This scribe has had the privilege of watching a young man join our club from school and develop both as a player and as an individual. Today he led out his teammates as their captain – an honour he justly deserves – before he jets off to foreign climes. I am sure his family and friends are all as proud of his achievements and everyone at NA wishes him well in his endeavours
It is traditional to think that props develop late in their rugby careers, but Fabio Marchetti has definitely challenged that thinking. Fabio has developed early in his career and has become the corner stone of this Accies pack. He is a strong scrummager, a superb ball carrier and is fearless in defence (and all with the brains of a 10). I truly hope he will return from his sojourn to Italy and once again lead Accies onto the field! I know that the man who will miss him most is our coach!
Fabio should have scored twice today but can take great credit for his opening contribution to today’s game when he took the pass from our scrum half, beat two players and returned a beautifully weighted pass back inside to give Ben an easy run in for the first try after just 2 minutes.
It looked from the touchline that Accies were going to dominate proceedings but Lenzie have shown throughout this season that they are not an easy side to beat, which Accies should have known from their defeat earlier in the season having gone ahead in that encounter. And so it proved, as Lenzie applied some serious forward power to disrupt Accies game plan.
It took Accies a good 15 minutes to subdue the Lenzie pack and develop the game structure that coach John Couper has been developing all season. Eventually Accies forwards did gain control of the set piece and with some good driving and rucking from the forwards they created the platform for the Accies backs to move the ball along the line and with superb handling, off-loading and support work, they put Mike Hermes over in the corner.
This was followed 2 minutes later with another great handling try with forwards again well to the fore and Accies were rampant. The pack was dominating the breakdown and the backs were punching holes in the Lenzie defence. Another two tries were the result of these 8 minutes of controlled 15 man rugby. Who would score the next try? Would it be a forward or a back? Well – surprise surprise, Lenzie had other ideas and after some over confident clearance work from Accies, Lenzie took control and with good lead up work from their forwards their elusive 10 romped past several tacklers to score under the posts, great try and well converted. Lenzie will never give up and with the half time whistle due could this be the revival?
However virtually from the kick off Accies worked a scrum 25 meters from the Lenzie line and from this Ben Frame chip a beautifully weighted ball into the space behind the Lenzie pack and into the path of his partner in crime Ross Cowan who collected and scored under the posts.
This gave Accies a 31-7 half time lead.
Fabio was obviously keen to see his side dominate this game and they came out of the blocks in the second half firing on all cylinders. It is always a pleasure to see backs passing and running great lines but I have to say, to watch 3 forwards support a backs break and inter pass, whilst running great lines, is a real joy – and Calum Robertson finished off one such movement with a superb touchdown under the post – just as well, as today, our kickers had decided to leave their kicking boots in the dressing room!!
So the large crowd who were all appreciating the effort being put in by both teams but thinking this could be a large score were delighted to see Lenzie come back into the game and score another well worked forwards try.
This was the spur for Fabio to get his troops refocused. Not surprisingly the players responded and picked up the pace. There followed a period of real quality rugby which was a pleasure to watch for all rugby fans. Accies scored another 5 tries and all 15 players on the park played their part. As I have said before it is truly gratifying to see substitutes coming onto the field and making their mark. It takes more than 15 players to win in modern rugby and all of the substitutes, today, played their part.
However Lenzie were to have the last word and scored another strong forwards try in the final minute of the game, never giving up is a good sign and encouragement for next season.
A final score of 65-17 was a great result for Accies and a fitting send off for a player who has contributed so much to his club both on and off the pitch.
Have a great time in Italy Fabio and come back as soon as possible – you will be missed. A true clubman and Accie!