S2 - Report
S2 win in St Andrews
Team: Michael Smith, Harry McCulloch, Jay Hogg, Sean Ramsay, John Lymburn, Kieran Twaddle, Thomas Pooley, Tieg Fenney, Aidan Reddick, Ben Dollery, Euan Colston, Cammy Symes, Alex McKenzie, Cameron Shaw, Ethan Wood, Sean Cameron, Harvey Watson, Connor Crab
The pitches at Madras were in excellent condition, giving firm footing which has not been seen at McKane since May time last year and despite the chilly wind it was hoped the conditions would permit some free flowing rugby.
Dunfermline started pretty well with some good quick ruck ball and passing although in the first few minutes cold fingers and a wet ball did mean that a number of passes were not held onto meaing that the score board didnt get much action for the first 5 minutes. Eventually good scrum ball permitted the backs to make inroads into the Madras defence and some good quick passing eventually resulted in the ball out flanking the Madras defence and Cameron Symes having an uncontested run to the line. A second score followed shortly after with quick scrum ball being passed along the back line for a training ground reverse pass move to Cammy who strolled to the goal line untouched from the half way line. Ben Dollery added the extra point. A third try followed quickly after. Straight from the kick off, the ball was gathered in the 22 and with some quick passing, offloading and rucking, the ball reached Ethan Wood on the Dunfermline wing. A neat offload out of contact to the supporting Euan Colston saw Euan beat a number of would be tacklers to run in under the post from his own 10m line. Despite maintaining the pressure on Madras for the next few minutes. In one of their few forays into the Dunfermline half strong play from both Madras centres was rewarded with a try for the inside centre following a strong run down the wing, helped once again by some weak tackling out wide by the Dunfermline cover defence. The conversion was added giving a half time score of Dunfermline 10, Madras 7.
At half time some changes were made giving Sean Cameron a run in the second row with John Lymburn moving to prop and Michael Smith to Hooker.
The second half continued very much in the same vane as the first with Dunfermline putting together some good patches of play and dominating both possession and territory but ultimately not managing to add to the score board. Two tries were scored in the second half by Cameron Symes through a combination of good rucking and quick hands in the Dunfermline back line, with one converted by Ben Dollery, and a further try was added by Madras late in the game, however the second half never really quite got going. Dunfermline did win comfortably 17 - 7 without ever really getting out of third gear. At the end of the half Connor Crabbe did make his first team debut for Dunfermline and all of the substitutes did get a full 20 minutes in the development game to finish things off.
All in all a reasonably good performance from the team, if disjointed at times, without ever really being under massive pressure. The cold and wet conditions with the ball in hand may have contributed to some poor handling at times, although in the main passing and handling was actually pretty good, so it seems to be more of a concentration issue rather than a lack of core skills. Once again the scrum was solid despite missing a few players and the line out also did well.
Thanks to the Madras players, coaches and parents for making us welcome and for providing the waiter service with the pies. Hopefully our players do not become accustomed to this and expect this kind of service at our next home game.