Reds Open With Try Bonus Win
Forrester 10 – 32 Linlithgow
Saturday 7 September 2019
The Reds opened their East 1 league campaign with an away fixture at Forrester RFC under clear blue skies on a warm Edinburgh afternoon. The visitors kicked off and the early exchanges were all in the home team’s half and the Reds looked dangerous in attack although if they had shown more composure, an opening try would surely have come.
However it was the home team who opened the scoring with a penalty. The Reds stormed up the field and chose to take a quick tap penalty which resulted in a powerful thrust by Michael Doneghan who touched down near the posts. Jack Frame added the extra points. Although the Reds continued to dominate territory, scores were hard to come by and the home team scored an opportunist try from their very good full back who outstripped the visitors defence.
Finding themselves 10-7 behind, the Reds again put the home defence under pressure and it was no surprise when they scored a try by Mark Green after a quick tap penalty by Mark Caddle created space for Green to barge over for a well deserved try. Frame added the conversion and the half ended with the score at 10-14. Ross Tulloch was injured in a collision just before half time and was replaced by Andrew Whitelaw.
Linlithgow quickly gained the upper hand at the start of the second half and were rewarded for some excellent pressure when Jack Frame took the ball in midfield, stepped inside 2 tacklers and spun through the final tackle to score under the posts. He added the conversion himself to move the Reds 11 points ahead.
As the home team visibly tired, the Reds began to drive holes in their defence and in particular there were surging runs from Cunningham, Caddle, Mochrie and Martin. Euan Gunn replaced Colin Devlin in the front row and Cal Thomson replaced Andrew Archer following great shifts by both players.
Jack Frame added a penalty and then the home side applied 10 minutes of consistent pressure on the Reds’ line, but excellent defence kept them out and, when Linlithgow were awarded a penalty on half way, Frame stepped up and sent the ball sailing through the posts with something to spare.
Direct from the Forrester restart and following a great passage of play among the forwards, captain Euan Mochrie burst into the open and fed the ball to substitute Cal Thomson who galloped down the wing to score in the corner. The conversion attempt from Frame slid narrowly by the post.
The final few minutes were marred by some outbreaks of pushing among the players as frustration set in. The referee eventually produced 2 yellow cards and the final few minutes resulted in no more scoring. The final score was an excellent 10-32 away victory for the Reds.
The forward pack again dominated in the scrums and there was some excellent driving play by both forwards and backs. The overall defensive effort was excellent with very few missed tackles. However we did miss a few opportunities to score through a bit of white line fever and a less than clinical finish on some occasions. A very good start but still much more to come from this team, particularly if the team selection can be consistent which requires good availability to be shown by all players.
Next week sees the first home league fixture of the season against Ross High at 3pm and hopefully a good crowd will be there to see it, as it’s Pie and a Pint day for all former Reds’ players.