3rd XV vs Linlithgow: Match Report
Not the most pleasant of weather, gentlemen – I’ll give you that!
The squad that was meant to start had to have a slight tweak made to it, come match day.
Yosser had to start, and chose to play in the second row in order to accommodate Chaz Campbell at No 8. Young James, Ross Philips and Kenny all lined up, leaving us with a squad that was fairly well skilled yet low in numbers.
Hard yards and determination won us the game, however silly penalties cost us many a try scoring opportunity! Special praise must go to David Tweedie, playing at outside centre, for being strong and hard with his running as he amassed a hatrick of tries. His other centre partner, Fraser Rankine, along with fly half Jamie Z, made many chances for us to seize with their play making ability and gave us a left and right option. With a solid pack and hardworking back row, we were usually sorted for any untidy ball.
We formed together and grafted as a unit. Linlithgow had more bulk in the forwards and a better option at the lineout, which they used constantly with their driving mauls. We managed to stop them, however, albeit we pulled one or two down to gift them a penalty.
Rory Shannon and Gregor Hayworth, playing at 6 and 7, were everywhere on the pitch, winning ball and causing havoc – especially Shannon, who displayed good support lines.
Number 8 Chaz Campbell carried the ball hard into the defence and offloaded well to his support runners; his ball carrying, as well as the grafting of his flankers and front row, gave Linlithgow a message – we are here to win, and we will do it!
The second row of big James and Yosser stabilised the scrum, and credit to Yosser, who kept on playing and grafting like a typical old fashioned player, hard as a coffin nail!
We did make some simple mistakes in our handling and rucking, but, apart from that, we played some great rugby. Gav Sharp displayed tremendous pace and power, while Graeme Mitchell brought creativity and sidestepping into the mix.
Kenny was also quite elusive in his running, while scrum half Ross Phillips showed tremendous skill and deft delivery, feeding Zeegs and Fraser and sometimes even Tweedie and Gav, who both had a wee go at 10 at some parts of the game. Ross also formed a good partnership with Chaz Campbell, who provided him with good ball at the base of the scrum.
In all, there were 15 men who stayed on the pitch and played the full 80. Exhausted and tired, we soldiered on under the gaze of President Mike Sims, who was impressed at how we grafted and worked our hearts into the mud to achieve a win here.
Our back row has improved, both fitness wise and physically, and will be looking to become the starting back row for the Mighty 3s for the rest of the season. James, in particular, looks like a player for us to keep; he may have given away a lot of penalties, but he stole ball in the lineout and rucked at every opportunity.
Praise must go to everyone! Front row and second row worked hard in the scrum, the flankers caused mayhem in the loose (with their superior size and fitness playing a large role), the No. 8 carried hard and ran good support lines (displaying good fitness and graft), the scrum half delivered the ball to whoever was at 10, Gav Sharp and Graeme Mitchell upset the defence and Dave Tweedie and Fraser Rankine ran straight at the opposition. Tweedie, in particular, repeatedly looked to offload the ball to keep play flowing.
Excellent day, gentlemen!