1st XV vs Peebles: Match Report
The coaching philosophy of our coach, Bruce MacNaughton, could be summed up as: ‘If you control 55–60% of possession, play in the opposition red zone and have decent backs, you are going to win’.
And, if you ignore the likes of Ross Rennie (who loves tackling and ripping the ball from the opposition), most people play rugby to handle the ball and get discouraged from having to tackle constantly, so gaps or penalties or yellow cards arise.
So, approaching half time at Peebles, steam was literally rising from the Stewart’s Melville technical area. We knocked on seven times in the course of the match, and, on more than one occasion before half time, our scrum had been shunted. We were making life difficult for ourselves if we wanted to play in accordance with Bruce’s philosophy.
After early control that saw Liam and Hayden combining well to send Hayden clear and a Stu Ker penalty, we had allowed Peebles back into the game. Indeed, Peebles had aggressively competed for the ball and, with two successful penalties to build on, arguably finished the half looking the likelier outfit.
Fortunately, half-time was a bit of a wake-up call and we were then able to execute our game plan. First of all Joni finished off a good forward lineout drive, then Liam was on hand to touch down after some nice interplay from our backs.
The yellow card for Peebles flanker Jackson allowed us to kick for position and Reece accepted his chance to add to the score line by finishing off another forward drive.
The game was now won and the bonus point secured, but we were not finished yet. By playing in the Peebles forty yard area, this allowed first Stu and then Donald to pounce on Peebles mistakes and romp home, with Stu converting both.
Peebles were not done, however, and, in the closing stages, showing commendable spirit, scoring a well worked backs’ try from their recent (i.e. the previous night) overseas arrival Clancy.
Unfortunately, in the final minute, Angus received a shoulder injury. The big fella is one of those players who, if they stay down, then you know that there really is something wrong with them. So hopefully it is not too serious.
At full time, news filtered through that the 2s had also won. The overall club results so far this season read played four won four – what can possibly go wrong … ?
‘WE WERE AWFUL IN THE FIRST HALF – and put that in bold and capitals so they read it! Naturally we are pleased with a bonus point win in the Borders, but there is so much to improve on. Rugby is a collision game – you are not going to win these collisions if you have one player and they have five.’
Gerry McGuinness (Peebles coach)
‘We competed well for 60 minutes. The yellow card was crucial. It is a sore one for us, but we have to take the positives and get up for our next match.’
Gary Gordon (Referee)
‘A lot of good rugby, particularly second half – enjoyed my day. The touchies found the slagging from both technical areas a wee bit much, but there is a great atmosphere and crowd participation here, and everyone gets caught up in it. The surface was good. It was a good advert for club rugby.’
Finlay James (Jim) Brown – Kev’s 6 month old – dressed in the red black and gold, and seemingly named after a famous sporting Stew Mel family.
Helen Brown (Kev’s mum) : ‘Once the forwards got on top in the second half, it was good to watch.’
Jean Brown (Kev’s granny): ‘I enjoyed the day – follow my comments on Facebook and Twitter.’