They say “revenge is a dish best served cold!” Well it was clear that Kilmarnock were intent on revenge and this reporter could not think of a colder or more miserable day to have it served up! However it was Accies who came out of the blocks best and playing with the wind, attacked the Kilmarnock defence from the KO and moved the ball into the Kilmarnock 22 in the first 2 minutes. Some stout defence held the play up on the far side from the stand but quick transference saw Nifty scamper in at the opposite corner. Difficult conditions for kickers, conversion missed—–5-0
Accies did not let up and were soon back into the Kilmarnock danger area and although the conditions were difficult, tried to play handling rugby. Wave of attacks came thick and fast but Kilmarnock defence stood firm till the ball was kicked through on the 22 and Nifty was first to the touch down. Great conversion from wide out—-12-0
Kilmarnock sensed the foot being taken off the peddle and through disrupting our broken play and the breakdown they got themselves well and truly back in the game. The conditions suited a pick and go style of rugby and this was applied by the Kilmarnock pack and they pinned Accies back into their 22 for the last few minutes of the half. This effort was rewarded with a converted penalty and soon after the referee blew up for half time —–12-3
Accies came out for the second half and for 5 minutes looked a different side, gone were the hesitations , spilled passes and lack of direction, all replaced with ferocious quick ball from the breakdown , one carry and bang! All this being done at pace eventually saw it’s reward with a superbly taken try by the ever present Greg, playing in his 3rd position in as many weeks (none of which are his preferred hooker!) The ball was moved open twice, then on the third drive Josh moved it blind and Greg saw the smallest of gaps and ran 15 metres to score. Superb conversion——19-3
But once again Accies seem to go to sleep and let the Kilmarnock pack get back into the game. This proved to be the best period of the match for Kilmarnock as they tried all they knew to score the try that I am sure they felt would get their momentum going. Accies defence was solid and although the Killie forwards got close on several occasions the defence held out until with 13 minutes to go a Killie forward broke away from a maul 10 metres from the line and evaded the defence to score under the posts…easy conversion ——19-10
This was a day for accurate and controlled rugby, with good ball protection, but Accies seemed to have forgotten how to do that and continue what they did in the first 5 minutes of the second half, so once again allowed the Kilmarnock pack to keep coming back at them. Accies were never again under sustained pressure but Kimarnock missed a kickable penalty which would have given them the loosing bonus which I am sure they felt their efforts required. However after some good work by Greg and Sam Accies worked their way into the Kilmarnock half and looked capable of scoring the all-important bonus point but with the wide open spaces on the right begging for quick ball, the ball was moved left and the bonus point was gone, and some might say that Kilmarnock had got some kind of revenge for their thumping in the first encounter of the season. However another disappointing day but still a win and with Carrick dropping their first points of the season it is all to play for.
MOTM:- It has to be said that there were not too many hands up for this today but once again Greg Valentine playing out of position at blind side wing forward had an outstanding day, in defence and going forward and was without doubt the man of the match.
Referee Watch: What a horrible day to referee with wind, rain and cold. Despite being hopeful of coming to New Anniesland and refereeing some quality rugby it was negative and close quarter rugby that was dished up. It was a fragmented game with the negative sides of rugby to the fore, the result of which was a disappointing game to referee, so for sticking to the task Tom gets a creditable 7 out of 10.