Mackie Forwards Dominate at Home
Mackie Academy FP 27 - Gordonians 26
It was always going to be difficult to scale the heights of last week’s performance away to Caithness but Mackie started the second half of the season looking to do the double over a much improved Gordonians side. They had several old heads in the side and Mackie knew they were in for a very stiff examination
Despite being well prepared there was an edge missing from the home sides game from the previous week. The game started evenly and there was not much to choose between the sides . After 10 minutes, serious pressure by the Mackie scrum brought a penalty which Levack duly converted. The mid field tussle continued with no quarter being given by either side and Gordonians countered with two penalties of their own to make the score 6 – 3
With 15 minutes to go to half time, there was an error by Gordonians which the referee missed and from the resultant play they broke away to score under the posts and with the conversion take the score out to 13 – 3. Mackie responded with a lineout drive near the opposition line that resulted in Mitchell going over for an unconverted try to make the score 13 – 8. A final penalty on the stroke of half time left Gordonians in the ascendency and half time score of 16 - 8
The half time team talk brought the players back in to focus and while again Gordonians started brightly and exerting all the pressure, the storm was ridden and slowly Mackie started to impose themselves on the game. It was in the forwards especially where the heavy hits were going in. Steve Akauola in particular put in a massive tackle count followed closed by Matthew Flynn who is fast returning to his old form. The clashes had the crowd wincing and two from Carey almost cut the opposition in two. Perhaps however the tackle of the day went to Andrew Mitchell who stopped an attack with a monster hit that even had the opposition coach purring in appreciation. The tide started to turn Mackie’s way and despite conceding a further penalty to go behind by 19- 8, the home side settled in to a productive period. Serious pressure on the Gordonian line with a series of forward drives saw Mackie’s Dan Carey glide over the line for a converted try to take the score up to 19 – 15. After 20 minutes of the second half a well worked drive from a lineout saw the home side drive over the line and eventually the ball was grounded by the Tongan Torpedo, Boom Boom Akauola to put Mackie into a 20 – 19 lead. The pressure was unrelenting and with 10 minutes to go Carey shimmied over the line for another score which Levack converted to take the score to 27 – 19.
Gordonians rallied at this point and came back in to the game. Nerves became stretched when they scored a good try under the posts which they duly converted to take the score to 27 – 26. Mackie weathered the storm of the last few minutes and managed to close out the game.
And so a nail biting game came to an end with Mackie edging victory over a very worthy opposition. In an interesting footnote, last week in Caithness, all the tries were scored by the backs. In contrast all this week’s tries went to forwards. The club have climbed to 4th in Caledonia 1 and are performing well. There are still things to work on, particularly kicking from hand as we let a lot of pressure come back on us with missed touches. The game is all about confidence and there is a lot more self-belief in the side. There are still three very hard games to go before the Christmas break and feet need to be kept firmly on the ground!
But notwithstanding, it was another great day with a big crowd up at Redcloak
Next week Saturday 19th, the 1st XV are away to Strathmore and the 2nds are away to Garioch