Mackie 7s Impress at First Tournament
Mackie 7s squad hit the road to contest Garioch Sevens Tournament and reached the semi final of the main competition.
The newly formed Mackie 7s squad travelled to garioch 7s on Saturday for the clubs first outing at sevens rugby in 3 years. Rather depleted by injuries and end of season blues, the Mackie squad of Morgan, Mellis, Leask, Kelly, Levack, Thompson, C. Gray, Garden and Lawson were bolstered by the addition of Roux and Lane who had only played a handful of time between them this year (and trained even less!)
In their first group game, there were some early nerves but the draw had been kind (unlike the weather) and Mackie played Garioch Barbarians who struggled against the well organised away team. Levack had 2 easy finishes from good play spreading play across the park in quick succession to settle nerves and put the team into their stride. Lane scored with a trademark 40m sprint before the flood gates opened with Lane adding another try, Gray picked up a brace, Dave Garden scored too before club captain Thompson weaved through for the final score 50-0.
The second pool game was against old rivals Aberdeen Wanderers. Starting with the team that finished the last game and were scoring freely, Mackie received the kick but immediately looked to have lost their shape an organisation. Wanderers looked to be on top and scored early on with some un-sevens like crash ball play. Shell shocked, Mackie again received the kick but immediately put themselves in trouble with wayward passes which allowed wanderers to pressure possession. A second mistake let them in for another try. Levack and Morgan re-entered play to try and firm up the structure and sure enough it did and Leask pulled one try back with a pitch length run. Alas fitness began to tell and despite their efforts Mackie could not pull it back and with the game becoming frantic, wanderers broke again to Score in the corner. Final score 17-7.
Harsh words preceded the quarter final match with Caithness – who must have been keen to beat Mackie after 2 losses in the league this year. Morgan taking over the captaincy from injured Thompson demanded more effort and focus from the whole squad. In a thrilling match, Mackie played exceptionally well in the first half, displaying patience in possession and a killer instinct when it counted with Lane and Lawson scoring under the posts...unfortunately a “wild gust of wind” forced Lane’s conversion wide! Caithness pulled on back before half time. Remaining calm, the second half started well with both teams playing good rugby. Caithness capitalised on some loose defending around the ruck and pulled level after a couple of minutes. Mackie gave themselves a mountain to climb when Lane was sent off for a high tackle and from the another subsequent penalty, Caithness took the lead with just a few minutes remaining.
With 6 still on the pitch Mackie had some backs to the wall scrambling defending to do before lane came back on. Riding out the storm and with a full compliment, Lawson and Lane stole the ball int he ruck and it was fed out to Leask to turned on the warp drive to run another pitch length to score under the posts. Taking his time he converted to level the scores with the last kick of the game...
...sudden death extra time. Morgan again rallied his troops and receiving the kick off Mackie seemed to hit form and played the possession game, playing with patience, passing well before gray added an injection of pace and drew the man to pass to Levack who outsprinted the scrambling last man to dot the ball down under the posts to win the game.
The semi final was against Gordonians, who displayed another completely different team that Mackie had faced in either of the two league games they had played against them this year. Mackie who had won both league matches however seemed to have lost the edge and despite going up 14-5 through Lawson and Leask in the first half, conceded 3 further tries to lose 22-14.
A great first outing, but lots to learn. The guys travel to inverness in 2 weeks to contest the Highland Sevens which will be an even sterner test of their talent.
Aberdeen grammar won the final convincingly against a tired looking Gordonians