ACADEMY FIELDS 23rd NOVEMBER 2019
Team: 15. N Wood, 14. G Johncock, 13. F Doonan, 12. M Cant, 11. J Tocher, 10. S Hainey, 9. D Jones, 8. J Hunt, 7. G Berthet, 6. P McCaskey, 5. S McCullough (Capt.), 4. S Jablonski, 3. R Tidy, 2. A Galbraith, 1.I Kirby Subs: 16. M Razeto, 17. S Boendemaker*, 18. C Ward* & 18. J Copeland* (*used)
A pretty miserable day for the first of the 2nd half of our fixtures starting away to Leith. Going was heavy and the rain never stopped throughout the game. The only saving grace was that the wind had gone but the low temperature made up for that!
We took 2 points from our first league game of the season when we played Leith at home. 4 tries giving us a try bonus and we got a losing bonus point in a high scoring 26-32 loss played in perfect conditions. It was obvious from the start we weren’t going to have a repeat of that score line as the slippy ball made handling difficult and both defences were up quick to make their tackles. There were no scores in the first half and for half an hour we had the majority of possession and position but couldn’t break through a dogged home defence. Just when it looked as if we had a good line out drive into the Leith 22 it went down and amazingly the penalty went to Leith. A foolish succession of penalties took Leith into our 22 for the first time which was finally cleared as they came in at the side on turnover ball right on our line.
The second half saw Leith with more of the ball and after about 15 minutes we were forced into a period of defence near our 5m line. Again a succession of penalties stopped us from clearing and eventually Leith crossed near the right corner for a converted try. From the restart Leith let the kick run to near their line and a quicker chase might have produced something. As it was Leith were penalised when trying to run out of defence and Mark Cant kicked the 30m penalty from in front to make it 7-3. Both sides were getting frustrated as the rest of the game unfolded. We seemed to be getting the upper hand but couldn’t get into a scoring position. Tempers were fraying and the match seemed to be cut short by the Refs final whistle. It was unfortunate for us as Leith were taking casualties all over the field and looked to be out on their feet at the end.
So, a losing bonus point, but more importantly a full match of effort and concentration from all of our squad. If we can take this forward to next Saturday we should win our first match of the season when we play Penicuik at home. Extremely difficult to pick the man of the match with nearly every player doing things that on another day would see them win it. My Official Man of the Match is Mark Cant who never stopped tackling and whose tactical kicking put us into the right areas.