Boroughmuir Bears 27; Forrester 2nd XV 10
The table topping Bears were supposed to have a home tie against local rivals Forrester 2nd XV last Saturday. However, due to the amount of rain that had fallen in Edinburgh during the previous 48 hours, Meggetland was unplayable so the game was quickly rescheduled to Forrester RFC. The Bears enjoyed a bonus-point victory against a street wise and tough Forrester side in October, only cutting loose late in the second half. This time around the Bears looked to dominate their opponents from the start.
Making his way back from a long-term injury was lock Trent Sutton, who was debuting for the Bears after spending the early part of the season playing for the firsts. Number 8 Andy Hood also made his first appearance in a few games after injury and Chris Pacey lined up at full-back after making himself available for only the second time this season.
Fortunately, the inclement weather subsided for the start of the game and the Bears were on the front foot from the kick-off, with a Forrester forward spilling the catch. Due to the wet and muddy conditions, the Bears stuck to simple tactics and used forward runners off the half-backs to create go-forward ball. Hooker Ross Smith continues to create a new position for himself, which operates somewhere between any ruck and the stand-off where he relishes running at the opposition stand-off without concerning himself with rucking duties. He was no-less effective though and with other useful ball carriers Sutton, Hood and Sandy Hewitt creating holes in the defence, it wasn’t long before the Bears scored their first try.
After good build up and sustained pressure by the Bears forwards, it was blindside flanker Andy Clark who side-stepped his way past a couple of defenders to score from ten-metres out. Scrum-half Chris Evans converted the try.
After this first score, the Bears foolishly tried to play some more expansive rugby but the conditions wouldn’t allow this and they soon found themselves defending their own line. However, a great turn-over launched a counter attack from within the Bears twenty-two led by the all action Sutton. Stand-off Derek Murray carried on the move and gained another thirty metres before being hauled down by a Forresters back. A quick ruck was won and Sutton was on hand to break through the line once again to score a try, after good hands from wing Lee McDonald. Evans was again able to convert.
The Bears continued to assert their dominance, but Forrester kept them at bay for a prolonged period in the first half, with both teams kicking a penalty each.
Towards the end of the first half though, the Bears claimed a third try. This time it was from a driving line-out, which saw young prop Sandy Hewitt touch down after excellent mauling from the pack. Hewitt had a great game in general, especially in the scrum where he was up against a prop probably triple his age and had some of the worst banter at scrum-time ever heard! Hewitt never took a backwards step and showed good technique for someone so young.
The Bears went in at half-time 22-3 leaders. Coach Kev and Manager Gogs praised their sides first half performance and asked for more of the same in the second half. After an industrious first half shift Trent Sutton was replaced by Rod Hutchison and also Ed Zuiderent replaced Chris Evans at scrum-half.
Another half-time sub, full-back James Armstrong made an impact from the very start of the second half. Within five minutes, he had made a scorching outside break and with his opposite number to beat he unselfishly drew the man and passed to his left wing and flatmate Elliot Wynn-Higgins who dived in the right hand corner to claim his maiden try for the Bears. Armstrong was unable to kick the tricky conversion.
The Bears stepped off the gas a bit for the remainder of the match, and this allowed Forresters to build more possession and territory which in the end led to them scoring a consolation converted try.
When the final whistle blew the Bears were comfortable winners 27-10.
Man of the match for the Bears was veteran winger Malcolm Jack, who has fought his way back from a serious knee injury to become a starter for the team. Every time he got the ball against Forresters he seemed to make yards and also has added a crunching tackle to his defensive game.
Dick of the Day, despite his try-scoring performance, was Elliot Wynn-Higgins who was heard asking a fellow player if a conversation had gone over the posts!
The Bears travel to Jedburgh this Saturday to play Jed-Forest 2nds and will hope to carry on the great form they are showing now.
Tries; Andy Clark, Trent Sutton, Sandy Hewitt, Elliot Wynn-Higgins
Conversions: Chris Evans (2)
Penalties: Chris Evans (1)
15. Chris Pacey, 14. Lee McDonald, 13. Chris Whitelock, 12. Aaron Maguire, 11. Malcolm Jack, 10. Derek Murray, 9. Chris Evans, 8. Andy Hood, 7. Roy Stewart, 6. Andy Clark, 5. Trent Sutton, 4. Gordon Pearse (c), 3. Richard Marshall, 2. Ross Smith, 1. Sandy Hewitt
Replacements: Ed Zuiderent, Chris O’Neill, James Armstrong, Elliot Wynn-Higgins, Rod Hutchison, Billy Blyth, Blair Calder