1st Rugby v Craigclowan
Wednesday 30th November
31 - 0
Tries: W. Tweedie 3, L. Fergusson, W. Stephen
Cons: T. Dundas-Becker 3
Subs: M. Ballantyne for A Fraser (10 mins)
St. Mary’s started for the first few minutes camped on their own try line, with Craigclowan constantly battering their defence. A score looked inevitable, however with some excellent counter rucking early on from Ollie, Craigclowan conceded possession. This allowed the backline to utilise their handling skills, and with some great strength, Lachlan burst through the defence and almost made it to the line, but was stopped 5 metres short. With the ruck set up, William T caught the fringe defence napping and sniped round the side of the breakdown to get the first points on the board, 5-0.
This perked up the St. Mary’s attack and through another period of great interlinking play and a cracking run up the touchline, accompanied by multiple fends, it allowed Lachlan to run in unopposed, 10-0.
During the first half Craigclowan certainly looked like they had the potential to cause the St. Mary’s defence problems. However, with great hits coming in from Harris and Lachlan in the midfield, Alex out wide and Hamish and Jo around the fringes, Craigclowan did not get anywhere fast. After consistent pressure from the Craigclowan attack they did manage to make it into the St. Mary’s 22, but the defence were superior again and with some excellent clearing out in the ruck from Mauz and Matt, the ball was won back and St. Mary’s were on the front foot once more. With Craigclowan now wise to the St. Mary’s backline skills, they were up quickly in defence giving Harris nowhere to go. Out of nothing, Harris then managed to break free and almost made it the length of the field, but was stopped short, but with Lachlan on hand to receive the offload the ruck was set up. Once again Tweedie the St. Mary’s sniper managed to find space around the side of the breakdown and was in for his second score, 17-0, and this then concluded a great first half for the boys.
During half time, it was decided that open field defence and discipline (mainly high tackles) were their only real downfalls.
The second half started much like the first gad ended, with some dodgy defence around the middle of the field but was rock solid once in our own 22.
With some questionable decisions in open play, it led to the boys making the first part of the second half quite hard for themselves. From their own 22, St. Mary’s managed to make it to the half way line through some great pick and goes from Hamish, William and Jamie. All of this hard work was undone when the ball was lost due to a lack of numbers in the breakdown. However, luck was on our side, and with Craigclowan spilling the ball, it allowed Will S to pounce and with some great feet ran in under the posts from the half way, 24-0.
Over the course of the rest of the half, the boys put in a huge amount of effort causing Craigclowan to lose many of their own lineouts with William M proving a great asset, making it exceptionally hard for them to secure their own ball. When the time came for the St. Mary’s lineouts, some great throwing from Thomas and great feet and handling from Tommy at 10, sent Matt up the touchline multiple times. As St. Mary’s gained territory up the pitch, some great skills in open play from Jamie and Alex led to the ball being put through the hands, which allowed William T to go over in the corner for his third! This was then how the match finished with a score line of 31-0 in St. Mary’s favour
In what was one of the most exciting games I have seen in a long time and certainly one of the best at U13 level, each player put in a huge effort! Hopefully this performance will be taken into next week and a similar result will prevail!
Jules Birdsall, 02/12/2016