Ross Sutherland v Muntly U14s
First outing in new Season
Moray and Huntly combined U14 and U13 Team, affectionately and collectively known as Muntly, were forced to work very hard for an impressive win on their first outing of the season, away at Ross Sutherland. With many of the squad playing together for the first time and many playing their first full 15-a-side match having just moved up from the mini rugby ranks, this match was always going to be journey of discovery. Playing in perfect conditions for running rugby, Ross Sutherland started much the stronger with their strike runners impressing from the off. They made several line breaks and looked certain to score until the intervention of Muntly Full-Back Tom letch, who put in a pair of textbook try saving tackles to prevent likely tries. Clearly still getting used to their new playing partners, Muntly struggled to gain possession and after some consolidated pressure and missed tackles, Ross Sutherland crossed to score and subsequently landed the conversion. Despite more of the same from Ross, Moray started to contend better at the breakdown and managed to gain some possession. A fine break from Archie Wilson relieved the pressure and eventually, as the session drew to a close, Euan Willets charged over for an equalising try, with Josh Andrew adding the extras. At the break Muntly prop Craig Young was the unluckiest player on the park, having to be replaced after a very strong showing, with what was later diagnosed as a fractured arm.
Muntly really set the tone at the start of the second session with some scything tackles in midfield, particularly by Scott Riach and Frankie Gilmore, thwarting strong runs from the Ross strike runners. Fine work at the breakdown, led by the Muntly back row of Dylan Price, John Rodwell and Gregor Clark, secured turnover ball and this was duly converted into a try after a length of the pitch run by Wilson. Muntly continued to dominate at the ruck and a sustained period of possession, pressure and intelligent play moving the ball wide along the back line, saw debutant Jai O’Brien off-loading to Andrew to dot down. Both of the tries were again converted by Andrew.
The third and final session continued in the same way, with Muntly having very much taken the initiative in the second. Whilst not having it all their own way, they had neutralised much of the threat of the Ross running attack and continued to dominate possession through fine counter-rucking. Another excellent O’Brien break and offload put Wilson in for his second try. Andrew had an easy run in for his second after excellent teamwork from the pack, through several phases of play, allied with smart passing, had sucked much of the Ross defence in to the breakdown. A lapse in Muntly concentration, possibly thinking that the job was already done, saw Ross reply with a break through several tackles to score under the posts and reduce the deficit. Suitably re-galvanised, Muntly returned to their previous form and started once again to dominate. The Muntly scrum had also improved with hooker Rory Cameron adapting well to the 8 man version; good scrum pressure in the Ross half led to turnover ball and after several phases, Andrew dummied his way across the line from short range to complete his hat-trick, followed by a simple conversion. Muntly kept Ross under the cosh until the very end when, after clever work from winger George Lunn, they won a series of penalties that resulted with Parkin receiving an offload from Wilson to dive over.
Muntly were deserved winners of what, despite the score line, was a very tightly contested match. Ross Sutherland were a well drilled side with many dangerous runners; however, having weathered the initial storm of the first session, the way that Muntly organised themselves moved the ball and stamped their authority on proceedings in the second ultimately saw them through.
Final Score: Ross Sutherland U13/14 8 – 28 Muntly U13/14.
Muntly U13/14 Squad: Josh Andrew, Rory Cameron, Gregor Clark, Scott Couser, Frankie Gilmore, Tom Letch, George Lunn, Euan May, Alexander Naylor, Jai O’Brien, Innes Parkin, Dylan Price, Scott Riach, Corey Rizza, John Rodwell, Iain Stuart, Fraser Whitecross, Euan Willetts , Archie Wilson, Craig Young