Match Report by Richard Sievwright (Coach 2nd XV)
Photos Dave Patterson
On the back of a fantastic result away to Glasgow Hawks last week there is confidence in the squad. The big question - could the Magic 2s produce the same level rugby in wet conditions against a team who beat them 4 weeks ago?
The answer to this question far from certain considering there were seven changes to the starting team from last week because of injuries and players being promoted to the 1st XV.
Non the less the motivation of all the players in the squad was focused on turning The Nails over at home and continuing the winning run.
Heriots won the toss and started the game with a kicked off not making the 10. The first scrum for Muir was positive and gave us a chance to test the Heriots defence which was solid. The early attacking phases for Muir were ineffective and The Nails forced our attacking line onto the back foot which made it difficult to build momentum.
Heriots attacking shape looked good as they got their big forwards working around the corner quickly. Their simple game plan paid off in the 16th minute when they scored under the post that began from a line out on half way and saw them control the ball for 8-10 phases.
This triggered a purple patch for nails when they backed this score up with another one 6 minutes later in the corner after they had worked the ball quickly to an overlap.
The signs were ominous for the Magic 2s, until captain Macloed broke from the back of a scrum on the half way line and made 20 meters raising the belief and gaining some positive possession. The attack broke down on the nails 5 meter line giving them a scrum. Touch line supporters disappointed but the Muir pack quietly confident with the situation as they turned the ball over to give Macloed the chance to run from the base again, try for the Magic! Conversion kick from Hunter successful.
This gave us the boost we needed and had an adverse effect on the confidence of the opposition. Minutes after the restart we had a line out on the 22 after being awarded a rare penalty at a breakdown.
Robinson's throw was good and the pack took control in a rolling maul that kept rolling all the way to the try line. An exceptional piece of play from the forwards which every player involved can be proud of and was instrumental to orchestrating a come back.
Conversion attempt missed. Muir didn't want the half to end and certainly not in the way it did with Hunter being stretchered off with a neck injury - the news on this injury is fortunately positive for friend, family and the club as we hope to see him playing again soon.
Half time score: 12 - 12
After a first half where we absorbed a lot of pressure and turned the momentum around coaches were asking for more accuracy at the breakdown and quicker organisation in defence.
The second half started positively for the away team, controlling the ball from a line out in nails territory and spreading the ball into midfield where Hardie hit up - Muir phases put the pressure on and we were rewarded with a penalty in front of the posts, converted by Ian Martin who had been striking the ball extremely well in the warm up. 1 minute later Muir catch the restart under extreme nails pressure putting Muir on the back foot.
Not a problem for Martin who spotted space over on the right and released a high cross field kick - the backtracking Heriots winger never looked confident and fumbled the ball giving Muzz a chance to kick the ball on and show some great pace to score in the corner.
Conversion missed (12-20). The home team now knew they had all the work to do and again put huge pressure on the catchers at the restart - knock on from the Muir. Heriots controlled the ball into the 22 and the referee began to favour the attack penalising the Boroughmuir defence for high tackles and breakdown infringements.
The referee’s patience wore thin when he judged Hardie to be offside sending him to the bin and gifting Heriots 3 points. Against all the odds the next 10 minutes was all about the Muir attack and dominant set piece. A penalty on half way and a fantastic kick to the corner from Martin gave the forwards the platform.
One effort held up over the line and the referee must surely have been thinking about more than just a penalty for the number of times he blew the whistle for nails infringements.
Somehow the home team held on and relieved pressure with a kick to half way. Hardie back on after 15 minutes in the bin (a rule change to look into?!). Nails now determined to get something from the game and were on the ascendancy winning a penalty inside the Muir half. It was their turn to kick for the corner and John Troxler to hold them up over the line.
It was backs to the wall for the last 5 minutes with Muir defence holding strong. Another penalty for Heriots 5 meters out - Robbie Wilson optimised the magic 2s defence and crashed into the Heriots ball carrier who knocked it on bringing a fantastic game to an end!
Full time: Heriots 2s 15 - 20 Boroughmuir 2s
The Magic 2s have now won 4 in row and other teams will be looking to target them as the team to beat. Well done to all involved, 1 - 20, who all contributed to this win.
Special mention to Rik van Balkom who returns to Holland on Monday. He has been fantastic member of the club throughout this season. He is a talented player who has been a pleasure to have play at Boroughmuir. Thank you for your commitment, we will always have the door open for you at the club and we all wish the best in future.
Cairns, Rome, Hardie, Hunter (Martin 40'), Welsh (Muzz 40'), Summers, Rik VB, Macloed, S Clarke (Stewart 10'), Gongora (O'Niell 20'), Troxler (Mclaurin 20') , A Clarke, Gracie, Robinson, Wilson.
To see more photos from Dave Patterson from the game, click here.
The Boroughmuir Bears were due to play Peebles 2nd XV, who called off. The (w) going to the Bears. Many thanks to Murrayfield 2nd XV for offering a game at Murrayfield.
The Boroughmuir U18s Colts lost to Stirling on Saturday. Head Coach Peter Wood saud:
"They played some good rugby forgetting how to tackle a little too often. They had one magic spell and scored a try. We're learning fast."