1st XV vs Kelso: Match Report
The control we exerted on the game in the first half on Saturday ultimately gave us the platform for victory and gave us a template of the way we wish to play for the rest of the season.
Kelso arrived, excited about their new stand off, buoyed by their big win the previous week over Watsonians and very much up for the game. The early exchanges were keenly fought, but there were enough encouraging early pointers so that it was no surprise when Turner went over.
Liam then backed himself to glide through, with Stu converting. The wind advantage was substantial and, as we were playing against the wind, everything was falling into place.
As usual, we gave the opposition an opportunity, though, with Reece receiving a yellow card. Although he protested his innocence, in the cold light of day, he couldn’t complain too much. You felt that, if Kelso were to come back, this was their opportunity. So, in the period before and after half time, with a man down, we were forced to rearrange the scrum and defend.
Our scrum, which had creaked against Peebles, was dominant, and, according to the Kelso support, of the 11 scrum put-ins they were awarded during the match, they only received clean ball 4 times. This seriously affected the way they wished to play.
Over the game as a whole, because of the cards, we played 30 of the 80 minutes with 14 men – talk about making life difficult for yourself.
The second half, with wind advantage, saw us score two good tries, with Borth and Liam finishing off from broken play. It remains a frustration that we don’t seem to be able to capitalise on overlaps from set pieces, the opportunities that do arise coming, instead, through individual flair. Maybe that is nit-picking, because there was plenty of exciting rugby to watch.
Seb controls things in attack and defence in such an understated way. The back row is comfortable, aggressive and offers a threat. And, if you decide to tackle George, it is going to hurt.
Obviously we have started the season well and the next three games (Biggar away, West home and Hamilton away) will probably define our destiny. The coaching staff sense the potential in this team and, therefore, the frustration when we spill penalties or cards or chances is all the more acute.
Everyone in the coaching team was delighted with the result the seconds produced in Glasgow, recognising that the team we sent through had a lot of quality and that, for the club to grow, we need that quality.
‘Best defensive performance of the season. First half was perfect.’
Eugene Murnane (Kelso coach)
‘Very disappointed. We didn’t build on last week. Not sure about our defence. We knew you would want to hit us in wide areas, but, with all due respect, we made you look better than you are.’
Mhairi Hay (Referee)
‘Enjoyed the game, got good feedback from assessors. Both sides wanted to play rugby. Kelso kept going to the end, and I thought the game was closer than the scoreline reflects.’
Jennifer Turner (George’s mum): ‘Very pleased to see a woman controlling all these men.’
Diane Mackay (Kelso regular and Home Ec teacher): ‘Very disappointing.’
Angus Lean looks to have damaged his AC joint – at best he will be off for one month, at worst could be three. Jordan Kynoch has a spectacularly dislocated finger – should be back soon.