Team: Kieran Wilson, Michael Smith, Jay Hogg, Tieg Fenney, John Lymburn, Cal Clarke, Jonathan Scott (captain), Thomas Pooley, Aidan Reddick, Ben Dollery, Ethan Wood, Euan Colston, Alex McKenzie, Cameron Shaw, Andrew Waterworth, Brandon Golledge, Harry McCulloch, Harvey Watson, Kieran Twaddle, Sean Cameron
Todays game saw Dunfermline facing off against Watsonians at a cold, windy and soggy Myreside, albeit with a bright winter sun overhead. The conditons were not ideal for running rugby with the ground saturated with water and a biting wind blowing across the pitch but with games over the next few weeks not expected to go ahead, it was hoped that the players would take advantage of the fixture to put some good rugby together and bounce back from last weeks disapointment against Stirling. Today also saw the first appearance in Dunfermline colours for new recruit Teig Fenney in the second row.
The game started of well for Dunfermline with some quick ruck ball and accurate passing advancing the ball up the touchline on both sides of the pitch. The poor conditions did lead to handling mistakes and loss of footing on both sides however so there were quite a few dropped passes in the initial stages resulting in a number of scrums. The Dunfermline eight seemed to have the edge in the initial engagements continuing their good form from previous weeks although problems at the base of the scrums did mean that the quality of the ball to the backs was not necessarily of the highest quality.
The first score in the game came from the first real period of real pressure from Dunfermline. Quick ball along the back line resulted in the ball being advanced into the Watsonians 22 where the Dunfermline runner was bundled into touch. From the resulting lineout Watsoninans knocked on giving an attacking scrum to Dunfermline. A solid scrum saw quick ball fed along the back line, going through all of the back divisions hands, before finally ending up with winger Alex McKenzie who cut inside the disparing tackle of the Watsonians cover to cross the line. Unfortunately from a tight angle Jonathan Scott could not add the extra point.
From the resulting kick off, the ball was well fielded by Ethan Wood before being passed to Alex McKenzie who broke through a number of tackles with a powerful run before going in for his second try from his own 10m line. Ethan Wood this time could not add any further points.
With Dunfermline well in charge at this point, it was hoped that further points could be added, however this did not prove to be the case with Watsonians coming more into the game and becoming more aggressive and competitive around the ruck. This increase in a aggression resulted resulted in more possesion which eventually allowed their big centre to run where he waltzed round the Dunfermlien wide defence to score. No extra point could be added however. In the last moment of the half Watsonians added a second unconverted try to levle the scores following some poor tackling out wide.
The second half was played largely between the 22m lines with neither team able to make any inroads into the scoreline. Despite some good play on both sides, the game degenerated into a serious of rucks and scrums with neither side able to take control or put together any concerted periods of pressure. This inability to add further points did lead to some frustration creeping in, largely from Watsonians with a number of players showing what might best be described as too much exuberance in certain facetes of the game.
The second half eventaully petered out with no further scores leaving the game tied at 6 all.
Not the most convincing of performance from Dunfermline and despite some good play in patches, the same problems with wide defence were highlighted again and this is an area where we really need to make progress throughout the rest of the season. On a positive note, new aquisition Tieg Fenney put in a good debut and looks to be a good find for the team.
Thanks to Watsonians for hosting us and putting up such spirited opposition and we look forward to a return fixture later in the year.