Match Report NL7: Howe of Fife v Accies

Howe of Fife 20-47 Accies

As seems the norm at the moment, our 1st XV squad varies week to week through injury, unavailability and taking the opportunity to give players a break to manage them through the season. We are in the fortunate position of having a strong overall squad that means we can manage all those issues. The game at Cupar was no exception, with us making a number of changes.

In the backs Josh Pecqueur, who injured his ankle against Stew Mel, was replaced by Neil Harrison and scrum half Max Love was rested and replaced by James Munro.

In the forwards there were a number of changes because Jamie Sole and Lawrie Seydak were unavailable, Dean Roger, who took a knock against StewMel, was in the 2nds and Sam Gibson was injured. Clem ‘The Seagull’ Lacour moved to tight head and 19-year-old Shaun Gunn made his first start at loose head. We had a new second row partnership of Neill Aitken and Ronan Seydak, and Greg Campbell returned in the back row after a week’s rest.

On the bench James Pearse returned after two weeks out injured, Alex Glashan was back after his time at Worcester Warriors and Tom Brown, a back row player, was making his first 1st XV appearance for the Club.

Heavy rain had been predicted but fortunately the forecasters were wrong – apart from a little drizzle, the conditions were fine.

It was a strange first 40 minutes, with the majority played in the Howe half. For the first 24 minutes we had 90% of the play but a mixture of mistakes and good defence kept us out. Then a loose pass that went to ground on the half way was picked up by a Howe player, who had a clear run to score: 0-5 and Howe’s first entry to our 22.

From the restart we resumed our place in the Howe 22 and, after six minutes of our continual possession, a lineout in the left hand corner saw us catch and drive the ball to within two metres of the line. Jamie Winks then picked up from the ruck and scored and Andrew Bell converted: 7-5.

The next 10 minutes were again played in the Howe 22. Then after winning a lineout and moving the ball across the field, we broke to the base of the post where we won the ball and passed to Clem Lacour for 'The Seagull' to score our second try. Bell added the points making it 14-5 with five minutes of the half left. There was no more scoring in the first half.

Within two minutes of the restart we decimated a Howe scrum when they put the ball in 30 metres from their line. We drove them back to their 22, won the ball and Bell jinked his way to within 10 metres of the line, offloaded to ’The Seagull’ who was tackled and popped the ball up to Shaun Gunn for him to score. Bell converted: 21-5.

Shortly after Howe added a penalty but five minutes later we were scoring again when a period of pressure on the Howe line was finished off by Bell, who also added the extra points: 28-8, 14 minutes gone.

A few minutes later, following some good play, the ball was moved out to Neil Harrison on the left wing. He made 20 metres and went down on the Howe 22. Our pack were there to recycle the ball, which was passed to Tom Drennan, who gave it to Captain Black, who went clean through to score. Bell was on target again: 18 minutes gone, 35-8.

In the next few minutes Howe had their best period of play and were within 10 metres of our line for a good part of that. Though we defended well we compounded our problems by giving away a number of penalties and in the end Howe scored and converted: 35-15 with 22 minutes gone.

Three minutes later it was the turn of Ronan Seydak to take the ball in mid-field and, with no resistance, make the line. Bell converted again: 42-15.

The next period of play brought out the yellow card and lots of whistle for penalties, mostly against us. First Dan Falkner picked up a team card for us giving too many penalties in our 22. Within two minutes Howe scored the inevitable try: 42-20.

From the restart we double tackled the Howe player who caught the ball and the assistant referee deemed that Neill Aitken had slipped up from tackling the shoulder to hit the head: yellow card number two - down to 13 men and the pressure seriously on us.

The final points, however, were ours against the odds. Howe dropped the ball mid-field, Ollie Mottram kicked the ball through and Matt Coupar, following up, picked up the ball and scored. The whistle went shortly after for a 47-20 bonus point win.

The game looked scrappy at times and there was a large penalty count, which made for lots of breaks in play. Our lineouts and scrums were good and overall we well deserved our seven tries and the bonus point win.

Seydak, Winks, Aitken and Gunn were prominent in the loose and Gunn, in his try scoring first start for the Club, was Man of the Match.

With seven League games gone - just about a third of the League campaign - we are lying equal second with Marr in the table, on 31 points, just one point behind leaders Jed-Forest. Including our one Cup game we have now used 36 different players in our 1st XV match day squads, confirming the depth of our squad and a great credit to all the work put in by our coaches, physios, doctor, nutritionist, strength and conditioning team and of course the players themselves.

Onwards and upwards.

Tries: Winks; Lacour; Gunn; Bell; Black; R Seydak; Coupar.
Conversions: Bell (6)

The weekend's other results:

Accies 2nd XV 17-10 Boroughmuir 3rd XV

Accies Dev XV 14-31 Jed-Forest A

Posted on Thursday, 20 October 2016 under Match Reports Club News