Early Points Conceded Prove Too Much for Reds
Linlithgow 12 – 29 Hawick Harlequins
Saturday 15 September 2018
In front of a big crowd, including a large number of former players from different decades, Linlithgow were looking to get their first points of the season against last years champions Quins. They could not have started the game worse, as from the first ruck after the kick off, Quins emerged with the ball to score in the corner. Things got worse when, following 2 missed tackles, Quins were allowed to score again in the corner. Both tries unconverted. Quins poured on the misery as they sliced the home defence apart, scoring a good try under the posts which was converted.
Linlithgow were struggling but then had a good spell where they had a lot of possession without threatening the goal line. Quins wrapped up the bonus point on the half hour with their fourth try which went unconverted.
From then until half-time it was all Linlithgow as they did everything but score in these 10 minutes. During that time they scorned three very kickable penalty opportunties, each time electing to kick for touch and go for a try. Tremendous goal-line defence from the Quins somehow kept the Reds out and half-time was reached with the visitors 22-0 up.
The Reds coaching team emptied the bench at half-time with four changes, bringing on former captain Stuart Cunningham, prop Stevie Grant, flanker Cal Thomson and winger Cammy Walker. This seemed to further galvanise the Reds who came out of the blocks after half time, and nearly scored with the ball held up 5 metres short of the line. They kept up the pressure and eventually got on the scoreboard with a fine try through Stuart Cunningham, after excellent interpassing up the right wing between Stevie Grant, Aidan Rennison and Cal Thomson, with the latter unselfishly giving the scoring pass when he might have scored himself in the corner. Unfortunately the conversion was narrowly missed.
The joy was temporary as Quins raced up the park and scored a converted try under the posts, to put any hopes of a comeback beyond the home team. Linlithgow however were still putting a lot of effort in, and, led by man-of-the-match John Chapman, got a further try near the end from winger Aidan Rennison, converted by John Chapman himself. Near the end, the Reds should have scored another but with the goal line gaping the ball was unfortunately knocked on. The game was marred by an injury to substitute Cammy Walker who broke his collarbone. We wish him a speedy recovery.
For 70 minutes this was a highly competitive match (12-12 on the scoreboard) with both teams playing attacking rugby and both defences putting in a lot of desparate defending. Unfortunately for the Reds, rugby is a game played over 80 minutes and they never got over their poor start conceding 17 unanswered points in the first 10 minutes!
Plenty to work on, however plenty to build on, as the Reds go down to unbeaten Berwick next Saturday, while the 2s entertain Gala at Mains Park.
Ross Plenderleith; Aidan Rennison, Rab Cairns (captain), Ross Tulloch, Lewis Herdman; John Chapman, David Martin; Sam Buckley, Colin Devlin, Ally Maclean; Neil Lockhart, Duncan McClymont; Kieran Cochrane, Joe McKillion and Mark Caddle.
Subs (all used): Stuart Cunningham, Steven Grant, Cammy Walker, Cal Thomson.