Pre-season training starts with a bang!

It was really encouraging to see so many players out for the first Tuesday and start of pre-season.

Just a warm up!

Just a warm up!

It was great to see some old friends and new faces all working well.

The enthusiasm was infectious and the attitude excellent.

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With over 30 players attending it required several of the senior players to help develop and control the evening - another great sign that Andy Jackson and Ryan Grant have leaders amongst the squad!

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There is the second of the pre-season sessions on Thursday at 7.00pm at Lower Windyedge (off Jordanhill Drive), you will be made most welcome!

Next Tuesday the 9th of July their is to be a players meeting which will start at 7.00pm in the Clubhouse at Helensburgh Drive, all players and those interested in joining our happy family Club, are encouraged to attend.

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Fixture List for Season 2019-20

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Glasgow Accies Fixture List for Season 2019-20

National Cup

1st Round - Saturday 31st August v Dumfries @ New Anniesland

2nd Round - Saturday 26th October

¼ Finals - Saturday 25th January 2020

Semi Finals - 28th March 2020

Final – Saturday 18th April 2020

 

National League 2 

1st Half of League Season

Saturday 7th September v Newton Stewart - Home

Saturday 14th September v Peebles - Away

Saturday 21st September v Preston Lodge – Home

Saturday 28th September v Dumfries – Away

Saturday 5th October v Whitecraigs – Home

Saturday 12th October v Gordonians – Away

Saturday 19th October v Kirkcaldy – Away

Saturday 2nd November v Hamilton – Home

Saturday 9th November v Falkirk – Away

Saturday 16th November v Stewarts Melville – Home

Saturday 22nd November v GHK – Away

2nd Half of League Season

Saturday 30th November v Newton Stewart – Away

Saturday 7th December v Peebles – Home

Saturday 14th December v Preston Lodge – Away

Christmas Break

2020

Saturday 11th January v Dumfries – Home

Saturday 18th January v Whitecraigs – Away

Saturday 15th February v Gordonians – Home

Saturday 29th February v Kirkcaldy – Home

Saturday 7th March v Hamilton – Away

Saturday 21st March v Falkirk – Home

Saturday 28th March v Stewarts Melville – Away

Saturday 4th April v GHK – Home

Six Nations

Saturday 1st February v Ireland – Dublin

Saturday 8th February v England – Murrayfield

Saturday 22nd February v Italy - Rome

Sunday 8th March v France – Murrayfield

Saturday 14th March v Wales – Cardiff

Accies complete the Edinburgh 10K for Marie Curie

What a magnificant effort by all concerned!

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A group of Accies completed the Edinburgh 10K run on Saturday 25th as part of the effort the Club are making to raise money for Maries Curie.

A BIG thanks must go out to all those who have supported the efforts with sponsorship on the ‘just giving’ site and to Emma Burns for her time and commitment in getting them organised.

They have also done a bucket collection outside Debehams.

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Accies retain the Burnbrae Trophy

Some people will wear anything to stand out!

West 7’s Tournament 2019

Accies returned to Burnbrae as defending Champions from 2018!

Accies took a strong squad to Burnbrae which was clearly determined to do the Club proud. Hugh Lindsay, our outstand openside flanker, who played such an important part in our success throughout this season, captained the side and had at his disposal a Team Manager of impeccable credentials, Frazer McCready.

So as the tournament got underway Accies took on the 3 other teams in their group and it has to be said that they demonstrated some of the skills that were evident in the second half of the league season.

It has to be said that several of their opponents were surprised at the ability of the Accies players to move the ball into space and therefore create an opportunity to score tries. In the final game of the preliminary rounds I watched a young man playing on the wing who scored 3 tries and on investigation was about to leave the Academy this year, Colin is looking forward to joining the Club – a real prospect!

Clever management of player and substitutions, allowed the squad to be well prepared for the semi-finals.

Now we got down to the serious part of the competition. The semi-finals were about to start and Accies were going to be up against the best teams left in the competition. Was the early comprehensive victories just weakness in the opposition or real skill on the part of the Accies players? Well from the start it was clear that this group of players were well organised and clearly determined to retain the trophy.

Their semi-final was against one of the host sides and after a couple of superb tries it was clear the boys had raise their game. There were some great tries but none more so that a try by Jack McCready when he used his ability to move off either foot and his superb speed to leave the defenders ineffectual and score a superb try. The players worked hard to create space for the quick runners but they also work hard in defence when it was required and gave away very few points.

The manager, Frazer McCready, used every player throughout the tournament to maximise their effectiveness. We were lucky in having  a group of skilful players and they did not rely on one or two individuals to make a difference,

The final was between  what was clearly the two best sides in the tournament, with Wigtonshire having travelled up from the Borders for the occasion and had brought a talent group of players, which included a Hawks second row player.

Accies got off to a perfect start with a well worked try early on, but Wigtonshire were clearly up for the encounter and when an Accies attack broke down and the ball was turned over, Wigtonshire broke through and clear. However Scott Simmons was hunting down the runner and although it looked like a certain try, Scott timed his attack perfectly and he knocked the ball out of his hands just as he was trying to touch it down. Not only that but he got the ball and started the move, from inside his dead ball area that resulted in Accies second try – brilliant work!

This clearly had annoyed the Borderers and again they broke clear and this time made sure the ball was touched down. So it was now 2 tries to one and the tempo was increasing. The Borderers were starting to get frustrated by Accies ability to retain possession and defend in depth, and this was stopping them really getting back into the game.

The second half saw Accies stand-off Chris Rhodes and winger Ruaridh Hood both reading the situation beautifully and a chip ahead was collected by Ruaridh who drew the defender, passed inside to the supporting Ryan Sweeney who then passed it back out for Ruaridh to score. Evidence that Accies had a great team who all had skills so they did not depend on individuals.

Congratulations to all concerned from Manager through Captain Hugh Lindsay to all the players and not to forget the important ‘water boy’ Greg Connelly!

And retain it!!!! Congratulations

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Tommy Spinks to join Accies

Tommy Spinks – Coach and Back Row forward    

Accies are delighted to announce that Tommy Spinks is joining Accies as a player coach for season 2019-20.  He will bring with him a great deal of experience, expertise and energy.

Tommy’s amateur career started when he played mini rugby as a 5 years old. By his fourth year of high school at North Berwick he played for the 1st XV. He was spotted by the rugby coach at Fettes College who got him a scholarship there for his final years.

In June 2014 it was announced that he would join Glasgow Warriors as part of their Elite Development Programme and as part of this deal he was able to play for Glasgow Hawks when not involved with the Warriors.

After a stint in Jersey he re-joined the Hawks in 2016.

Tommy’s Professional career started when he sign for London Scottish straight from Fettes College, and during the 2014–15 season he was loaned out to the Ospreys where he played twice in the LV Cup.

He played twice for Glasgow Warriors in the Pro12 league in their championship winning season; both appearances of the bench. On 28 February 2015 he made his debut for Glasgow Warriors away to Munster at Thormond Park. He also appeared in the 6th of March 2015 home match at Scotstoun against Italian side Zebre. He was also part of the Warriors 7s squad that successfully defended the 2015 Melrose Sevens.

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On 28 May 2015 it was announced that Tommy would sign for Jersey Rugby Club where he had one season before returning to Glasgow in July 2016.

Tommy’s International career started when he was picked for the Scotland under 18’s which was followed by selection for the under 20’s, which he went on to Captain in the Under 20’s Rugby World Cup in 2014. He has also played for the Scottish Club XV.

Ruaridh James Howard Jackson joins Accies coaching team

Ruaridh Jackson, the 31 year old Glasgow Warriors fullback is to join Accies for the 2019-20 season as backs coach.

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Ruaridh was born in Northampton and was educated at Robert Gordon’s College in Aberdeen.

He signed for Warriors as a 20 year old in 2008 where he played at stand-off. He made his International debut in 2010 against the All Blacks. He currently has 33 caps.

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Besides his first spell at Warriors, he has played for Wasps and Harlequins before returning to Glasgow in 2017 where he has produced some of his best rugby from fullback.

He will bring a vast amount of knowledge and experience to New Anniesland and will be teaming up with his Warriors partner Ryan Grant to make a formidable team.

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A warm welcome awaits any player looking for a Club to join.

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GLASGOW ACCIES RFC

Club Profile

For over 150 years, The Glasgow Academical Rugby Club 1st XV has been one of the most successful teams within the sports association. Its history is stamped in the annals of Scottish rugby, with its roots in the governing body’s very foundations. 

In recent years, the 1st XV have become a rampant force in Scottish rugby, powering through the leagues at regional and now national level. Promotion in the 2017/18 season has landed the Accies squad in the highly competitive National Division 2.

The Glasgow Accies 2nd XV, or better known as The Bobcats, are a highly sociable squad playing in the very competitive BT West Division 1 Reserve league. The club boasts players of all ages and prides itself on being one of the most welcoming squads in Scottish rugby. 

But it's not just fun & games, The Bobcats play a vital role in the development of the 1st XV, providing young players the perfect breeding ground to learn the game at senior level. 

Teams

Club 1st XV

Coach

Andy Jackson

Ryan Grant - forwards

Ruaridh Jackson – backs

League/Division Season 19/20

National League Division 2

Aspirations

Premiership Champions

Club 2nd XV

Coaches

Stuart Simmers & Frazer McCready

League/Division Season 19/20

West Reserve League Division 1

Aspirations

Competitive, welcoming, sociable rugby

Club Location: Anniesland, Glasgow

Postcode

G13 1RR

Bus Links          

Frequent buses to Anniesland Road (2min walk from club) with routes from all over Glasgow

Train Link

Anniesland Station (5min walk from club)

Jordanhill Station (15min walk from club)

Membership Cost

Full membership: £110 p/a

Student Discount 

Yes - U21/Student: £55 p/a or £5 per month DD

Is training/playing kit included? Yes

All skill levels welcome to push for a place in our competitive 1stXV squad or play in our 2ndXV ‘Bobcats’ squad. All positions needed,game time and stash guaranteed.

To get in touch use the website contact details.

Superb playing surface

Superb playing surface

A welcoming Clubhouse

A welcoming Clubhouse

Accies story of season 2018/19

A tough first 11 games

Accies started this season with a long list of injuries to key players.

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It startede with openside flanker Hugh Lindsay suffering from a perforated appendix, followed by complications. He was joined by several other players who had to sit out the first series of games.

This resulted in defeat in the first 3 games of the season with a tough trip to Peebles followed by another tough encounter against a strong Dumfries team. This was followed by a trip to Edinburgh to face Stewarts Melville. A brilliant start to this game was halted with 4 injuries to key players and defeat.

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The run was stopped with a brave effort when the boys faced a tough team from Cupar. Howe arrived at Anniesland looking for a win to get their season up and running.

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A hard fought win seemed to be a good sign of development. However a tough journey to Biggar set the team back. So they faced the last game of the first half of the season came around. We were to play GHK under lights on a Friday night. Although Accies dominated the game they came out 6 - 5 down. This was a hard blow to the players.

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So the first 11 games had been played and Accies had a dissapointing record of won 2, lost 8 and drawn 1.

Could the players and coaches turn this around. Accies sitting in the bottom of the league.

So the boys and coaches went to work to sort out their game plan and the results started to flow.

First up was the return fixture against Peebles and a brilliant 22 - 20 win was the result.

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A great start but tough games to come. A heroic battle away in Dumfries was narrowly lost and the visit of Stewarts Melville saw them return to Edinburgh with a win they hardly deserved.

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Would the players spirit be dampend. Well a very well deserved victory over Howe of Fife proved the doubters wrong. This side was showing real heart.

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Accies then had the visit of Falkirk and the revenge of the single point defeat - success and a very good victory. The game plan was coming together.

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However the team experienced a dissapointment when they scored 5 tries against Whitecraigs but lost by two points. This was followed by the two hardest games of the season. A great effort against both Biggar at home and Highland away resulted in no points but a great deal of pride.

Accies now had to face Preston Lodge who had beaten them soundly at their home. Well Accies produced the game of the season and demolished them and showed how far the side had come since that game against GHK.

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They were entertaining the crowds as well as playing some superb rugby.

Next up was revenge for the Friday night horror show. On a crisp spring day with the sun shinning and New Anniesland looking superb, Accies duly took their revenge. Superior in all aspects of the game they recorded their 5 win of the second half of the season.

Including a try in the first minute.

Including a try in the first minute.

And a superb display from the backs.

And a superb display from the backs.

Final game of the season was the postponed game against Lasswade. A team fighting for survival, always a threat. Well on a cold, wet and generally miserable day Accies, short of 8 first choice players produced a truly brave and in the end, desreved win. 7 - 19 down with 5 minutes of the first half to go Accies managed to bring the score level before the interval. They also scored to only points of the second half with a penalty. A great conclusion to a tough season but put Accies into 7th place in the league.

Played 11 won 6 lost 5 drawn 0 - what a terrific turnaround.

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The Team  Backrow Andy Jackson (coach) Chris hamilton (Chairman) Ryan Sweeney Adamd Lowry Calum Duke PJ Rankin Padrig Power Chris Goodfellow Harry Briggs Scot Simmons Greg Macewen Matty Holland Ian Hamilton (coach)  Front row Greg Valentine Chris Woods Josh Waldin Hugh Lindsay Chris Johnstone (capt) Ross Cowan Jason Currie Kris Mathie Gordon McGuire.

The Team

Backrow Andy Jackson (coach) Chris hamilton (Chairman) Ryan Sweeney Adamd Lowry Calum Duke PJ Rankin Padrig Power Chris Goodfellow Harry Briggs Scot Simmons Greg Macewen Matty Holland Ian Hamilton (coach)

Front row Greg Valentine Chris Woods Josh Waldin Hugh Lindsay Chris Johnstone (capt) Ross Cowan Jason Currie Kris Mathie Gordon McGuire.

Great News for all Accies players and supporters

Ruaridh Jackson, Glasgow Warriors and Scotland stand off and fullback to join Accies coaching team.

The Club Head Coach Andy Jackson (no relation) is delighted to announce that Ruaridh Jackson will be joining Accies as the backs coach for season 2019/20. Ruaridh will bring a great deal of experience and knowledge to the side and will be joining his pal from Warriors days, Ryan Grant. He has experience in both the Scottish and English Pro Rugby game over the past 11 years, as well as his 33 Caps for Scotland. Ruaridh started his rugby career as a stand-off but moved to fullback where he playes today for the Warriors. I know that the players are all delighted at the prospect of learning from Ruaridh.

He will improve our passing accuracy

He will improve our passing accuracy

He will improve our kicking

He will improve our kicking

And our running lines

And our running lines

He will be a great asset and contributor to next season

Match Report for Saturday 6th April 2019

Accies RFC v Lasswade RFC

“And so the season comes to an end”

‘On a misty, wet and cold April day Accies finish with a win’

Accies have completed their season with 3 terrific wins, concluded by a hard fought win at Lasswade. This has always been a very difficult place for teams to travel to and despite the fact that they are relegated they have pushed every team close. They are a proud club with a strong and vocal support and without doubt will give the National 3 teams a real run for their money.

Today was not a day for 15 man rugby and with the wind at their backs Lasswade put Accies under pressure for the first 25 minutes of the half with strong forward drives and close quarter passing. Any time Accies tried to get on the front foot and nudged themselves into the Lasswade half, they either gave away a penalty or knocked on and the Lasswade kickers knew how to use the wind on this narrow pitch and Accies found themselves back inside their 22.  Accies were also further under pressure when PJ Rankin had to leave the field with a pulled hamstring, being replaced at number 8 by Kane Greggain and his slot at blindside by Chris Scott, who it should be said had a very good game. So after 25 minutes, it was something of a surprise, therefore, to the good sized crowd that Lasswade forwards had taken 20 minutes to score, as their forwards drove 6 or 7 times at Accies try line and finally crossed the whitewash. The conversion in atrocious conditions just slide past.  0 – 5

Almost immediately from the kick off another penalty was awarded against Accies, by today’s referee, and the resultant kick expertly placed into Accies 22. The ball was controlled well at the lineout and for the first time Lasswade backs got the ball at speed and a good break by their first up runner created enough space for the supporting centre to be released for an unopposed run to the line close to the posts.  The relatively easy conversion was successful and Accies were suddenly behind     0 - 12

Was this to be a bad day for Accies or could they halt the tide of points that seemed to have started? Well this is most definitely an Accies side with character and attitude. Some really good forward drives and support work took Accies inside the Lasswade 22 for the first time. From a strong platform at the resultant scrum, the makeshift number 8, Kane Greggain picked and went blind and his well-timed pass put scrum half Andy Brown clear to draw the fullback and release Gregor Macewan, arriving from fullback, to romp home for Accies first try.  Gregor converted his own try to put Accies back in the match.   7 – 12

The Accies supporters were settling down and feeling a bit better about things when Lasswade kicked off. The ball was watched as it bounced into touch 20 minutes from Accies line. Accies lineout was stolen and the ball driven down the touchline towards Accies line. Some good work by Lasswade forwards saw them drive over for the inevitable try. Good conversion was successful and the uplift of the try had been delated for the Accies supporters , as Accies were back to a 12 point deficit.        7 – 19

With the wind and rain in their faces it was going to take a terrific effort to get themselves back up after that disappointment. The restart didn’t reach the 10 metre line and Accies forwards had to troop back to the halfway for the scrum. This allowed Lasswade half backs to push Accies back inside their 22 again. However the ball was kept alive an Accies outside centre, Mathew Holland, broke free and raced up into Lasswade territory. He was supported by Gordon McGuire who continued the run and took the ball infield. The forwards joined in and took the ball inside the 22 where it was released to Mathew again who then released Gregor Macewen for his romp home and his second try. This was a superb end to end try,  in what were  very difficult conditions. A tough difficult conversion was missed, but Accies were back in the fight.       12 – 19

This time Accies sorted out the kick-off and drove back at their opponents. It would be good to end the half only 7 points behind after the pressure they had been under for 30 minutes. From a ruck, just inside Accies half, Andy Brown released Ryan Sweeney, who was standing in at loosehead prop, he broke the first up tacklers and romped into Lasswade’s 22. After some great support work and the ball being taken to the line by the supporting players the ball was released by who else but Ryan to Kane, to finish off another really good try. Conversion good and Accies were level.   19 – 19

The first half came to an end and the Accies players could be well pleased with their first half efforts, both in defence and attack and had brought the game level despite the disadvantage of having the conditions in their faces. The final 15 minutes of the first half had seen 38 points put on the board.

Half-time     19 – 19

Were we going to see more of the same in the second half and a big score line from both sides? Well the first half had taken two pages of notes for this scribe to try and get the feel of the half but the second took two lines. Lasswade had gone into the warmth of their changing room and came out with clearly renewed determination. Accies had stayed out but had received some very positive encouragement from the coaches. Lasswade were on top without really putting any pressure on Accies line. Accies forwards were holding their own particularly in the lineout and for the first 15 minutes the game was played between the two 22 metre lines. The referee today had felt that Accies had committed too many penalties and around 15 minutes yellow carded Jason Currie, (perhaps so he could have a rest from his labours). He was replaced at the first scrum by Vincent Yildiz who it has to be said acquitted himself very well. During the ensuing 10 minutes Accies did not look like a side that was down to 14 men and were definitely growing in confidence. Young Cameron Wray and Gregor Macewen started to find their kicking game and keeping their opponents inside their half and therefore under pressure. With 9 minutes to go Accies were beginning to look like the side who had control and would be most likely to score. Lasswade were under pressure and were starting to commit offences and mistakes. They were struggling to clear their lines and had several clearance kicks charged down. This was causing their forwards to over reach and at give-away penalties. It was from one of these infringments just inside the Lasswade 22 that Gregor Macewen stepped up and promptly slotted the ball between the uprights, to convert the penalty and put Accies ahead for the first time.         22 – 19

For the remainder of the game Accies were camped inside Lasswade’s half and were now in control of the game. The shouts from the stand of ‘keep it tight’  were possibly not heard but Accies kept control and finishes the game inside their opponents 22.

The referee brought the game to an end and Accies were victorious. A superb effort from a side that was missing 8 of last week’s players.  However ever single player worked tirelessly for the full 80 minutes, or 60 minutes in Jason’s case, (but he put in 80 minutes’ worth of work in that 60 minutes). A big shift from all the forwards combined with some great defensive work from all 15 players was the reason for this well-deserved victory. The rearranged back division was as effective as it could be in what were atrocious conditions, with Gregor Macewen shining in his unaccustomed position at fullback and contributing 17 points. The second half was clearly fragmented because the ball had become extremely slippery, the players hands must have been numb and the general conditions were taking their toll. But both sides deserved great credit for sticking to their task on a miserable day for rugby.

Full-time  22 – 19

It is a credit to all involved that Accies are now sitting in 7th place in the league despite such a tough year with injuries. Their second half of the season has seen them play 11 games with 6 wins and 5 defeats, which if they had been at full strength for the whole season would have seen them inside the top sides in the league. Every player who has stepped up has demonstrated the same attitude and commitment that it requires at this level in the game, and it is so important that the club has a strong squad with depth in every position.

We can all now look forward to next season with hope and excitement and with the addition to our coaching staff of Ruaridh Jackson this can only help to develop our young backs.  I would like to take this opportunity to comment on the obvious improvement that Ryan Grant has made to this Accies pack, especially at scrum time. They have shoved much bigger sets of forwards around the pitch and made our pack one to be seriously respected.

The players and coaches wanted me to thank all the supporters for their loyalty and encouragement throughout this tough season and especially those that have travelled to the away fixtures that are so difficult; your involvement with their season has meant a lot to them all. I would point to the home game against Falkirk, where the team were under real pressure and the crowd really lifted them and took them to the win that was so important this season. Thank you is not enough.

Finally, as has been said so often, it takes a great deal of help and financial support to run a rugby club today and we could not do it without this support from the companies and individuals that have helped us this season. The players, coaches and committee never take this financial help for granted and wish to thank everyone who has done so.

We have had another productive season with our charity partner Marie Curie. The players are running in the 10k in Edinburgh to raise more funds for them and with the annual bucket collection outside Debenhams along with the Ladies day and other collections during the season we hope to keep this positive involvement of the Sports Club at New Anniesland growing and developing over the summer. Big thanks must go to John Watson OBE for his instigation and support of this partnership which has helped Accies to look outside the club.

Some more great photos, once again courtesy

Bob Johnstone.

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Match Report for Saturday 19th January 2019 - Accies v Whitecraigs at Whitecraigs

“Accies score five tries but just miss out on victory”

Despite the cold and rather miserable day a strong number of Accies supporters arrived at Whitecraigs to watch Accies take on a strong and heavy Whitecraigs side. Within minutes of the start Accies and worked a turnover and moved the ball to Adam Lowry who drilled a perfect grubber kick through the covering defence for the ever lively Kris Mathie to collect and score in the corner. A tough kick in heavy conditions was missed.    5 – 0

Almost before the crowd had settled and before some had even arrived, Accies were once again on the score sheet. Good scrum possession resulted in a very slick series of passes along the backs, worthy of a much higher level of rugby club, to put Chris Woods over for the second try, again wide out.  Same result for the conversion.     10 – 0

This was beginning to look like a walk in the park and with another smooth and effective back move Chris Woods breezed past the cover defence to score his second and Accies third try the supporters were begging to relax and consider the 5 point win that was looking inevitable. Another conversion missed meant that Accies were now 15 points clear.     15 – 0

However as so often happens when a side has romped to a lead they take their collective foot off the pedal and so it happened and Whitecraigs big forwards got them back into the game and when they got to within striking distance of the posts they were awarded a penalty which was successfully converted to get them on the scoreboard.         15 – 3

Whitecraigs were using their heavy forwards to keep battering  Accies who were now pinned inside their own 22 and with some hard running and ball carrying they produced a well-deserved try which was also converted and suddenly they were within 5 points of Accies.    15 – 10

Whitecraigs clearly were now full of confidence and their big forwards were proving very effective and they used these to rocked Accies backwards after their very positive start. Accies were being deprived of possession by what was clearly a much heavier Whitecraigs set of forwards, and Accies were even struggling at scrum time and being made to work very hard in defensive duties. It was also clear that the backs were having to defend against these heavier forwards in the middle of the park and being denied ball which they could use effectively. It was not a real surprise that all this domination resulted in a second try for Whitecraigs which  brought the sides level.  Conversion missed.       15 – 15

A somehwhat surprised Accies support were then disappointed when a simple penalty was awarded in front of the posts and up stepped the Whitecraigs kicker to put them 3 points in front and from a start which looked so promising Accies were behind.      15 – 18

The first time that the Accies back division got their hands on the ball they once again looked really dangerous and some superb work saw Ross Cowan entered the line and he romped home, as only he can, to put Accies back in front and gain the try bonus point.  Conversion missed.                  20 – 18

The first half came to an end and it was clear that either side could win this game.

Half – time  20 – 18

With Accies 3 points ahead of Whitecraigs in the league at the start of the game it was clear that Whitecraigs were desperate to secure points out of this fixture to keep them clear of the relegation battle that is brewing below both teams.

So it was not surprising that Whitegraigs came out for the second half with a commitment that put them into Accies 22 and were awarded a penalty at the breakdown which gave their efficient kicker a fairly easy opportunity to once again put them in front.      20 – 21

The game had become somewhat of a forward battle, with both packs going head to head and the ball not being seen by either set of backs. It was not a great spectacle for the superb supporters who had braved the weather to be there. However Accies did regain the lead when a superb piece of individual skill saw Josh Waldin glide through a gap down the blind side and run 50 metres to beat the cover defence to score. However once again this was in the corner and the conversion was missed.           25 – 21          

I think everyone felt that this was probably not going to be enough to see Accies home and with Whitecraigs playing with a real determination they manufactured another try after some confusion in Accies 22 resulted in their forwards driving several times and eventually being awarded the try. Conversion successful and Whitecraigs had put themselves ahead with 8 minutes to go.         25 – 28

Accies did work themselves back into Whitecraigs 22 and after several close calls the ball was cleared and the game came to an end. I am sure that Accies supporters felt disappointed that their team had scored 5 tries but lost the game and that perhaps it was just a little more important for Whitecraigs to get the win.

Full – time  25 – 28

Having started the game with 3 tries on 10 minutes and scoring 20 points in all in the first half it was disappointing to lose the second half 10 – 5 with the difference being 2 successful kicks. Accies scored 5 tries to Whitecraigs 3, but their 3 successful penalties (9 points) proved crucial. However with 2 bonus points gained, Accies are still sitting in 8th place in the league and 1 point ahead of Whitecraigs and 11 points clear of the 9th placed GHK.

Accies now have to face league leaders at New Anniesland next week but I am sure they will be working hard at training to learn from this defeat. Looking at it constructively Accies have gained 12 points from 3 games since Christmas which is a very positive return for all the hard work that has been done. I am sure that Biggar will be travelling to New Anniesland expecting a hard battle.     

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Match Report for Saturday 30th March 2019

Accies RFC v GHK RFC

“A typical local derby – great club rivalry”

‘Today was a wonderful advert for club rugby’

We were all lucky today to be present when two clubs came together in what is one of the oldest rivalries in Scottish rugby. We were also lucky to be watching in some great spring sunshine and the players playing on a pitch that would have done credit to an International venue – I do not exaggerate. Thanks to all who produced this at the end of a season!

The game kicked off at 3.00pm and before most of us had drawn breath, let alone taken their seats, Accies were on the attack. GHK attempted to clear the pressure with a clearance kick, the ball was collected by Accies outstanding winger Kris Mathie and deciding that the direct line was the best option he set off and aimed his run directly between the two defenders who were following up the kick.  They thought they had caught him but, like a salmon not quite on the hook, Kris broke free and raced towards the line. The cover defence came racing over to stop him but a simple offload to the supporting PJ Rankin he watched as the wing forward cross for the first try. As Gregor Macewen stepped up to take the conversion, one of Accies stalwart supporters asked this reporter ‘what happened, was it a good try?’ Yes it was!

Gregor’s conversion successful      7 – 0

This has always been a game that neither side will ever lie down and for the next 78 minutes so it proved to be today. GHK came back at Accies with everything they had, they were carrying the ball with speed and commitment and putting Accies defence under pressure. Their backs were running hard and testing the Accies backline. However the one area of the game that Accies had supremacy was the scrum. Throughout the game the GHK backs could never be confident they would be able to run off their own scrum put in.

However after a couple of penalties GHK found themselves inside Accies 22. A lineout 10 metres outside Accies line was controlled very well by the GHK pack and after two rumbles their hooker found a way through the Accies defence to score their first try. The conversion was missed but the deficit was only 2 points.       7 – 5

Accies went straight back onto the attack and were clearly hurt by this defensive mistake. They attacked the kick off and put real pressure on their opponents, working the ball inside GHK’s 22. However after several drives at the line the referee decided that the scrum 5 should be awarded to GHK. Once again Accies pack put real pressure on the GHK scrum and the number 8 had to pick the ball out of the retreating scrum and was forced to touch down. Off the resultant Accies scrum there were several pick and goes, but it required a beautiful soft pass from Josh Waldin to create enough space for Ryan Sweeney to come off his shoulder and score close to the posts. Just reward for all the forwards efforts. A simple conversion by Gregor Macewen made the score   14 – 5

GHK kicked off, again with determination in their eyes. Local derbies have the ability to bring the best out of every player. So GHK went onto the attack with real determination and were putting Accies under real pressure and despite some great clearance work from Ross Cowan’s boot, they worked their way into Accies half. Today’s excellent referee, Calum Worsley, decide that Accies had infringed at the breakdown and GHK stand-off, Kyle Henderson, who had won the game earlier in the season, converted the simple 30 metre kick, in front of the posts to make the score         14 – 8

As they had done last week against a strong Preston Lodge side the Accies players were using defence as a weapon and once again had worked their way inside GHK 22. The pack were pounding the GHK line but as was to be expected GHK were defending really well, however Josh Waldin saw the chance and some quick ball was run at the first line of defence and Scott Simmons picked his line of running to perfection and taking the pass from Josh raced over for Accies 3rd try.  Another successful conversion by Macewen.  21 – 8

This brought the first half of frantic end to end action, effort and commitment, to a close. For all the superb support that had turned up for this historic fixture there had been great excitement, some great skilful rugby and it was clear that neither side had yet won or lost this match.

Half – time   21 – 8

So it was no surprise to anyone who has witnessed these fixtures in the past that GHK came out of the blocks in the second half and were putting Accies to the cosh. The lineout was one of the areas that GHK had done well in throughout the game and that combined with a renewed effort had put GHK back inside Accies 5 metre area. However with equal commitment and determination in defence Accies forced GHK back towards the 22 and from another strong scrum, our visionary scrum half saw the fact that the opposition defence was tightly packed and he decided that instead of going for the clearance kick he ran blind and set Ross Cowan off on one of his unbelievable runs. First defender, ‘I have him’, sorry, no I don’t, well the next two must stop him, ‘how did he get passed us?’  ‘don’t worry I have him in my sights’ was heard from the GHK fullback, ‘sorry no I don’t’ and Ross crosses in the corner, for another outstanding try, worth every penny of the entrance cost.  A brilliant touchline conversion from Gregor Macewen added the just reward to a great try.       28 – 8

Surely this would be the blow that would silence the GHK brave attempt to win this encounter. ‘No chance’ was the cry from the GHK players. They increased their effort, if that was possible, and were once again back inside Accies 22 after 2 simple penalties had been given away by Accies. Forward drives were repelled but Accies could not stop a determined centre from joining the fray and scoring close to the ruck. A good conversion from their 10, put them back in the game..       28 – 15

Harry Briggs had joined the fray a few minutes earlier to replace the powerful Hugh Lindsay and full of determination he allowed his enthusiasm to get the better of him and as a superb kick off was coming to earth he took the GHK receiver in the air. 10 minutes to get his hormones into place. This seemed to invigorate the GHK support and team. Back into Accies half from the resulting penalty and another infringement at the breakdown resulted in yet another yellow card for a repeat team infringement saw PJ Rankin also having a rest. How could Accies 13 players possibly hold back a determined GHK 15. Well as one supporter related to me after the game, there was an even more determined look in the eyes of Accies players during that period.  Accies only conceded 5 points during that 14 minute period with a try out wide by their centre. Conversion missed     28 - 20

Accies had done really well during this period and with the return of both players Accies were now back to full strength. With Gordon McGuire on, Kris Mathie taking over from Ross Cowan, Matthew Holland stepping into the centre for Gregor Macewen and Greg Valentine on for Chris Goodfellow, Accies went back onto the attack. The game had become more broken as players were showing the effects of their 100% commitment. But Accies decide they needed to have the final say and after several attacks from the forwards and then the backs, they had not made the breakthrough they were looking for. However the call came from Adam Lowry at 10 to move the ball. Josh fired a superb 15 metre pass to Adam who fired the ball ‘Russel style’ 20 metres into the hands of Ryan Sweeney, Accies outstanding number 8, running at the final GHK defence, he then passed to – no not Accies winger, but the MOTM, second row William Brown , who raced the final 15 metres to cross for a brilliant try. A try that encapsulates what this side is all about – forwards or backs can run pass and score.  Tough conversion missed but Accies had won an outstanding game of commitment and skill by both sides.    33 – 20

Mr Worsley decided that the game was over and we could all retire to the clubhouse to discuss the best and worst pieces of this enthralling and superb local derby.

FULL- TIME 33 - 20

The large crowd were treated to some great rugby and most certainly two teams who gave everything to the cause.  As I have said at the start of this report, this is a fixture that goes back in history and as someone who has experienced some epic encounters in this fixture,  I was impressed that today’s players demonstrated that the commitment and skill levels are still as great as they have ever been.

Both clubs have survived in National League 2 this season, despite all the injury issues that they have both had to cope with. We can all look forward to next season now and whilst looking forward to the rest over the next few weeks I know that both sets of players will now be planning revenge and dominance next season!

Finally a big thank you to Mo and all her helpers for a superb lunch as a build up to the main event, and to Richard, Irene and all the staff for keeping on smiling and looking after us throughout the day.

Rugby is as much about the clubhouse as it is about the game and today all that were present were part of a great day on and off the pitch – thank you to all the supporters for making it a day to remember.

Match Report for Saturday 23rd March 2019

Accies RFC v Preston Lodge RFC

“Accies sparkle in the spring sunshine”

When Accies left Preston Lodge after the first encounter of the season they were licking their wounds and had been trounced 45 – 19. So the question that was being asked before kick-off as the supporters were enjoying a good lunch and watching this big Preston Lodge team warming up, was could Accies get something out of today’s encounter’? Well within the first 5 minutes Accies had shown how far they have developed over the ensuing weeks. Their forwards were dominating the set piece and their backs were proving to be a real handful to their opposite numbers. It would be fair to say that some of our loyal supporters will not have seen this group of players playing with such skill, commitment and accuracy this season but I am sure will have left New Anniesland with a smile on their faces.

Accies forwards dominated their heavier opponents in all aspects of the game. At the first scrum they pushed Preston Lodge off their put-in and at the first lineout they pinched their throw in. They were dominant in defence with quick line speed with some hard tackling; their ball carrying was strong, determined and accurate, all in all a really great performance by the Accies pack. The Accie backs made good use of this quality ball with some great running, in particular from the back 3. Their passing was accurate and they looked dangerous throughout the game no matter where in the field they had the ball.

The first points came early on when they forced a scrum just outside their opponents 22. It was a Preston Lodge scrum, but was, as I have said; driven back and Accies were awarded the first of many penalties at scrum time. Captain Chris Johnstone decided that points were important so he asked Gregor Macewan to take a shot at goal. Success     3 – 0

This scribe was wondering was this just the result of the bus journey and it’s after effects? Well clearly not as Accies continued to dominate the game and territory and when they were rewarded another penalty Gregor Macewan had a chance to extend the lead but the ball hit the post and bounced away for a 22 drop out.

Preston Lodge are a well drilled side and have not won over half of their matches this season without skill and determination, so it was not a surprise that they came back at Accies with their usual forward drives. However when one of the drives was stopped and the ball turned over that Josh Waldin saw the chance to scamper down the far touch line from his own 10 metre line. Having beaten two cover defenders he drew the winger and with a perfectly timed inside pass he released the supporting Hugh Lindsay who raced to the try line to score in the corner. A great try and just reward for the dominance that Accies had exerted so far in the game. A difficult conversion just shaved the posts.      Accies now ahead      8 – 0

Preston restarted the game with a long kick into Accies 22, which was the first time they had been in Accies 22 during the first 20 minutes, but good work by the forwards and the ball was back to Ross Cowan to put in a superb clearance kick, against the wind. This was another pleasing feature of Accies performance on Saturday as any time they were inside their own 22 they were able to exit with real control and the line kicking of Ross Cowan was superb.

However good teams will always come back at you and Preston did just that but despite all their attempts to gain some momentum in this encounter the Accies defence was up to the task and their tackling was superb. The centre partnership of Simmons and Macewan could not be faulted all afternoon.  Accies were demonstrating that they can turn defence into attack by strong tackling and support. It was the forwards who helped create the next scoring opportunity. From a lineout steal just inside their own half, Accies forwards produced good ball which Ross Cowan pounced on and with a demonstration of quick and determined running, evaded all the efforts of the Preston Lodge defenders to halt his run and crossed for Accies 2nd try.  The conversion attempt by Macewan just shaved the post on the left but Accies were now ahead      13 – 0

After the restart Preston eventually worked their way into Accies 22 and put together some effective forward drives by their heavy forwards. Eventually they found a way between two tacklers and crossed for an unconverted try.          13 – 5

Was this the start of a fightback by Preston Lodge or could Accies regroup and dominate once again? Well it was clear to everyone in the stand that today Accies had decided to take no prisoners and raised their tempo and when their opponents decided to try and clear their lines with a big clearance kick into Accies territory the kick was collected by Chris Woods who drew the first up defender and released Ross Cowan who needed no second invitation and he once again raced past several confused defenders to score in the corner. It was brilliant for all the supporters to watch the skills and exciting rugby on display. The wide out conversion was missed but Accies went into their huddle as the try had brought the first half to an end.   18 – 5

Half – time   18 – 0

What would the coaches be saying as they collected their players together? I am sure the Preston Lodge coaches must have been wondering how to overcome the effect that Accies defence was having on their forward strength and Accies coaches were saying keep up this tempo and keep concentrating on doing the basics well’. Well it was obvious that Preston Lodge were not going to give up and were still trying to put more pressure on Accies by using their impressive large pack. But Accies were still dominating the set piece and from a scrum just inside Accies half, Ryan Sweeney picked up and drew the first defender, his pass to Josh Waldin was perfect and Josh found Ross Cowan with another superbly timed pass and broke the next line of defence and when he looked inside him he saw Greg Valentine, who had joined the fray at half-time for the injured Hugh Lindsay, who scampered across the line for the first try of the second half. A simple conversion by Macewan put Accies 20 points ahead.       25 – 5

Preston Lodge now tried to move the ball wider but Accies defence was just as dominant in the centre as it was at close quarters. Accies defensive work today was as good as at any time this season and it was a combination of great line speed and accurate tackling that was frustrating their opponents. In fact it was from some of this positive defensive work that Accies scored their final try. Preston Lodge had worked their way into Accies half but when they tried to move the ball down the blind side from a lineout Accies forwards worked really hard to pressurise their ball carriers and this resulted in them knocking the ball on. Surprise, surprise, up stepped Ross Cowan to hack the ball forward, chase after his kick, collect the bouncing ball and race the 50 plus metres to cross for his 3rd try of the day. What a performance today and clearly back to his best form. Difficult conversion missed.    30 – 5

It was a credit to both sides that they kept up the tempo of this game to the end and it was Preston Lodge who were awarded a try in the last minute of the game and from the touchline their kicker added the two points.

Full – time     30 – 12

This was a brilliant performance by Accies on a lovely spring afternoon and on a superb pitch. We should never take the quality of the pitch for granted as we are lucky to play on a surface made for open rugby. On Saturday the players made the most of it and thanks must go to Robert Cheape and his staff.

This was probably the best performance of the season so far and it was great to see so many of our supporters there to enjoy it. This season there have been days when our loyal supporters have not had as enjoyable afternoon as they might have expected, but today they were treated to a display that I think any side in the National 2 league would have been proud off.

As a small addition to my report I was lucky enough to be invited, along with Mark Walker, to the Warriors game against the Cheetahs on Saturday night and we were lucky enough to get very close (although no touching!!!!) to the Calcutta Cup and what a cup up close it is!

Match Report: Glasgow Accies 26 - 17 Falkirk RFC

Match Report for Saturday 12th January 2019

Accies RFC v Falkirk RFC at New Anniesland

“Accies play for 8o minutes to take the points”

Accies injury issues continued as Greg Valentine and Ryan Sweeney were injured last week and with Chris Goodfellow, Grant Drummond, Will Brown and Calum Duke all unavailable, they took the field with a young prop playing his first game for the 1’s. 

 Our visitors today won the first encounter, by one point, so the Accies players were keen to make amends for that defeat. However it was Falkirk who came out of the blocks with a real spirit and determination. This was a game they saw as a winnable and possibly ‘must win’ one as victory would put real distance between them and the bottom 5 clubs.

They were running hard with ball in hand and their forwards were supporting the ball carrier and dominating the early exchanges at the breakdown. So it was not a surprise when their exceptionally fast outside centre romped home when the Falkirk back division completed a training ground move superbly to score under the posts, making the conversion simple.   So before some of the supporters had settled to the game it was        0 – 7

It was not long before the same player took full advantage of an overlap to scamper past the last cover defence to score out wide on the right. A tough conversion was missed but this had clearly given the visitors real confidence.                        0 – 12

I think there were a few Accies supporters starting to think the worst and Falkirks’ thinking this was going to be a romp in the park and a bonus point win. 

However, the Accies players started to take a bit more control of the forward encounters and the backs were clearly adjusting to the new line up. Falkirk were thwarting all the efforts of the Accies forwards and backs to get something on the scoreboard, with some aggressive tackling and competitiveness at the breakdown. It did appear that Accies were not going to reduce the deficit before the half time whistle. However with the clock ticking down the backs took control and from ball produced by the pack 5 metres from the Falkirk line the ball was moved wide to Ross Cowan who drew the final two defenders and with another lovely offload he put Kris Mathie clear to romp home in the right hand corner. A superb conversion by Gordon McGuire made it       7 – 12.

That was the forty minutes up but due to a number of injuries there was another 8 tough minutes for Accies to survived as Falkirk came back at them with renewed aggression and camped themselves on Accies try line for most of that time. The Accies defence during this period was exceptional and they managed to keep out the opposition despite their best efforts.


Half – time  7 – 12

The second half started with Accies playing some really good rugby but still not able to break a very tenacious and committed Falkirk defence. 

Falkirk then put together a good period of attacking rugby and were finally inside Accies 22. They were kept out and it looked as if Accies might have weathered the storm, but from some quick ball and good transference they produced a simple two on one overlap out wide on the left and one of their substitutes crossed for a well worked try. Tough conversion was missed but Falkirk were 10 points clear.          7 – 17

The question was clearly in most spectators’ minds that Accies had struggled to break down a stoic Falkirk defence and they now had to score twice and convert one to win the game with the game well into the second half.

Accies were gaining momentum and setting up more penetrative attacks and after some good work by the forwards and running from Josh and Kris Mathie they were ensconced in the Falkirk 22. Accies tried to move the ball wide from a ruck on the Falkirk 22 but the Falkirk centre, who had caused Accies so many problems earlier on, saw his chance and collected a superb interception. Clear with 70 metres to go he set off and had only one man to beat, however that man happened to be Ross Cowan who hunted him down and stopped the move 30 metres from Accies line. Falkirk were still in control and recycled the ball and moved the ball wide into the midfield but Gordon McGuire was alert and quickly raced into the gap and caught the ball 10 metres inside Accies half, the cover defence got to him just inside their half but Gordon offloaded the ball to the supporting Scott Simmons who raced past the Falkirk defenders to run 50 metres for a superb try. Conversion again successful and Accies were now within 3 points.            14 – 17


Was this the turning point for Accies and could they even gain an unexpected victory that seemed very far away 20 minutes earlier? Well up stepped the ever competitive Kris Mathie who took a superb turnover ball inside Accies half and scampered off down the touchline.  As he saw the cover defence homing in he chipped ahead but a late tackle took him out. The referee clearly saw what had happened and had his hand out for the penalty, but like any good referee does, he waited for advantage. Well Josh Waldin, scampering up in support kept going, unlike some of the other players, needing no second invitation as raced from 30 metres out to beat everyone to the touch down for another spectacular try. Conversion by Gordon McGuire was again successful. Accies were now 4 points ahead.        21 – 17

Accies were clearly now in positive mode and the pack was causing havoc at scrum time and in the loose. The ball was being moved well by the backs and they were really starting to gain momentum. It was also clear that the Falkirk players were now less effective in their defensive duties.  These factors meant that Accies were clearly gaining in confidence and playing with the confidence that being in front gives you.

However nobody was relaxing as there was still plenty of time for Falkirk to hit back, and snatch the victory as they only required one score to win. They were clearly determined and put everything into the last 8 minutes but Accies were now dominating the game and the pressure was all on Falkirk. Their go forward players who had been so effective in the first 50 minutes were now far less confident and the ball transference was more ragged. Accies in contrast, were running hard and making the right decisions in the backs. A superb piece of follow up running by Scott Briggs, of a kick into Falkirk’s 22, caught their winger in possession and after a couple attempts to clear their lines the forwards turned over the ball and once again Josh Waldin, who had an outstanding game, saw him scamper down the blind side and created the slightest of gaps for Gordon Mcguire who took full advantage to score the final try, as he had done last week in Fife.  He could not convert his own try but Accies were now 9 points clear and the victory secure.        26 – 17

Falkirk to their credit did everything they could in the dying minutes but it was clear that the game had been lost and with time running out a penalty to Accies was tapped then kicked to touch and Accies had won a famous victory and 5 very valuable points

Full-time  26 – 17

It has to be said that the squad of players that the coaches have developed has paid real dividends if today’s performance is the result. The coaches and players have never complained that we never seem to be able to put the same 15 players onto the pitch for consecutive weeks, as every player who has stepped up to represent their club has given 100 percent. Accies have learned some tough lessons this season and that whilst things can go against you from an injury point of view if you work together and play for 80 minutes results will come. Full marks must be awarded to the players and coaches for a superb performance and one that Accies supporters, who were there, will remember and talk about for some time.

Accies have moved into 8th place in the league after two bonus point wins. 


  Today Accies welcomed a group of enthusiastic rugby people from the beautiful Island of Jura where there has been a rugby club since 1988, when it was formed. It was a joy to have them with us today and we hope they felt welcome and enjoyed their visit. The clubs are hoping to cement this new friendship with a visit to Jura soon.


Match Report: How of Fife 26 - 29 Glasgow Accies

       

Match Report for Saturday 5th January 2019

Accies RFC v Howe of Fife at Duffus Park

“A game of action and incident”

This was the rearranged fixture from December the 15th and I am sure both sets of players and coaches were regretting the lack of recovery time from the festive celebrations. There had only been one training session available since before Christmas. So, with no real preparation and several players unavailable for the Accies coaches they were faced with some difficult selection decisions to make, in particular within the structure of the back division where the two regular centres were unavailable. With Josh Waldin returning for his first game of the season after a serious shoulder injury, Adam Lowry moved to 10 and Cameron Wray took one step out to 12. Gordon McGuire fitted into his more accustomed position of outside centre and we were set to go!

It was clear from the start that Howe saw this as a must win game, with Accies just 5 points ahead and one place in the league above them. They had run Accies close in the first encounter at New Annieslnad when they just missed out on a losing bonus point with a 40 – 31 defeat. Therefore it was not a surprise that their forwards were running into contact with determination and their backs looked lively and quick. Early Accies defence looked good and the line speed was excellent, so the game remained very much in the middle of the pitch. The first score came somewhat unexpectedly when from a loose pass by Howe, Kane Greggain, who was all over Duffus Park today, saw the chance and intercepted the pass to romp home from 45 metres out.  A good conversion by Gordon McGuire saw Accies 7 – 0 up, slightly against the run of play, it has to be said.

Howe were quickly back on the attack and some quick ball transference and hard running saw their centre pick up a chip through to score a well-deserved try and with the conversion from wide out being missed the game was balanced at 7 – 5.

At this point in the game the Accies pack started to dominate the set piece, they were pushing their opponents all over the ground at scrum time. This was clearly causing Howe some trouble and over the next 20 minutes they managed to get two pushover tries. These are credited to the superb number 8, Ryan Sweeney, but were a real credit to the whole pack. One conversion and Accies were looking confident and 17 points clear at 19 – 5.

The Howe supporters were clearly concerned that with the dominance of the Accies pack their forwards would tire and their ability to pick and go with energy would be diminished. However a momentary lack of concentration, with the first half nearly over, by the Accies defence saw the Howe fullback clear with 20 metres to the line and nobody was going to stop him. A good conversion and suddenly Howe were within 7 points. The whistle was blown and the first half had come to an end. The Accies supporters were disappointed but still feeling confident that their pack would continue to dominate the game.

Half-time 19 – 12

A side that scores just at half time is usually given a real confidence boost and so it proved as Howe started the second half with real determination and their forwards were in confident form but after 5 or so minutes Accies pack were reasserting their authority. Howe of Fife had changed their prop at half time and the first scrum saw no changes as the Howe pack were driven back. Accies were now on the front foot again and working their way into the Howe 22. Another scrum 15 metres out saw the pressure being once again applied and the referee decided that a yellow card was required. The new prop left the pitch but Howe appeared to be unable to replace him so the referee had to make the decision to go to uncontested scrums. However from the scrum at the penalty point Accies produced a beautiful backs move which saw Kris Mathie cross in the corner. Difficult conversion missed but Accies now ahead    24 – 12

However the fact that the Howe forwards were now not under pressure at scrum time seemed to give them a lift and cause Accies to have to readdress how they were to replace their major advantage. Howe’s confidence was restored very quickly when after some hard running and carrying by their forwards and then quick transference saw their fullback cross for another try.  Good conversion saw the gap down to 5 points again.    24 – 19

The Howe prop was now returned to the fray and Accies supporters were feeling that the advantage of superior scrummaging was back in place. However at the next scrummage, signals from the Howe coach to their Captain saw him address the referee and whatever was said the referee informed Chris Johnstone, Accies Captain, that scrums would remain uncontested. 

This clearly raised the Howe spirits and after some hard running by the refreshed Howe forwards and it has to be said some weak tackling from Accies a simple ball out to their strong running hooker saw him cross for a simple try. The successful conversion saw Howe take the lead for the first time in the game.    24 – 26

The home crowd were now clearly looking for their team to tie up the game in the final 5 minutes and get the 5 points that could have been such a season changer. Accies supporters were all talking about the issue of uncontested scrums and why Howe were breaking through our defence and taking the lead. Despite all this it was only the Accies players who were still thinking they could win.

Howe’s stand-off was clearly under instruction to keep Accies inside their own half and by kicking and strong follow ups keep Accies under pressure. However from one of these kick and chases, Kris Mathie, who had worked tirelessly all afternoon, broke the first up tackle and went on one of his maize runs, but it looked as if his break was covered by the determined cover defence. Well Kris had other ideas and after getting past the first cover defender he continued his run. The Accies supporters were now on their feet and getting excited. Kris was now clear and heading for the 22 and the Accies supporters were shouting encouragement and the Howe supporters crying for someone to stop him. There were only seconds on the clock left and Howe’s scrum half was bearing down on Kris with a clear determination to save the game for his team. His tackle was made with Kris 2 metres short of the try line, had the number 9 saved the day? Well no, because Kris saw his teammate Gordon McGuire, running up inside him and with a superb offload, Gordon ran in the final metres  to fall over the line and score the winning try, and give the Accies supporters a happy journey home, but a sad Howe team and supporters who clearly thought they had done it… 29 – 26!

Full-time 29 – 26

This game was full of incident, and in many ways full of quality handling rugby. Howe had good hard running forwards and a back division that had pace and superb players in their number 13 and 15, who clearly controlled how their back division worked and caused Accies a great deal of problems. Whilst Accies were dominating the set piece they had a clear advantage over their opponents and were giving the back line some really good quality ball. It was clear that as the game progressed the Howe forwards influence in the loose was being reduced and they were finding it harder to be effective as they had to work so hard in the tight. The move to uncontested scrums, after the yellow card, clearly gave them an advantage and removed Accies main influence on the game. It released their forwards to work harder in open play. The only concern and confusion for Accies supporters was as to why, when they started the second half with contested scrums and when the yellow carded prop returned to the game, at the first scrum, the Howe Captain spoke to the referee and we continued with uncontested scrums? It clearly altered the whole structure of the game in the second half. Accies defence and confidence seemed to suffer and the Howe’s forwards were running with renewed energy. However despite the concerns in the stand, Accies players showed a real determination to play to the final whistle and ended up with 5 points instead of 2, which could be very important come March!



Match Report: Glasgow Accies 22 VS 20 Peebles (17/11/18)

Today Accies were facing the team who had taken down the league leaders last Saturday with a 10 – 7 victory away at Biggar and Accies were trying to come to terms with last Friday night’s defeat away to GHK. So the scene was set for Peebles to continue their climb up the league table. As one supporter said to me before the match – “well what do you think will happen today; after all they thumped us when we played them at the start of the season?” my response of “let’s wait and see” was greeted with a serious look of incredulity!

So with the sun dropping in the sky and shinning in Accies eyes, Peebles kicked off. The early encounters were, as usual, were aimed at trying to establish some weakness in their opponents. Probably due to early nerves, both sides were making some minor handling errors. It was however clear that this Accies team, once again showing several enforced changes, were all up for this encounter. Their tackling was aggressive and fast and unlike some previous performances they were working in numbers rather than individually. 

The scrums were relatively even despite the fact that we were missing two hookers and a prop. We were fielding a front row with our open side flanker at hooker and another back row player in the second row where we were also missing two locks, but to be honest every one of the 19 stepped up and made a difference. The coaches and players are working hard to perfect their game plan and it is beginning to show benefits.

Gradually the Accies pack were making inroads into the opposition 22 and then putting real pressure on the Peebles line, and after several pick and goes the ball was moved quickly across the back division and the left winger, Andy Brown, appeared outside the centres on the right and scampered over for a very well worked try. Kicking this season has been a real problem for Accies but today up stepped Chris Goodfellow, our strong prop, who has apparently been demonstrating his kicking skills at training , and converted the difficult kick with great aplomb and in the process putting Acciess     7 – 0 in front. 

Accies were demonstrating some real skill and despite not dominating the scrum and lineout areas they were working hard to keep their opponents on the back foot. Again they worked themselves back inside Peebles half and were eventually awarded a penalty 35 metres out, but in front of the posts, well up stepped Chris, or has his teammates call him ‘Boris’ and again converted to put Accies 10 – 0 ahead and the crowd chanting his name. Accies have at long last found a kicker!

Peebles are sitting fifth in the league because they are a good team and play some very good rugby and from the kick off put Accies under real pressure. Accies defence was coping well but an offence at a breakdown gave Peebles stand off a relatively simple kick to bring the score back to 10 – 3

This clearly gave Peebles a boost and they now put together their best passage of 15 man rugby in the first half. They have a good well drilled pack and a stand-off that can clearly run and deploy their fast and elusive backs. They were pressing and looking very capable of scoring more points but for some determined defence. However from a scrum just 5 metres out as a result of a Peebles knock on, Accies looked as if they had a chance to clear the danger with a clearance kick, however Ross Cowan had a different idea and instead of kicking to touch he ran, straight between two attackers and broke free. Running faster than any other player on the park, he reached the last defender, slowed to look for support, but decided he could beat him and did so. However having slowed slightly he had allowed two more defenders to reach him but he brushed both aside and scampered over the line. A brilliant individual try and Ross back to his best and getting the stand to its feet. Tough conversion missed but Accies were now ahead 15 – 3.

42 minutes gone but the referee decide to continue the game and from the kick off Peebles worked themselves into Accies 22. Surely Accies could keep them out for the final moments? But Peebles are a good team, and by keeping the ball live they manged to create a gap which their number 8 took full advantage of and crossed the line.. The conversion was missed, but Peebles were back to within 7 points at 15 – 8, and Peebles had scored that all important try just before half-time. The whistle goes and the first half is over.

Half – time   15 – 8

It is always felt to be an advantage to score just before half-time and could this be the key to Peebles revival? They were clearly gaining in confidence and worked the ball into Accies danger zone. Up to this point there had been little to choose between the scrums but as can happen, Peebles drove Accies off their own put in and swivelled the scrum clockwise. This created the perfect opportunity and with an easy 3 on 2 their quick footed winger crossed in the corner. Difficult conversion was missed but Peebles were now within 2 points and looking capable of scoring again.   15 - 13

Well to the delight of the Accie supporters, that had joined Mike Belch and his 4th XV team for lunch and gin tasting (very good it proved to be) this Accies side had different ideas and were still driving at the Peebles defence. They worked themselves back into the Peebles danger zone and had several lineout drives and some close calls however Peebles managed to survive and eventually clear their line. However the clearance kick was collected by Kris Mathie who moved it inside to Ross Cowan who drew the first defender and passed it back to Kris who then carried the ball well into Peebles half. There was an infringement at the tackle and who else but Ross was on hand to take a quick penalty, he then ran into the middle of the pitch, 35 metres out he was tackled, but managed to offload the ball to, the supporting debutant second row, Greg Connelly who, working his feet like a winger, beat two defenders and raced home for the try under the posts. Up steps Gordon McGuire, to convert and put Accies 9 points clear at 22 – 13.

Accies were defending with commitment and aggression and this was making life difficult for their opponents. Then from turnover ball inside their own half, Scott Simmons broke clear and he released our flying winger, Kris Mathie, who raced clear only to be stopped 10 metres short by a desperate last minute tackle. There followed a period of serious pressure by Accies but they could not convert it into points. Would they regret this as Peebles are an 80 minute side? Well as expected Peebles broke free of this defensive effort and their forwards started running hard at Accies close defence and with some good drives and a couple of good back moves Accies found themselves defending in their 22. With a matter of minutes to go their nippy winger scampered over again. This time, probably driven with adrenalin their stand-off kicked the conversion from wide out. Score was now 22 – 20.

Accies were still confident and worked hard and the crowd were all hoping that they could control the ball for the remainder of the match and keep Peebles out of the danger zone, whilst not giving away any penalties.

So it was with a great sigh of relief that the crowd heard the final whistle.

Full – time 22 – 20

A great result for a totally committed effort from Accies and if they can reproduce this performance they will collect some more scalps. Today was great reward for all the players and coaches, who have worked very hard to turn this season around, but also for the enthusiastic and loyal supporters who came out today at New Anniesland. This was a game where every one of the 19 players gave 100% and demonstrated what they can do. Bigger challenges ahead but this squad is showing great signs of development