2nd XV vs Glasgow Hawks: Match Report
The wind was howling, the pitch was heavy and Hawks had turned up with a strong team, so we all knew it was going to be a tight game before kickoff.
We started with the wind helping us and used this to our advantage, enjoying the majority of possession; we were, however, hitting a brick wall of Hawks defenders. Adam ‘Bambi’ Broatch was one of the victims of this and had his head split open, resulting in four staples – which was more than the number of minutes that he played!
Through some good kicks we managed to get good territory, but – as was to follow the rest of the game – we made mistakes and failed to capitalise. This was, in a large part, due to the conditions, which made lineouts almost impossible.
Hawks managed to get their hands on the ball, put together some good phases and broke on the outside, but some great scramble defence by Steve and Christy saved our skin. Hawks then spent a sustained period camped in our 22, but we showed great character in defence and kept them from getting over the line.
From a quick penalty taken in midfield, Rob Pat made a break to just outside the Hawks 22, where he offloaded to Jonny; he showed some good sleight of hand to get the ball away to Adam Howie before getting tackled. Howie then sold a dummy and cruised in out wide. We managed to hold the narrow lead to the end of the half.
Going into the second half, we knew we had benefited from the wind in the first half and were going to be under more pressure from Hawks. And this is how it played out for the first 15 minutes, when we struggled to get out of our own half. Hawks then created numbers out wide and scored a deserved try. They also added the kick, which was impressive in the wind.
This was going to be a test of the team’s character and how much we wanted the win. One of the key things we have improved on through the season has been our patience, which we certainly showed here. After sustained pressure in the visitors’ 22, through a series of pick and go’s and Hawks giving away numerous penalties, the referee went to his pocket and binned their 8. We then choose to take a scrum with the man advantage. After twice getting the nudge on and Hawks infringing, the ref went to his pocket and binned another of their back row.
With the two man advantage we went for the scrum again, but Hawks brought one of their centres in; Adam picked and went when the scrum started to turn, which eventually resulted in us getting pinged for holding on.
With the numerical advantage, we were dominating the exchanges. After a sweeping break in the Hawks 22, we spread the ball wide, and, for the second week in a row, Christy managed to squeeze into the corner. We now had 7 minutes to hold onto the narrow lead, with Hawks back to having 15 men on the field.
We then showed great composure to run down the clock through some good kicks and some fantastic ball retention via pick and go’s.
We are at that stage of the season where the result is all important, and we have managed to sneak the result the last two weeks. I think this is down, to a large extent, to the great ‘2NL’ team spirit and belief within the team.
Stats for this game are here.