THE SIDE STEP!!!!
It does very often happen that you get to watch a prop sell a dummy and side step to last defender – well it happened at Haddington on Saturday – Go Jason go!
ACCIES COME AWAY WITH THEIR 7th WIN
Today was a clear wake up call to everyone involved with Accies Rugby as Haddington pushed Accies all the way. This was a team who were unbeaten against a team that was still to record a victory. I think most of the travelling support was expecting an easy warm up for the big game next week against Murrayfield Wanderers. However as it turned out nobody had told Haddington.
The game started with Accies on the attack. Some crisp movement from the backs and recycling from the forwards saw Accies pound the Haddington line and some good driving from the forwards was rewarded with a try. The scorer could not be identified from the touchline but Accies were off to a great start. Conversion missed 5 – 0
The supporters were rubbing their hands and waiting for the next try! Well Haddington, who had several senior players back from injury, started to get well into the encounter. Their pack won a decisive scrum and with hard driving from their very strong back row started to look very dangerous. Accies withstood some real pressure inside their 22 and when Accies had withstood the pressure there was a clear sigh of relief. However from ball won wide out on left Haddington backs showed how dangerous they were and from a good running line the centre crossed unopposed for a good score. Conversion missed 5 – 5
In recent matches Accies were straight back on the attack and scored quickly, well they were thwarted today, they were not helping their cause by kicking away some good possession. While the game was being played between the 22’s with good defences making the flowing rugby, we all love, much more difficult. The strong defensive performance by Haddington combined with the fact that Accies style of rugby was not firing on all cylinders. Accies were also defending well and it did not look that the first half would produce any more scoring, until a kick that nobody seemed to be able to collect was finally in the hands of Haddington’s scrum half who spun it in field to their stand-off who put their centre into space. One quality sidestep and he was in under the posts. Conversion good 5 – 12
This was proving to be a very hard half for Accies, with Haddington tackling with commitment and some hard running by their backs, as well as their game plan just not quite clicking. There were moments when you could see just how good this side are, but good defence was frustrating them.
After a rather frustrating 40 minutes the referee brought the first half to an end, with Haddington having the better of the first 40 minutes. It was not a great spectacle but the returning players were clearly making a difference.
Halftime 5 – 12
The players gathered together for what was clearly a reappraisal of how they should be playing and where we were making mistakes. As the second half kicked off the next 10 minutes would change the whole game. From the restart Accies regathered the ball and worked it into Haddingtons half, where a penalty allowed Stewart Gray to put the ball into touch around the Haddington 22. The line out was won and when Jason Currie found himself clear at the tail of the maul he received the ball and set off for the try line. Jason has confirmed that a dummy and two sidesteps later saw him untouchable and covered the 20 metres to the line. This brought the Accie supporters to their feet. Conversion good 12 – 12
This was a great start to the second half but would we now see Accies having to defend again as they had at the start of the first. Kick off was collected inside Accies 22 and some superb movement and passing saw James Smith, the exciting young winger, set off on a great run. He was supported by Ross Cowan and Scott Simmons. The ball moved to Scott and he finished off the move with a beautiful end to end try. It was a real joy to see Ross back to his dynamic self. Accies had found their mo-jo, which I believe you now call it, and running, passing, 15 man rugby was back on view.
Conversion successful 19 – 12
Once again the kick off was deep into Accies 22, the Accies forwards collected and drove the ball up to the 22. The ball was recycled and transferred to the backs. A loose pass however had everyone’s hearts in their respective mouths as it passed behind the backs. However Ross Cowan collected the ball just as it trundles over the try line, turned quickly and in a flash he was off. Next pass was to James Smith who in turn was going full pelt to the line.
Bonus point in the bag, but conversion missed 24 – 12
Once again from the kick off the ball was tidied up by the forwards and the quick transference saw Ross make another break and this time he went on to finish it off. Accies had in the space of 10 minutes turned the game on its head and without Haddington being able to get their hands on the ball or it appeared any Accie backs.
Conversion good 31 – 12
Accies backs were looking very dangerous and their ball transference was superb. The forwards were clearly up against a well drilled and heavy set of forwards. Haddington continued to work really hard and were rewarded with two late tries to bring them back to within 7 points of Accies and gain both a try and losing bonus point, which was much deserved.
Discussion’s after the final whistle were around the fact that this was Haddington’s best performance of the season so far and their returning players had made a real difference to their performance. They clearly will add substantially to their current points.
Full-time 31 – 24
Accies have now played 7 won 7, all with a bonus point, but the result of this match could have been different, if it had not been for some superb defence and the confidence the team are showing. Next week’s fixture is against Edinburgh Wanderers at New Anniesland and this will be a real test of this developing team.