Second Successive Away Defeat for Reds
Ross High 32 – 0 Linlithgow
Saturday 25 January 2020
Report by Craig Young
Linlithgow travelled to Tranent to play this rearranged Tennents East 1 fixture against Ross High without several regulars. Linlithgow don’t have a good record there in recent years and as things unfolded, that still remains the case. It was bitterly cold and the strong cross wind didn’t really provide much advantage, more of an inconvenience.
The home side started the game well, camping inside the Linlithgow half for several minutes before settling for a penalty. They continued to dominate the possession but the Reds’ defence was resolute, beating back all attacks. Linlithgow, however were unable to get out of their own half, despite winning the majority of the scrums. The backs were unable to provide the support and each attack petered out before the halfway line. Just before the half, Ross High probably should have scored a try, but they had to settle for another penalty. Half time 6-0 to the home team, and that scoreline flattered Linlithgow a little as they had not produced one foray into enemy territory during the half.
While the optimists among the large travelling support were thinking Linlithgow cannot play any worse in the second half, they were dealt a double whammy as Ross High scored 2 quick tries to put the game beyond Linlithgow. In a rare attack, Linlithgow forwards, who were still dominant in the scrums, should have scored a push-over try, but butchered the opportunity twice, and eventually a knock on ended the move. Ross High then scored a third try, their player carving through at least 4 “attempted” tackles. Tempers frayed, and the game became physical and you had to feel for young scrum half Struan Mclean who was assaulted off the ball on 3 occasions within a ten minute spell, the referee ignoring the howls from the sidelines. The home side were looking for the bonus point but had to wait until almost the last minute to get it. Full time 32-0.
Linlithgow have now gone 160 minutes without scoring a single point. The forwards seem to dominate the scrums, although the lineout is variable. In addition, there seems to be a lack of ideas once the ball comes out to the backs. Linlithgow should look to bounce back at home to Broughton next Saturday (KO 2pm) – another rescheduled match, while the 2s have no game at present.