Murrayfield Wanderers 2nds 8; Boroughmuir Bears 50
Over the past few weeks the Boroughmuir Bears have been steadily improving but still been unable to find top gear. However, on Saturday past the Bears finally put a performance together that showed what they are all about, scoring seven tries and conceding only one, dubious, try against Murrayfield Wanderers 2nd XV.
Coach Kev Robertson again had a selection headache with thirty six players to choose his squad of twenty two from. Coming down from the seconds this week was backs Calum Brockie and Aaron Maguire, and forwards Lewis Robinson and Derek McLeod. Ewen Gaskell returned from injury to form a new look centre pairing with Maguire.
Although the rain had been torrential in the morning, the back pitches of Murrayfield were in great nick and the Bears had the wind at their backs for the first half. An early penalty from Chris Evans opened the scoring for the Bears.
Fijian flyer, Frank Yawayawe, was back on the wing after a couple of games at full-back and he again showed his finishing prowess with the opening score for the Bears. Evans converted the score.
The second score for the Bears came from scrum-half Ed Zuiderent from a ruck on the Murrayfield five-metre line. With options in the backs and forwards, Zuiderent noticed the Wandies defence had taken their eye off him and he was able to snipe around the side of the ruck for his debut Bears try.
The Bears were finding their groove in attack but in defence they were also excellent. Wandies came back into the game late on in the first half and tested the Bears defence on their try line but the effort from the whole team thwarted the home sides attempt, and the Bears were able to clear their lines.
The set piece, especially the scrum, was strong all day for the Bears, so it was a surprise that the Bears opted for a tap and go from a penalty five metres out from the Wandies line. However, when you have someone the size of Paul “Bus” Richards crashing the ball up, it’s worth a shot and Bus duly crashed his way over for the third Bears score. The try was converted and before half-time Wandies got on the scoreboard with a penalty kick. The half-time score was 24-3 to the Bears.
The message from Coach Kev was to keep up the intensity and put together an eighty minute performance for once. With such a strong squad at his disposal, Kev made a few changes, with Derek McLeod replacing lock Rod Hutchison, who had been outstanding in the first half and Andy Hood replacing captain Andy Clark at number 8. In the backs, Derek Murray came on to captain the side at inside centre, with the industrious Aaron Maguire making way. Chris Whtielock also made way for Stuart Whitelaw on the wing.
The Bears took on board the half-time team talk and soon claimed the try bonus point. Again it was Frank who finished with aplomb after great build up play from his fellow backs.
Soon after, the Bears forwards put together a text-book rolling maul, from a line-out in the Wandies twenty-two. Zuiderent marshalled the pack well and blindside flanker Myles Skirving was the man to touch down as the oppositions resistance collapsed.
For the Bears, the next two tries were scored again by Frank the Tank. The Wandies backs must have been sick of the sight of him by the end of the game, as the 18 year-old belied his age to swat off defenders and put the after burners on to score with ease it seemed.
Murrayfield never gave in and did cause the Bears some problems, especially when the Bears became a bit loose and mistakes caused turnovers. A rare bad scrum for the Bears put number 8 Andy Hood on the back foot as he picked up. He was driven back over the line and was forced to touch-down. Unbelievably, the referee awarded a try to Wandies, claiming the ball had been ripped from Hood’s arms by the tackler. Hood’s reaction to the score was a classic one, slamming both head gear and ball to the ground, and muttering obscenities to himself.
The Bears came back into the game and nearly scored a try just before the final whistle, with Ross Smith charging through the Wandies defence but his speculative pass was intercepted and the ball was kicked out.
The Bears ran out comfortable winners 50-8.
Coach Kev had a tough time picking a man-of-the match for the Bears. Last weeks winner Skirving again was a stand-out performer and obviously four-try Frank had an outstanding game. However, it was Ewen “Yogi” Gaskell who got the nod. Yogi, back from injury, was constantly able to get over the gain line, showing not only power but deft footwork at times. This work allowed the Bears to generate ball on the front foot, which in turn gave players such as Frank the space to score the tries.
The Dick of the Day, goes to Andy Hood (2nd time this season) for his “own-try” and his subsequent strop, reminiscent of White Goodman in Dodgeball!
There is a weekend off for the Bears this Saturday and they return to action against RHC 2nds on 16th November.
Tries: Frank Yawayawe (4). Ed Zuiderent, Myles Skirving, Paul Richards
Convs: Evans (6) Pens: Evans (1)
15. Calum Brockie, 14. Chris Whitelock, 13. Ewen Gaskell 12. Aaron Maguire, 11. Frank Yawayawe, 10. Chris Evans, 9. Ed Zuiderent , 8. Andy Clark, 7. Roy Stewart, 6. Myles Skirving, 5. Graham Rex, 4. Rod Hutchison (c), 3. Paul Richards, 2. Lewis Robinson, 1. Richard Marshall
Replacements: Richard Robson, Ross Smith, Derek McLeod, Andy Hood, Derek Murray, Elliot Wynn-Higgins, Stuart Whitelaw