Match Report for Shield Game played at New Anniesland on Saturday 5th September
Glasgow Accies RFC 1st XV versus Lenzie RFC 1st XV,
Another game and another win – just about sums it up!
This was another step forward for Accies, but it has to be said that at times the boys made heavy weather of what from the start looked like an easy task.
From the kick off Accies looked positive and sharp. They pinned Lenzie into their 22 and were using the ball well. The reshaped pack looked to have the better of their bigger opponents and despite losing the first scrum, was on top. The backs looked sharp and it was only some really stout defence that kept Accies out. However their efforts were rewarded after 5 minutes when the captain took a beautifully timed pass and Craig Wright was over in the corner. This was a copybook try, where backs and forwards combine beautifully to create space out wide. The try was converted from out wide by Mr Reliability (Chris Rhodes) 7-0
Almost from the restart Accies ploughed back at Lenzie and a loose ball was collected by man of the match, fullback,Kris Mathie who took off from inside his own half and side stepped and weaved his way through half the Lenzie side to score under the posts – there won’t be many better individual tries this season at New Anniesland. This was duly converted. 14-0
It really looked, after 15 minutes, that Accies could score at will and we could be in for an entertaining 80 minutes of rugby. Lenzie had other ideas and by use of some hard, direct running and good inter passing scored out wide on the left. Up steps their No 3, yes, prop and pops it over from the touchline – nice kick! 14-7
Accies went back on the attack but now the final pass or the lack of close support meant several chances were missed. Some beautiful running and clever angles, created real opportunities only for the final pass to go astray or a player took the ball into contact. Always a tell-tale sign of early season rustiness. It was also becoming clear that Lenzie were finding it beneficial to create rucks and slow Accies ball down. This was caught by Referee Graham Filmer and two penalties later Accies were 20 -7 up and beginning to look comfortable.
Ah yes, you guessed it, Accies went to sleep and allowed some strong running from the Lenzie forwards to gain them ground and some simple errors, created the opportunity, gratefully accepted, and Lenzie scored their second try, under the posts. 20-14
At this point the Accie pack seemed to respond to the best tackle of the match, as Jason Currie cut the dangerous Lenzie fullback down to size and reasserted their control in the final 5 minutes of the first half. They pressurised the Lenzie defence with controlled forward inter play and scored what one spectator was heard to describe as “now that’s a real forwards try” It was duly converted, which put Accies ahead 27-14 at half time. One always feels that when a side gets a try just before the break it gives them the confidence to race on and secure the win in the second half.
Well this scribe sat back at the interval and anticipated, even dreamt, of some flowing rugby with forwards clearing out rucks with gusto, producing clean, quick ball for the backs, running great lines and giving and taking crisp passes, and scoring spectacular tries – Oh what a lovely dream. I am awakened by the whistle to start the second half and my dream was over. I do remember in the dim and very distant past, that coaches always said, play to your game plan and don’t descend to the opposition’s level; well it seems Accies on Saturday forgot that.
Accies seemed to lose the rhythm of the first half and instead were trying to go toe to toe with Lenzie. Instead of the last minute try in the first half giving Accies the confidence to solidify their victory, it was Lenzie who appeared motivated and confident. They rumbled the ball up the middle of the park going from one ruck to another, thus putting Accies under pressure. The Lenzie coaches had obviously decided that disrupting the flow of the game would be more beneficial to them, and so it proved. This however meant that the breakdown became a flash point and the scrums a lottery and as a result the second half was, without doubt marred by some unpleasant altercations. This meant that the referee was forced to stop the game on numerous occasions and ended up issuing 4 yellow cards, and I think there could have been more. This was all the result of players forgetting to play the game and getting embroiled in trying to either put the opposition off or settle individual scores. This was a second half spectacle that most rugby enthusiasts did not enjoy.
For what’s it worth, Lenzie scored two tries in the second half to Accies two penalties, Accies 6 Lenzie 10. The second half had none of the ball movement we all enjoyed in the first half; and as a result was fragmented and lost direction and interest as a spectacle!
Accies always try to play an open and flowing game, with crisp passing and running by both backs and forwards and little time in rucks and mauls but when they get dragged into a tight battle the game suffers and so do the spectators.
Accies held on to their lead and ran out deserved winners 33-24.
This was not a game that will last long in the memory.
Accies Man of the Match was without doubt Kris Mathie – he was totally solid at fullback and was in great form running with ball in hand – great game Chris and we need many more!
Referee Graham Filmer – As a professional writer, I am sure Graham would have produced a far better and probably more interesting report than me. He was, by deed of the players forced to be more involved than he would have liked – this was a torrid and at times impossible game to keep flowing with pressure from the touchline and issues at breakdown and scrums, so as a result it is a commendable 8/10, thanks Graham!