Reds Emerge Victorious from the Mud at Inverleith Park
Edinburgh Northern 2s 12 – 34 Linlithgow 2s
Saturday 04 March 2017
There had been a lot of heavy rain on the Friday night and the Reds 1s league match versus Ross High was called due to a waterlogged pitch. Indeed the Second Team Manager and Director of Rugby were surprised that the 2s match was still continuing at Inverleith Park in Edinburgh, as Edinburgh Northern’s home matches were often subject to postponements by Edinburgh Council. When the team arrived at the bunker clubhouse and changing rooms they were surprised that anything could be played as it looked fairly waterlogged and seagulls were resting on adjacent pitches. The pitch allocated to us had some largish tracks of water but the referee was happy to go ahead and play if we took sensible precautions, eg or if there was any incidents they would move scrums etc to drier ground.
The Reds started brightly with Kyle Dunlop, wing forward from the current school u18 team, carrying the ball into the opposition 22. The Reds were awarded a penalty and Robbie Thomson and Russell Murdoch reacted quickly to pass the ball along the backs to Ross Oliver who scored in the corner. Russell missed the conversion, 5-0 to the Reds. The pitch was very wet and muddy and despite great work by Nick Igoe, Duncan McClymont, Gary Laing and Kyle Dunlop the ball was often lost or not much ground was made.
Indeed Edinburgh Northern were creating a lot of spoiling tactics, which the referee either didn’t see or chose not to penalise, that eventually gave them the opportunity with their heavier players to go over for a try. (5-5)
However the Manager and substitutes felt that there was potential to score more if we tried to play rugby and move the ball away from the contact by creating a very clear offside line. Colin McMorrin and Euan Mochrie, who had came on for Gary Laing, started to carry out these principles and from a clean ball at a line-out the forwards managed to drive towards the Northern line. Robbie Thomson threw an audacious dummy to Russell Murdoch and set the ball down over the line for the second try which was not converted. (10-5)
Euan Mochrie, on loan from the firsts, but playing as hooker took the ball in midfield and rounded all the Northern players who seemed to be transfixed in the mud to score in the corner. 15-5 for the Reds at Half Time.
The Manager made a few changes from the bench to ensure all that had turned up got a game and at the same time maintain the forward momentum, something that can sometimes be lost when changes are made. Hussian made his debut at tight head in place of Ally McLean, Russell Murdoch went to scrum half and Chris Ronalson went to stand off.
The second half started brightly with Gus McNab, Hussian and Drew Sommerville assisting Nick Igoe in clean delivery of the ball. From a good drive, Russell Murdoch went blind and passed to Ross Oliver who slipped the ball to Cammy Walker. Cammy was little past the half way line but had a storming run brushing off a few ENRFC tacklers to score beneath the posts. Russell Murdoch converted (22 5 to LRFC).
The Reds relaxed now, as they were well in the lead, and in the next 10 mins allowed Northern to score a soft try from a bad clearance kick when no danger should have been coming.
Everyone was now tiring and black from mud, indeed it was difficult to detect who was from which team. The Reds had a line-out on Northern’s 22 and Gus McNab, a player who had worked extremely hard through out the game and could only be identified from his beard and smooth mud caked head, was rewarded with a try. Cammy Walker converted and the score was 29-12 to LRFC.
Robbie Thomson who had been fuming on the touchline was put on for the last 10 minutes to replace Russell Murdoch and, from a good passage of play, did what he is good at in sniping over for a try from a yard out. The final score ended in a 34-12 victory for the muddied Reds.
Good game by all the players in very muddy and difficult conditions, indeed there were some very bright patches which indicates that Dougie’s and Matt’s principles are gradually being adopted across the senior squads. Big game next week at home versus Preston Lodge.