Reds Bounce Back in Style Against the League Leaders
Linlithgow 47 – 17 Ross High
Saturday 11 September 2021
The crowd gathered for the first home game for the 1st XV since February 2020 to see if the home side could respond positively to last week’s defeat at Forrester and to retain their unbeaten home record that stretches back to January 2019. The visitors had a healthy win against Haddington last week and were expected to provide a stern test for the Reds.
Wee Reds mascot, Caelan McLean, led out the Reds with captain Euan Mochrie on a beautiful sunny day with a breeze from the west. There were 5 changes to the home team but that did not hinder them as they made a quick start and pressed the visitors into their own 22 metre area and it was no surprise when the opening try came in the first few minutes. A goal line drop out by Ross High was fielded by Ross Tulloch who made good ground before linking with teammates and finally Ross Martin provided the offload to send centre Ruaridh Stewart over the line for a fine team try which was converted by Ross Martin.
The next 20 minutes were played in midfield with neither side being able to dominate territory or possession. Ross High did kick a penalty but then the Reds moved upfield and had some good scoring opportunities from line outs but they were unable to breach the visitors’ line. Eventually, just before half time, the Reds scored another excellent team try with Ross Tulloch again very prominent in carrying the ball and offloading to Jamie Finlayson after which the ball was well moved along the line to Lewis Wells and the wing rounded his opposite number to score. Ross Martin added the conversion to make the half time score 14-3.
Early in the second half, some sloppy play in midfield ended with a dropped ball being kicked through for Ross High to claim a try against the run of play. The conversion was added making the score 14-10 but the Reds responded almost immediately and hit a bit of a purple patch over the next 15 minutes with a haul of 4 tries. After some good link play down the right wing, Lewis Wells made excellent ground before a well timed pass to send the ever present support runner Cal Thomson in for try under the posts.
This was quickly followed by a try from Ross Plenderleith after a searing break by Ruaridh Stewart gave the try scorer a clear run to the line. Lewis Wells then decided to provide a solo run try after he picked up a loose ball about 30 metres out and brushed aside some tacklers before diving into the corner to score.
The left side of the attack then decided to have a go and Ross Tulloch set off on one of his mesmerising runs and created a huge overlap and Ross Plenderleith stepped inside his opposite number to score between the posts. Ross Martin added 3 conversions out of 4 to make the score 40-10 for the home side.
Ross High did score another converted try but it was as a result of some questionable defence from the Reds. This was the only real area of concern for the Reds where the defence was sometimes a bit too passive. The final word went to the Reds when they scored a 7th try after a well worked pre-planned move from a lineout. The ball was passed to Aidan Rennison who dummied to substitute Russell Murdoch, who had drawn the Ross High tacklers, and slipped the ball to Ross Plenderleith who connected with Ruaridh Stewart and his well angled run took him clear of the tiring visitors’ defence. Aidan Rennison added the final conversion to make the final score 47-17 to the Reds.
After last week, this was a vast improvement and the attack was much more potent with excellent running from the backs but also based on a solid home pack performance. Next week the Reds are away to Portobello at 3pm with the 2nd XV scheduled to host Watsonians at Mains Park at 3pm.
Despite such a convincing win, players must continue to strive to improve their personal availability for the upcoming fixtures for 1st XV and 2nd XV.
- Calum McKeown
- Kyle Ormond
- Adam Scott
- Kieran Cochrane
- Jamie Finlayson
- Euan Mochrie
- Cal Thomson
- Ross Martin
- Cammy Murrie
- Aidan Rennison
- Ross Plenderleith
- Ceillem Stewart
- Ruaridh Stewart
- Lewis Wells
- Ross Tulloch
Andrew Archer, Stevie Grant, Jamie Tulloch and Russell Murdoch