Reds Rally after Poor Start
Hawick Quins 48 – 22 Linlithgow
Saturday 14 December 2019
Report by Craig Young
Linlithgow travelled to Hawick on Saturday on a day better suited to staying in the house. It was bitterly cold with a wind chill factor making it seem like minus 5, although the pitch was in better condition that had been expected. After 20 minutes, most of the Linlithgow players and spectators wished they had stayed in the house!
The home side had the advantage of the wind in the first half and were pressing from the off. It only took them a few minutes to score their first try in the left corner, with the Reds defence all at sea. The conversion was missed. The home side were on the attack straight away and scored again in the left hand corner, the conversion controversially given as everyone except the touch judge saw the ball bounce off the top of the post and go outwards. Worse was to come for Linlithgow as Quins again exposed Linlithgow’s defensive frailties by scoring again in the left corner, the conversion good. 3 attacks so far and 3 tries!
Eventually Linlithgow scored a try with their first forage into the Quins half, as Mark Caddle picked the loose ball up 40 metres out and ran in a try in the corner, Jack Frame converting from out wide. The mini comeback was short lived as Quins scored the bonus point try with their next attack, duly converted. Linlithgow came back with a try from Ross Plenderleith in the corner (unconverted), but just before half time Quins scored another unconverted try to make the half time score 31-12 to the home side.
With the half time post mortem still ringing in their ears, Linlithgow conceded a 6th try (unconverted) and it left a mountain to climb, but to their credit the heads didn’t go down. As Jack Frame made a superb surge from inside his own 22, he was finally caught by a thumping tackle by the Quins number 8 and required treatment. The referee didn’t like the challenge, and sent the tackler for a 10 minute break to think about using his arms next time.
The Reds then had a lengthy period of superiority, dominating all the scrums. Twice the Linlithgow scrum crossed the try line and twice the referee penalised the Quin’s scrum half for entering the scrum before the ball was out, preventing a certain try. With the away support screaming for a penalty try, Linlithgow took another scrum and eventually Mike Doneghan scored, the conversion missed.
With Linlithgow on top, they then conceded an unconverted try, then straight from the kick off Quins ran in another unconverted try. This make the score 48-17 which flattered the home side. Linlithgow didn’t give up, sensing that a 4th try would at least secure a bonus point from the game. First, Ross Plenderleith went on a long run and was halted and needed treatment for a facial knock. Next, Ross Tulloch went on a long run and chipped the ball oved the full back who then tripped him up preventing a score, no yellow awarded. Tempers were fraying and the tackles were fierce. Every scrum was going in Linlithgow’s favour, while the Quins’ scrum half interfered with every scrum and went unpunished. Twice he picked the ball up while the ball was still at Mark Caddle’s feet and play went on with the crowd screaming injustice.
As the game drew to a close Linlithgow finally secured the 4th try after umpteen phases as captain Euan Mochrie crashed over, the conversion falling short. Final score 48-22.
The result was never in doubt after 20 minutes, but the visiting support were left wondering why Linlithgow didn’t show the same energy in the first 20 minutes that they showed in the last 20 minutes. It was noticeable that one or two of the players had not coped well with the protracted bus journey via Kelso, and while Quins ran in 7 tries, they only visited the Linlithgow 22 on 8 occasions throughout the game, and although they showed good handling, they didn’t have to work very hard for any of their 7 tries.
Jack Frame; Ross Tulloch, Mike Doneghan, Mark Green, Ross Plenderleith; John Chapman, Struan McLean; Colin Devlin, Stuart Cunningham, Ally McLean; Pat Bennie, Kieran Cochrane; Ally Walker, Euan Mochrie (captain) and Mark Caddle.
Subs: Duncan Mcclymont and Cammy Murrie.