Wednesday 28 December 2011

Accies v Co-Ops Report

Accies 14-31 Co-Optimists

After a three year break, for weather related reasons, the traditional Boxing Day Accies v Co-Optimists match took place at Raeburn Place on Tuesday - in what seemed 'sub-tropical' weather for the time of the year.

A strong Co-Optimists side took to the field, made up of players who were in the training squad for the Clubs Internationals due in February. Accies squad was 'enhanced' for the game with the addition of some exile Accies - Sam Atkin, James Munro and Cambridge Blue, Paul Loudon, and four Scotland Under 20 players.

A minute’s silence was held before the match started to remember Richard ‘Bumpy’ Porter who so tragically passed away a week ago. Around 500 turned up for the game including many who played and toured with Richard over the last 20 years.

Early pressure was from the Co-Ops, who had the first chance of the match after two minutes, only to be stopped just short of the try line. However, six minutes later, they did take the lead when another good run from James Johnstone (Currie) set up Murray Douglas (Aberdeen) to dive over for the try. Stand-off Gregor Hunter (Edinburgh/Gala) converted.

The second try of the afternoon arrived for the Co-ops eight minutes later and owed everything to Hunter’s vision when he floated a lovely cross-field kick into the corner where unmarked winger Callum Anderson had the easy task of catching and touching down (0-12).

 Accies got into things in the 24th minute when a lovely break by scrum-half Alex Black who moved the ball to Michael Liness, who then set up winger Josh Pecqueur to go in under the posts from 30 meters out - Ruairidh Bonner converted - to make the score 12-7.

The Co-Ops stretched their advantage to 7-17 at the break, Dougie Fife (Currie) getting their third try.

Shortly after half time we had the unusual sight of Accies replacing nine of the team at once - though it didn't seem to help, as before any of the nine touched the ball the Co-Ops scored a further try through replacement back-row Fraser Brown (Heriots) (7-24). There was no further scoring for 20 minutes until Co-Ops captain Sean Crombie (Boroughmuir) scored their fifth try (7-31)

Accies came back at the Co-Ops and eight minutes later, after good play, James Munro was put into the clear 15 meters from the Co-Ops line with no one near him - only for him to fall over!! Scotland under-20 cap Alex Henderson, who had been loaned to Accies for the game, was first there to pick up the ball and touch down, Bonner converted.

That was the end of the game - Accies lost 14-31, but both sides played a good brand of rugby which fully entertained the good crowd for the whole game. For Accies it was good to get on the field after a fiver week break and to see Iain Berthinussen, Greg Campbell and Alex Black back playing after lengthy injuries.

As Ian Rankin (Club International Team Manager) said after the game " A definite win/win for both the spectators and more importantly all the players involved and a great advert for the Club game on and off the pitch".

There are a few pictures in the Gallery.


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