MILTOWN 28th SEPTEMBER 2019
Team: 15. D Binnie, 14. N Wood, 13. M Brydon, 12. M Cant, 11. J Tocher, 10. S Hainey, 9. J Copeland, 8. O Seville, 7. G Berthet, 6. C Harkness, 5. S McCullough, 4. S Jablonski, 3. R Tidy, 2. A Grasdepot, 1.I Kirby Subs: 16. M Razeto, 17. J Ryan, 18. S MacPherson & 18. J McCabe (All used)
As seems to be the norm we arrived late at Langholm with the opposition already having agreed to put the KO back to 3.15. A nice day but the heavy rain during the week meant that the main pitch was out of action and the 2nd pitch was very soft going.
Langholm were quicker out of the blocks than us and early pressure led to their first score within 5 minutes. The conversion was successful and, combined with the loss of Richard Tidy with a rib injury; this was not the best of starts. Marco Razeto came on and was solid throughout the match. We made a reasonable job of the majority of the rest of the half without ever threatening the try line. The opposition were, in the main, heavily built guys but our handling and decision making wasn’t good enough to put our pacey players in the clear. So all our good work in this period brought no reward and the half finished with an unconverted try for Langholm making it 12-0.
The second half saw Doug have to retire then Joel meaning that Stephen MacPherson came on for his first run since injury at the beginning of last season. Our efforts in the second half weren’t up to the same level as the first and we slowly conceded a succession of tries throughout the half. Any time that their efforts slipped the Ref seemed to find a reason to award a penalty with about one decision going our way in the whole of the half. Langholm scored 7 more tries and converted 3 to make the final score 53-0.
Langholm were an average side and perhaps the heavy going favoured them but we lacked teamwork and collective effort. Chris Davidson pointed out to me, a day or so later, that while our side on paper looked relatively strong; closer examination showed that every single unit, front row, 2nd row, back row, half backs, centres or back three, contained changes from last week. Success last season was based on getting roughly the same group of players out every week. This has not been the case so far and hopefully, with a week’s break, this is something we can start to achieve.
The official MOTM was Guilhelm Berthet who was tireless in the tackle and the breakdown and also carried well on several occasions.