Reda at Lenzie (Aug22)

Reds Retain 100% Win Record
in pre season

Lenzie 21 – 35 Linlithgow

Report by David Mitchell

The Reds made the trip to Lenzie last Saturday and gained a well deserved win against West 1 opposition. The playing surface was in decent condition albeit a bit smaller than our home pitch and the main challenge was the strong wind blowing straight down the pitch. This was the final pre season game in advance of the first competitive fixture next Saturday at East 2 team Penicuik in the 1st round of the National Shield competition. 

A sizeable crowd were in attendance and were entertained to some free flowing rugby. The home side took an early 7-0 lead but the Reds responded well and after sustained pressure, Joe McKillion bashed his way over the line with a couple of Lenzie defenders clinging to him. Jack Frame added the conversion.

Joe McKillion blasts over for Reds’ opening try

The score was tied at 7-7 at half time and the Reds then had the advantage of the strong following wind for the remainder of the match. 

After some early pressure, Lenzie kicked a loose ball through and Jack Frame collected the ball on the 10 metre line and weaved his way through the home defence to score a fine try just to the right of the posts and he added the conversion.

Jack Frame bursts through for his try

Gregor McLean was injured and had to leave the field with a head knock but the visitors still managed to control the game well with the scrummage a potent weapon keeping the Lenzie pack retreating at most scrums. It was no surprise when the Reds extended their lead with a well worked try out wide by Mark Caddle after good link play involving Dougie Thomson, Joe McKillion and Kieran Cochrane. Frame added the conversion to make the score 7-21.

The home side did manage to get into the Reds half a few times but excellent cover defence kept them from scoring. In particular, Ewan Mitchell showed great speed and effort to catch a Lenzie player who looked likely to score and brought him down short of the line. A great example of cover defence that we need to maintain throughout the season. The visitors then went up field and Jack Frame again sliced through the defence to put Cal Thomson in for a try under the posts.

Cal Thomson dots down for his try after a fine break from Jack Frame

Unfortunately, the full back was clattered when giving the scoring pass and had to leave the field with a head knock. Dougie Thomson took over the kicking duties and raised a cheer from the crowd when his drop kick clipped the crossbar and dropped over for a successful conversion. 

Ally Walker was the next player to leave the field injured as the Reds began to run out of players or had to play people out of position.

Mark Caddle looked assured when the No.8 stepped in at stand-off

These adjustments allowed Lenzie to score 2 late converted tries to make the score 21-28 and a tight finish was expected but the home team had to risk running from deep in their own half and Callum Miller made a timely interception to stride over for a final try for the Reds and Mark Caddle added the conversion with yet another drop goal to make the final score 21-35.

Callum Miller scores the Reds’ fifth try after a timely interception

Overall a decent conclusion to the pre season fixture list with opportunities given to many players to stake a claim for a regular place in the 1st XV squad. The Reds exerted good control for many phases of the game and the defence was solid when put to the test. Special mention for coach Dougie Thomson who was as surprised as anyone to play for so much of the game and survive intact. Next week the team will face a revved up Penicuik side who despite being in East 2 will surely provide a strong challenge. The coaches need players to make themselves available in large numbers for the 1st competitive game of the season to avoid a repeat of last season’s debacle at Forrester. On the basis that players are ready to play and take the right level of focus into the match, the Reds should prevail but the Penicuik side must be taken seriously and respected. 

View Graham Black’s match photos