S2 - Report
Offloading game key to victory in Perth for S2’s
Team: Harry McCulloch, Cal Clark, Jay Hogg, Kieran Twaddle, John Lymburn, Teig Feeney, Thomas Pooley, Jonathan Scott (capt), Aidan Reddick, Ethan Wood, Lewis Buchan, Sean Ramsay, Euan Colston, Harvey Watson, Andrew Waterworth, Sean Cameron, Michael Smith,
It was an unfamiliar looking team, in places that took to the field on a chilly Perth morning, with Ethan Wood replacing the unavailable Ben Dollery at 10, Sean Ramsay stepping back from the pack to take Cameron Symes (flu) place in the centre and Harvey Watson playing on the right wing in place of Alex McKenzie (injured). In the pack, Harry McCulloch started in place of Michael Smith on the loosehead.
Despite the changes to the team and the lack of match practise over recent months, Dunfermline played some good rugby right from the kick off and managed to get the characteristic offloading game into gear straight away. The first try came from a period of sustained pressure in the Perth half with multiple phases dragging the defence back and forwards across the pitch the penultimate drive took the ball to just short of the try line with captain Jon Scott on hand to pick up and dive over. The conversion was missed. A second try came soon after with Ethan Wood scoring. Not sure exactly what happened as no video seems to be present but I am sure it was very good. Again no conversion could be added which was to be a theme for the day. The third try was the highlight of the day. A free flowing attack from within our own half was passed through multiple hands though good offloading and quick rucks before the ball was eventually passed along the back line for Euan Colston to score his first of the day. The final score of the first period was scored by Ethan Wood who start the move from the base of the scrum with a blindside run before passing to the supporting Euan. Euan made additional ground before passing back to Ethan to score another well worked try. Unfortunately this was to be the final score of the period. A collapsed scrum in the Dunfermline half saw a potentially nasty neck injury to Dunfermline loose head Harry McCulloch. The game was interrupted for more than 20 minutes while medical attention was sought which eventually saw Harry stretchered off for assessment at Perth Infirmary. Thankfully there doesn’t appear to have been any damage and while the coaches will get a two week rest from Harry, he will be back playing in no time.
With Michael Smith coming on to take Harry’s place the second period started in much the same style as the first. A break from the back of a ruck by Teig Feeney was quickly recycled to Jay Hogg who made inroads into the Perth defence before offloading to the supporting John Lymburn who took his seasons tally to three tries, scoring under the posts. Teig was then on hand to scoop up a loose ball in the Perth half to run in unopposed. Two quick fire tries then followed for Euan Colston, the first following a chip kick from Ethan Wood, and the second a kick off return from the resulting kick off (after a blatant knock on by Dunfermline was missed by the referee). Ethan adding the extra point to both tries to finally get the Dunfermline kickers in the game.
The 9th try came following another flowing move from Dunfermline with the bulk of the team involved in keeping the ball alive and progressing up field through lots of possessions. Eventually the ball broke to Michael Smith who juggled a pass before managing to knock the ball back inside to Jay Hogg. Jay was caught short of the line but popped to the supporting Michael to score his first try for the season (following two disallowed tries in earlier games). Ethan again adding the extra point.
The second period ended with Dunfermline in a commanding lead of 30 – 0.
The final period saw Dunfermline continue to pressurise the Perth line with a second try from Jon Scott following quick ruck ball and a blind side pass from Aidan Reddick. Thomas Pooley added to the tally with a try following a pick and drive by Teig, supported by Jay which was stopped inches short of the line before being recycled for Thomas to score. Jonathan added the conversion. Another prolonged period of pressure with excellent continuity skills on show again was finally finished off by John Lymburn getting his second try of the day.
Final score Dunfermline 40 – 0 Perth.
A very good performance all round with an excellent performance from Ethan in his first start at 10 and Andrew Waterworth putting in a strong defensive performance at 15. The game was characterised by the strong offloading game of Dunfermline which was highlighted as a key factor in the victory by the opposing coaches. Still some work to do in aggression and commitment to the rucks, not just the fun stuff of scoring tries but all in all a good performance with a less experienced team than normal.
Many thanks to the players, coaches and supporters of Perthshire for a well contested physical encounter played in the right spirit.