Mackie 1st XV record historic victory!
Mackie 1st XV defeat Strathmore 25-3 in Forfar
Mackie 1st XV has been on a good run recently and confidence is creeping through the team. Notwithstanding the game at Forfar was not to be treated lightly as Mackie had not won there since league inception almost 20 years ago. The prematch augered well and there was great focus as the game kicked of in good conditions.
Mackie held sway for the first 10 minutes and threatened Strathmore several times without success. Eventually Mackie won a penalty from scrum but it was pulled wide. Five minutes later a repeat of the infringement gave Mackie another opportunity from a more difficult position and this time Levack made no mistake 3 – 0.
An intense half saw Strathmore pull themselves back in to the game and for the last 10 minutes they put Mackie under pressure. Defence came to the fore and although Strath threatened, time and again they were knocked back by the defence. A mistake in the rules by the referee at half time gave Strath an unwarranted 3 points and the game at half time finished at 3 – 3.
A few points had to be addressed to shake the team out of the lethargy they seem to have slid into and taking Coach Mairs comments on board, a different team came out in the second half. The scrum was becoming increasingly dominant as strath seemed to lose their appetite for the battle. From one such scrum, the ball control by Strath was poor and Rory Mellis pounced to scoot off towards the line. As the cover closed on him, a neat pass inside to captain Thomson saw him cross the line for a great score. Although the kick was missed, Mackie hit a purple patch. Five minutes later, a replica position from the dominant scrum saw Mellis again break free this time to pass inside to Speakman who was up in support. Another unconverted try ensued to take the score out to 13 – 3 in Mackie’s favour. From the kick off Flynn took the ball up and a series of quick rucks saw the Strath defence stretched . Atkins moved the ball right and with the remaining defence closing him down he slipped a beautiful grubber kick turning the whole defence. Good pressure from winger Dave Garden who is fast growing in to is role saw his opposite number fumble the ball and leave Levack with the relatively simple task of dotting the ball down and converting to take Mackie out to an unassailable lead of 20 – 3. The forwards continued to batter their opposite numbers in to submission and the booming hits echoed round the park and kept the home supporters. normally very vocal, in subdued mood. The front row of Clyne Mitchell and Carey dominated and after a further period of sustained pressure the forwards were encamped on the Strath line. Drive after drive was thwarted but eventually , Carey drove over to secure the win and the extra bonus point.
The final whistle went and another great win was secured. The team moves up to third equal with Orkney and it is there they travel next weekend in what will be an enthralling encounter. The team are playing well individually and collectively and they are creating a stir in the league. They are playing an exciting brand of rugby and are being rewarded for the effort each and every one of them are putting in. The coaching balance is just right and the guys are responding accordingly.
Team Ross, Gray, Morgan, Levack, Garden, Atkins, Mellis, Clyne, Mitchell, Carey, Philp, Lawson, Thomson, Speakman, Akaoula, Leask, Byres, Flynn