16. G Higginbotham, 17. C Keenan, 18. S Hanlon, 19. C Winthrop, 20. A Beveridge* & 21. A Thomson* (* Sub used)

A return to some good weather this week and with only 3 changes, one a very late change due to family illness, so hopes were high to carry on from last week’s win at Penicuik. Chris Keenen (dual registered with us and Queensferry) provided extra front row cover and Ash looked set to make his debut this season from the bench.

We started brightly and a very early break by Stewart almost put Jamie away down the right wing with the line beckoning. Jamie was a bit too flat unfortunately and the ball was spilled. Ross High (RH) had a chance to open the scoring after 2 minutes but their kicking prop put it wide from about 30m. Two minutes later a poor kick down the middle was run back by RH, the move was checked in midfield around our 22 and then moved left and, with our defence pulled in, the winger crossed for the first points. RH made no mistake this time and the conversion made it 0-7. RH had us under pressure again 7 minutes later when poor tackling on our line saw them cross for a 2nd converted try. We knuckled down a bit but around the 24th minute a lineout for RH about 30m out was moved across the field and our fractured defensive line allowed them through for a soft try. The conversion was successful and we were 0-21 down. With 8 minutes left RH applied pressure in our 22 again and poor defence let them in for their try bonus score. The conversion was missed and we were down 0-26 at half time.

A combination of RH taking their foot off the gas and improved effort from ourselves saw the 2nd half scoreless for the first 23 minutes. Eventually a penalty in front was kicked to make it 0-29. RH had a couple of try chances but were held up over the line on 2 occasions. With 6 minutes remaining scrum pressure on our line saw a penalty try warded against us for the 2nd week running and the score stretched to 0-36. With 3 minutes left RH had another break down the right wing and crossed for a final converted try to make it 0-43.

A very disappointing effort from us with our defensive line broken, slow to close the opposition down and fell off tackles. We lacked aggression at the break down and in taking the ball into contact. Credit to RH’s defence that, on the occasions we mounted an attack, they were able to snuff it out. We haven’t become that bad overnight and the areas of weakness can be rectified at training. Next week at Gala YM is a very important moment in the early part of the season. A win should put us back in the top 5 but a loss could see us start to slip down. It is certainly within our capabilities to get back on the winning trail.

The Official Man of the Match award went to Graeme Johncock.

David Brennan