U15's Improve, But Fall Just Short
Highland travelled to south to play Ayr in the return match of the Presidents league.
Having been well beaten in the first leg Highland arrived with some trepidation. The weather conditions were atrocious and it was clearly a game for close play lead by the forwards. Highland gave away too many penalties in the first half (mainly for offside) but competed well at the ruck and for the first time this season had a good percentage of ‘go forward’ ball.
However, it was from a penalty and some poor tackling that Ayr scored first and the half ended with Ayr up five points. Highland competed well in the start of the second matching Ayr man for man. With the game taking place between the two ten metre lines it was difficult to see where the next score would come from.
On twenty minutes Highland recycled the ball on Ayr’s ten metre and through 15 phases of play (which was more than the three previous games put together!), and with all the forwards working exceptionally well to retain possession, it was Bain who crashed over to score for Highland. It was a well worked try with the team showing immense maturity not to panic but rather had the confidence to retain possession, recycle, go forward and repeat.
Highland gave away some cheap penalties and Ayr made it to Highlands 22. With some good hands from the Ayr backs in the worsening conditions, it was Ayr who scored in the corner to go in front. The game ended Ayr 12 Highland RFC 5.
The players should be immensely proud of their performance, as the coaches are. The set piece was steady, line speed and defence organisation was good, everyone wanted to have a go. There is now competition for places. Peteranna lead the team, Ramsay played exceptionally well, Bain and Deakin had their best games of the season. Man of the Match goes to Ball (8) who had the most carries and highest tackle rate.