St. Mary's U11A v Riley House U12

Wednesday 26th October 2016
The U11’s travelled to Strathallan on Wednesday for this inaugural fixture at U11 level. The match was played in great conditions for running rugby as the weather was kind and the ball remained dry. St. Marys after the toss up started proceedings with taking the pass off, with the home team having the advantage of the down slope.

St Marys quickly went 0-1 down against a quicker, bigger and more physical team. The home team used their strengths well, as they both drove directly and spun ball wide to stretch our boys. A second try then followed after ball was ripped out of arms inside the 22 and they drove over. However St. Marys tried to take the game to Riley as Thomas E, Caelan B and Mac R all had good runs at the home defence to test them.

St Marys were finding it difficult to get quality possession, and Callum A was under pressure at the base of the scrum but he battled on. Jake M and George B got in on the act and had 2 or 3 good drives. Ollie L and Archie M were finding space was at a premium, but tried to use their feet well to make progress.  Geordie Mac and Stewart M put in a lot of tackles to try to break up home momentum.  However it was Riley who struck again as a long run from inside their half was stopped initially in the St Marys 22, but ball was recycled and passed wide to the left and they scored their 3rd try.

St Marys were finding it difficult as a team to defend against the speedier and stronger players in the home team but tried their best to tackle well and keep the tries down. That and penalties for high tackles helped our cause. However a 4th try was added before halftime as St. Marys were driven off the ball at a ruck in our 22 and this time ball was moved to the right with good hands.

The 2nd half didn’t start well. The home restart pass went to a forward on the run and he ran straight through unopposed as we waited for the 2nd pass which didn’t come. 0-5. Lesson to be learnt, tackle him anyway! However from here St Marys had a good spell. We had good and plentiful possession as the home team pushed the patience of the referee too far and penalties came regularly to us. Play was just outside the home 22 when Mac R drove at the defence and broke through and galloped to the line to score.1-5.

St Marys continued to do well as Ollie L had a great arching run wide only to be tackled into touch by the last defender. Jake M then took ball on, sold a dummy and made inroads deep up the field.  However, from their 22 a solo run by a home player took him up to the other end of the pitch to score and make the score 1-6.

St Marys lost Stewart M to a high tackle, but St Marys continued with their good spell. Play was pushed up into the Riley 22 and from a ruck Mac R, who was outstanding all match with his physicality (closely followed by the admirable Thomas E), picked up and drove through the home ranks to touchdown. 2-6.

Fulltime came soon after with no further scores added. Well done to the St. Marys boys for their resilience in the 2nd half, in particular the younger boys. After some excellent home hospitality, we then headed south to end the first day back after the mid-term break.

Mr A Rutherford

Jules Birdsall, 01/11/2016

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