Double Hedges, 9th September 2023
Inverleith travelled to Double Hedges last Saturday with the hopes of continuing their winning start to the season. Unfortunately, Liberton had struggled to raise a team with multiple call-offs overnight. In the spirit of rugby, Inverleith and Liberton were keen to ensure a game was played and came to the agreement that Inverleith would share players to even the teams to make a competitive game happen.
A massive thanks to Connor Harrison, Thomas Littleworth, Simon Matthews, and Tom Borrill, who all played for Liberton.
Inverleith opened the scoring within a few minutes through Seb, after bursting clear of the Liberton line, with conversion by Joel Copeland from a tight angle. This set the tone for the match, and the game was characterised by both teams exchanging possession, before some individual line-breaks that would lead to tries. Inverleith failed to set themselves an ambitious target through the game, and instead opted to try and out-compete Liberton on individuality, despite it being the perfect opportunity to attempt to hold discipline in our gameplan and secure some team tries.
Whilst this doesn’t help Inver prepare for upcoming fixtures, it did make for some exciting rugby to spectate. On 5 mins Inver crossed again through Abu Fofana who broke through the line after some good ball through hands. Converted again by Joel Copeland on the angle. Some silly Inver penalties in their 22m gave Liberton a chance to capitalise, and they forced Inver into the 5m to defend our line. Inver have showed good defensive resolve on their line this season so far, and continued that here as Seb won the ball back, and won us a penalty of our own to clear our lines. Inver chose to tap and go to catch Liberton off guard, and Inver got good field position near halfway. From this position, Inver show what they are capable of and released the ball quickly to the backs. The ball moved quickly through hands to the openside wing, Matt Anderson, who made the most of a well-executed two-on-one to score under the posts. Try converted by Joel Copeland.
Liberton kicked off to restart the game, and won the ball after some sleepy Inver coverage failed to win us the ball. Liberton won themselves a lineout on our 22m. Unfortunately, they knock-on and Inver have a scrum. Ball possession is exchanged a few times and Inver ultimately lose out as Liberton end up in our 5m. Liberton’s fly half stepped two Inverleith players to reach the line, but a fantastic cover tackle dislodged the ball, leading to a knock-on and a goal line drop-out to Inver.
From the drop-out, possession changed hands a few times, and Inver emerged with the ball and centre Jamie Roberts broke through the middle of the pitch to put it down under the posts. Conversion by Joel Copeland. Very quickly following the restart, the ball was moved wide and Joel found himself on the wing. He kicked beyond the defenders and it trundled out for a line-out. I’m not entirely sure what happened next, but nobody jumped, the ball goes in the air and, all of a sudden, Matt Brydon had walked to the try line and scored. Not converted by Joel Copeland.
From the restart, Inver take two attempts at the Liberton line. Firstly through Sergio, who tries to pass the ball near the line instead of backing his pace. It’s knocked on by Paul McCaskey and Liberton clear their lines following the scrum. Inver set up field position and released the ball wide to Matt Anderson who tried to release Abu on a two-on-one, but the pass was poor and knocked on by Abu. Inver won the ball back again and tried the exact same move, bringing play to the blindside and moving it quickly back out to the openside. This time, Matt got his pass right and released Abu into the Liberton 22m. The move was finished through the middle by Seb for his second try right under the posts. Conversion not made, and you had to be there to believe it, by Sergio.
This was the end of the first half, and with Inverleith cruising, the game followed much the same pattern as before. Individual line breaks leading to scores, but also leading to turnovers in possession from offloads, which was something the team were challenged to stop doing at half time. Discipline in game plan will be crucial in the coming weeks with big games on the way; both in terms of opposition, and how they will define our season.
Liberton fought admirably, scoring two tries in the second half, making it more of a contest. Credit goes to their 12, who Inverleith seemed hesitant to tackle. It’s testament to their power and ability to run a straight, hard line. This is something we need to work on and that we can certainly learn from.
Further tries from Abu, Jamie, Seb, Sergio and Liberton close out the match.
Next week Inverleith are at home to Earlston for a 3pm kick-off. This will be a top-of-the-table clash with Inver in 1st and Earlston in 2nd. All supporters are urged to come and support the boys as they strive for 3 out of 3, and to retain top spot in East League 3.
Player of the Match: Seb Jablonski
Try scorers: Seb Jablonski x3, Jamie Roberts x2, Abu Fofana x2, Matt Anderson, Matt Brydon
Conversions: Joel Copeland x7
- Sean Findlay
- Stu McCullough (c)
- Seb Jablonski
- Matt Brydon
- Sergio Jiminez Gonzalez
- Daniel Cameron
- Paul McCaskey
- Dan Jones
- Joel Copeland (vc)
- Matt Anderson
- Jamie Roberts
- Abu Fofana
Inverleith that joined Liberton
- Connor Harrison
- Thomas Littleworth
- Simon Matthews
- Tom Borrill