Thursday 15 December 2016

Match Report NL12: Marr v Accies

Marr 27-24 Accies

For our top of the table clash against Marr we had a new starting partnership of Paul Loudon and Jack Forrest in the centre, Robbie Chalmers returned from a week in Dubai to take a place on the wing and Alex Glashan started at scrum half, with Max Love rotating to the bench where he was joined by the returning Andrew Bell.

The pack was the same as started the previous week at Aberdeen except Callum Black started, with Connor Weetman rotating to the bench, where he was joined by Lawrie Seydak and prop Martin McGinley, who was making his 1st XV debut.

Again we were blessed with very unseasonable December weather and good conditions as we kicked off with the wind at our backs playing down the sloping pitch.

The first 20 minutes of the game were played in the Marr half, with Marr finding it difficult to break out through our good defence. There were few scoring chances other than a penalty that we missed.

Then, following a turnover in midfield, we moved the ball to Jamie Sole on the right wing. From the ruck Alex Glashan moved the ball left. Four quick passes later it was with Ben Appleson on the left wing. He beat three men and gave the ball to the supporting Glashan, who dived in and just made the line to score. The conversion was missed: 0-5.

From the restart we again took play back to the Marr 22, where we came close on a couple of occasions. The pressure was relieved after five minutes by a penalty, which allowed Marr to clear their line. Shortly after we were caught a bit narrow and Marr moved the ball down their line and found they had an overlap on their 10-metre line. Their winger sprinted in from 60 metres: 5-5 after 28 minutes.

From the restart again Marr were finding it difficult to get out of their half. We had some good kicks to push Marr back and again our tackling was strong. We came close to scoring again, after another good break by Sole, but Marr cleared their lines.

With a minute to go we dropped a pass in the Marr half and they fly hacked through to get a lineout on our 22. Then, after their first real length of possession of the game so far in our 22, Neil Aitken was yellow carded in front of the posts for offside. Marr kicked the penalty and the half time whistle went with Marr having an undeserved three-point lead: 8-5

We played the first 10 minutes of the second half a man down and for half that time we defended well, closing down any Marr attacks. Then after six minutes we were penalised at a scrum 15 yards out in front of our posts. Marr kicked the penalty: 11-5.

At the restart, Lawrie Seydak replaced Greg Campbell. We regained the kick and had Marr on the defensive. After a good break by Matt Coupar on the right, we moved the ball quickly to the left wing where Sole was stopped a metre short of the line. Glashan was also stopped just short, but Lawrie Seydak was there to pick up the ball and drive himself the half metre over the line to score. Appleson converted: 11-12, nine minutes gone.

Within a minute we were penalised on our 10-metre line and Marr went back in the lead: 14-12.

With Aitken back on we gathered our kick off, made 20 metres up the field, took a quick tap penalty and recycled the ball after the tackle 15m from the Marr line. We moved the ball across the park and back twice, stretching the Marr defence. We brought the ball back to the left and, after both Coupar and Lawrie Seydak made ground, two quick passes to the left saw Aitken go over in the left corner. We were back in the lead after 14 minutes: 14-17.

Just as at the last Marr restart, within a couple of minutes we were penalised yet again and Marr drew level from the penalty: 17- 17. This was followed two minutes later by a Marr try as their centre made his way through our defence to score close to the posts. With the conversion we went behind: 24-17, 20 minutes gone.

In this ’topsy-turvy’ game it was now our turn to put pressure on Marr. A number of times we were stopped close to the Marr line. We were moving the ball around well and pulling Marr from side to side when Glashan got quick ball from the breakdown, passed to Will Stephen. Stephen passed it on to Lawrie Seydak on the 22 and he broke through a weak tackle and ran through to score. With Appleson’s conversion the scores were level again: 24-24 with 15 minutes to go.

The next period of play was pretty even for both sides until, with 36 minutes gone, Lawrie Seydak was yellow carded for a ‘neck-roll’. Marr missed the penalty, but we would play out the remaining time with 14 men.

A man up, Marr piled on the pressure and play was mainly in our part of the field. With two minutes left they were awarded a penalty for a collapsed drive from a lineout. The kick went over to make the score 27-24.

We won our kick out again and moved the ball out to the right but then dropped it, to many cheers from the Marr crowd. Marr won the scrum, kicked the ball out and the whistle went.

We could see the disappointment of our players and coaches at full time. We scored four tries to two and the game was there to win. Of course the cause was not helped by playing the best part of 20 minutes a man down, although we did score a try with 14 on the field, and being penalised 17 time.

However, we came away with two points to Marr’s four and now find ourselves third in the league, two points behind Marr and one point behind Jed, who we play this Saturday. The gap is nothing, we have more bonus points than those clubs and if we keep it up for the remainder of the season, we will be in a good place come March.

Onwards and upwards!

Tries: Glashan; L Seydak (2); Aitken
Conversions: Appleson (2)
Man of the Match: Tom Drennan, kindly sponsored by Thistly Cross Cider

Video Highlights
Accies' first half try
Accies' second half tires


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