Match Report vs Aberdeen Grammar
Gavin Calder Reports
Stewart’s Melville versus Aberdeen 3-9-16
The inability of Stewart’s Melville to secure and retain possession, in the first half, saw Aberdeen establish a 27 point half –time lead.
In spite of a promising spell from 40 -60 minutes, when we scored two converted tries to narrow the gap to 27-14, Aberdeen pulled away to win comfortably.
Last week SMRH cricketers, on the neighbouring square, qualified for their play-off to the East League and the early news was good from Freuchie, the neutral venue, as they had bowled Meigle out for 115 runs.
The forecast heavy rain for the capital never materialised and conditions at Inverleith were ideal for running rugby.
Without the experience of Hanning, and with Rappestad on Swedish international duty, our side was weaker than the one that took the field against the same opposition the previous week. Aberdeen were on similar lines but had added Connor Lavery (formerly of Biggar) at full back, allowing Kudsen to move to scrum-half instead of full-back. Kudsen and Addy, his half-back partner, controlled matters well, although it is easier, it has to be said, when enjoying a plentiful supply of the ball. When Stewart’s Melville did get ball, there was an onus on the player to go for the wonder break rather than just re-cycle, and, really, it was no surprise that Aberdeen had their four try bonus point by half-time.
Half- Time Stewart’s Melville 0 Aberdeen 27
The eagerly anticipated half-time draw ‘roll-over’ saw a winner in Bob Bowie, father of Neil, but the news from Freuchie was not so good – Stewart’s Melville had slipped to 60 for 6 with the pro gone! The 2nd XV league season had also started on the other side of the stand, on the imaginatively named Pitch 1, and our seconds were holding their own against their Stirling counterparts.
Back to the second- half action on the main pitch. Ali Greig, Sean Murchie and Samuel Ross had all looked full of running and it was a terrific break and finish by Ali that lightened the mood in the stand amongst the home faithful. When Scott Cubitt followed up well to touch down, things started to look more promising – both tries were converted by Calder.
There was an unfortunate incident that resulted in an injury to Sinclair and a yellow card to an Aberdeen player; this meant that Neil Bowie was reintroduced to the fray at 9, having previously left the field injured – so full marks to Neil, whose bravery for the cause can never be questioned. Finn Hobbis and John Grant caught the eye after their introduction from the bench and it was unfortunate that we leaked a couple of late tries.
By necessity, we have had to introduce a number of players that have not been exposed to this level of physicality before, and, really, there is no adequate preparation - it is sink or swim, and, over the coming weeks, we will discover how they adapt.
A quick glance at our league results reveals a few one sided affairs; this gives the impression that our league might be a split league with a battle at the top and at the bottom. Aberdeen looked a decent side and congratulations to them – we must re-group. We have a number of players to return from injury, including Sir Nicholas de McCashin, and an encouraging performance from the 2nd XV - so we take the positives and prepare for the trip to Marr next week.
Incidentally, the cricketers won, reaching the target with the loss of seven wickets.
Finally, the match was refereed well by Cammy Rudkin; we have actually a good pool of top officials, and this pool is trickling down to our National League One.
Full Time Stewart’s Melville 14 Aberdeen 46