ARBORETUM 9TH NOVEMBER 2019
Team: 15. D Binnie, 14. J Tocher, 13. M Brydon, 12. F Doonan, 11. G Johncock, 10. M Cant, 9, J Copeland, 8. S McCullough (Capt.). 7. G Berthert 6. P McCaskey, 5. H Balcerak, 4. S Jablonski, 3. S Boendermaker 2. A Grasdepot, 1. I Kirby. Subs: 16. D Waddell & 17. J McCabe (Both used)
Our poor availability continues but we were at least able to get 2 sides out on Saturday with the help of Watsonians. A cold day and the pitch was in reasonable condition considering the amount of rain in the last week or so. Dunbar were immediately on the attack heading towards the Stewarts Melville end. Our defence was working hard but conceded a penalty in front of the posts after about 7 minutes. The kick was successful (0-3). Dunbar continued to attack and their first 2 tries came from our mistakes at the back of the scrum.
Both came from balls we should have picked up and the resultant tries on the 16th and 25th minutes were both converted (0-17). Dunbar continued to boss possession and position testing our defence. Around the 37th minute a missed tackle down our right saw them score a further converted try (0-24). They scored their try bonus just on half time when a couple of weak tackles in midfield let them in under the sticks. Half time 0-31.
The tables were turned for most of the second half with us having much more possession and field position. Our pressure paid off after 47 minutes when the ball was mover right for Jamie Tocher to cross for a score. Mark Cant’s conversion unfortunately came back off the post (7-31). We continued to pressure for a further score but lack of composure saw us squander a few opportunities.
The breakdown was a bone of contention throughout the game and after 64 minutes the referee decided that Stuart McCullough deserved a yellow for his actions in this area. Dunbar made full use of our reduced numbers crossing shortly afterwards for an unconverted try* (5-36).
We fought back and our efforts were rewarded when Matt Brydon crossed for an unconverted try after 72 minutes (10-36). Somewhat undeservedly Dunbar crossed for a final unconverted try* just at the end to make it 10-41.*
Prior to the game we looked to have domination in the set piece. While this wasn’t full achieved in the scrum we were totally on top in the lineout with Henry Balcerak stealing about 70% of the opposition throws. Our defensive line stayed well together and put pressure on the opposition but our tackle count was too low at about 80% with the missed tackles being well exploited by the opposition.
Congratulations to Dan Waddell who came on for his 1st team debut. Henry Balcerak for his work in the lineout and around the field, Ian Kirby for his scrummaging and loose play and Graeme Johncock for his storming runs all deserve mention but the official MOTM was Gulhem Berthet for his 100% all action game in carrying and tackling.
* The official score lodged was 10-43 but I don’t recollect either of the last 2 Dunbar conversions being successful?