2nd XV vs Hillhead Jordanhill: Match Report
This was our first opportunity to bounce back from the previous week’s poor performance and defeat. We could not have made a better start, with some good hands giving Stuart MacDonald the ball on the wing; through some good pace, he cruised into the corner, within a minute of his debut.
With Primmy out injured this week, we could not have had a much better replacement than Stu Ker, who was up for the weekend. He took a quick penalty at the half way line before making a half break and offloading to Christy, who showed some wheels to finish it off.
Hillhead were disjointed, with a mixture of young and old heads, but they still have a few good runners who started to make inroads into our half and were rewarded with a couple of penalties in our 22 which they nudged over. Our line was, however, never really threatened.
With a dominant first half performance, we managed to add three more tries through Andy Fraser, Adam Broatch and Ali Baxter. Prop Ali Baxter’s was the pick of the bunch as he found himself in acres of space after some good hands and cruised in from the 22.
In what was a scrappy first half, we gave away a lot of penalties and were starting to let Hills bring us down to their level. Burge asked us to aim for no more than 5 penalties during the second half.
I think we reached the penalty target within a couple of minutes of the second half, which just added to our frustration. Joe then used his wheels to take Hills on the outside, before being shown a yellow for throwing the ball in his tackler’s face when he wouldn’t let go of his leg – the card was probably also a result of our poor overall discipline.
As we were passing ball across the back line, Ziggy managed to direct a gorgeous looping pass to the visitors’ centre, who ran half the length of the pitch to score. We got ourselves back in control of the game when Christy broke free for his second try. Then, after we conceded another penalty for holding on at the breakdown, Mickey told the ref in no uncertain terms that it was a ruck and earned 10 minutes on the sidelines – which left us with only 13 men for a few minutes.
Hooky then scored a cracking/very lucky try. The ball was passed to his feet by Mickey, but he somehow managed to chip it up over the oncoming defender and collect it to dot down under the posts. Stu Ker then darted through the heart of a ruck to get a well deserved try. In the final play of the game, we managed to score a try by working our way up the park, with Ferg finishing off.
Overall we never really got out of 2nd gear, but it was pleasing to see some clinical attacks. It was also great to see Stuart putting in a fine performance on his debut, and it looks like he could be the answer to our second row shortage.
Next week we have a tough game against Melrose, who will pose a lot more of a threat than Hillhead.