Strong Performance by 2s not Reflected in Final Score
Lasswade 2s 19 – 3 Linlithgow 2s
Saturday 09 October 2021
Report by Des Martin
The Linlithgow Seconds squad travelled to Lasswade for this fixture in the Reserve 2 East. It was a perfect day for rugby and the Linlithgow team were excited to be playing on the big pitch in front of the stand. The referee was a very enthusiastic chap who spoke at length to all about his appreciation of the game, his fair approach and how he would let everything flow. He was only there to ensure fair play. The Manager and older players had wry smiles after this speech which did not appear to us justified during the game!!!!!!
The game kicked off with the ball coming to the Reds and we knocked the ball on, not a good start. Linlithgow had asked for uncontested scrums due to lack of front row availability and this generally ensures a free ball to the opposition. We had given the ball straight to them in our 22.
The number 8 for Lasswade picked up and carried the ball down the blind side, a number of rucks were defended well but at the third attempt the winger and defence had been drawn in to defend and the Fijian no 8 danced down the line to score below the posts. A very soft early score and Lasswade thought they were in for an easy game but the Reds fought back and defended strongly. The backs of Struan Mclean, Grant Findlater, Freddie Alcock and Ally Reynolds were standing strong in midfield and they were ably helped by the back row of Ally Waker, Muzz Murray and Pooch Tulloch. After a period of strong attack a penalty was awarded to the Reds. Cammy Walker stepped up and slotted the score 3 7 to Lasswade.
The game was a good contest and Lasswade were showing signs of frustration at their lack of scoring. The Reds had been denied what they thought were some good opportunities by the whistle and the decision not going their way. Freddie Alcock who had been robustly attacking and defending for the Reds made a reckless challenge and immediately was dispatched to the bin leaving the Reds with 14 men until half time.
The Manager praised the Reds at half time for their efforts and as we were now playing down hill in the second half and we all felt we were still in the game. Ally Walker came off as his calf was causing a problem and the team was shuffled to allow Hamza Arif into the second row. Fraser McIntosh and Ewan Edwards came on into the pack with Liam Park and Andrew Graham rested for a period.
The Lasswade team had been using their extensive squad to the full as they had 22 players in their team and experience gradually showed both with their controlling of the game and the resulting decisions made. Indeed some Lasswade players were spoken to so often for infringements that they were on first name terms. And to add insult to everything else Ally Reynolds was yellow carded for an innocuous tackle were the player slipped and he was high in contact. Down to 14 men again.
However during the second half there were some great efforts all round with Bruno Mochrie, Adam Scott, Muzz Murray and Andrew Archer working hard in the forwards and Grant Findlater, Tom Cole, Freddie Alcock, Ally Reynolds and Callum Miller playing well in the backs. We lost two more tries, one which was converted to leave the score 19-3 for Lasswade.
The score flattered them and a number of points to note, every week a new combination of players in nearly every position does not make playing together as a team that easy, flattering the man in charge can work in your favour at decision time which can alter the final score.
Next week Melrose 2s at home we all need to be available