Fine Away Win for Reds 2s to Open Their League Season
Dunfermline 2s 24 – 26 Linlithgow 2s
Saturday 09 September 2017
Linlithgow fielded a strong second team for this first official league fixture of the season and the Manager and Club were hoping that a win would be the final result.
The pitch was in great shape at McKane Park and the sun was shining which set the scene for a good game of rugby. The Reds started well with good carries by Stu Young and Lauchlan McCall, with Gregor Stewart assuming the kicking responsibilities. Before long the Reds were awarded a penalty which Gregor Stewart slotted into the corner. Lauchlan McCall threw a nice line out which was taken by Drew Sommerville and the whole pack drove to the Dunfermline line. Stu Young emerged grinning clutching the ball. 5-0 to the Reds.
Dunfermline came back strongly – they were not going away and had no intention of letting the Reds off easily. However, the Reds were tackling and disrupting well, with Kieran Cochrane, Connall Black and Stu Young to the fore. From one such series of play, Kenny McKenzie drove Dunfermline back and Lauchlan McCall snaffled the ball which was then passed out along the backs, with Ross Tulloch coming into the line well to score a nice try. Gregor Stewart converted and the score was 12-0 to the Reds.
The team was playing well and the back line of Peter Miller, James Timlin, Mark Caddle and Gregor Stewart were asking questions. However, often the wrong option was taken and the question asked never resulted in the correct answer for Linlithgow!
Dunfermline pressed and pressed and eventually scored a try from wide out when the Reds players, who were tiring at the end of a hard first half, let their concentration slip.
Half-Time: 12-5 to the Reds
After half time, when the Reds had made a few changes, the impetus swung back towards the Reds. Dunfermline did not kick off ten yards so the Reds had a scrum on the half way and continued to control possession from this set piece. After some good work on the floor by Lauchlan McCall, the ball was whipped across the backs. Gregor Stewart made a great break and Mark Caddle, keen to impress in his first ever run out at centre, followed up to score. The try was converted by Gregor Stewart to make the score 19-5 to the Reds.
Dunfermline were not going to give up easily and, after a series of good drives and penalties against the Reds, ended up scoring another try. 19-10 to the Reds.
The Reds again worked their way down the park under the astute guidance of Stuart Jamieson. From a resulting line-out close to the Dunfermline line, Stu Young again came up with the ball after good work by the pack. Gregor Stewart then slotted the conversion to make it 26-10 to the Reds.
The Reds were beginning to tire and some of the players were feeling the pressure of battling against much older and more experienced opponents. The Dunfermline team scored two more tries before the final whistle, to narrow the gap to 26-24, but the young Reds held out for the bonus point win.
This was a fine win and a strong performance by the 2s. However, it was a close run match in the end and could easily have ended in defeat despite all the earlier hard work.
The players in general need to think more on their feet and be more clinical with their decision making and scoring.
This game, however, did show many good examples of what coach Matt Dixon is looking for from the team as a whole, with more than a few players putting in very good performances. As newcomers to the team, Kieran Cochrane, Matt Sommerville, Gregor Stewart and Ross Tulloch are all playing very well and will improve week in week out. Old heads, Stuart Jamieson, Kenny McKenzie and Stu Young are all putting in performances which support the younger players and add a stability to the Reds 2s that bodes well for the season.
Ross Tulloch; Sam McAllister, Gregor Stewart, Mark Caddle, Rory McAdam; James Timlin, Peter Millar; Matthew Somerville, Stuart Young; Kenny McKenzie; Stuart Jamieson (captain), Connall Black; Drew Somerville, Lauchlan McCall and Kieran Cochrane.
Subs: Guy Sutherland, Duncan McClymont, Gregor Aitchison, Stuart Gordon, Robbie Thomson, Angus McNab and Aidan Rennison