U15's win despite poor 1st half
Not the best display but pulled it back in the 2nd half
Sunday 13th September was U15's first home game of the league against Deeside/Wanderers who appear to be calling themselves Wandees. A few injuries from last weeks game against Perthshire and school games this week meant we were missing a few key players in the forwards such as Nathan and Euan, plus Max from the wing. Other players unavailable such as Drew, Ben, and Dominic meant we were really struggling for numbers so not our ideal line up before kick off.
The 1st half could only be summed up as extremely poor from Mackie and totally different to last weeks display against Perthshire, our dominance at the breakdown was completely lost, and evident as Fin J was being put under extreme pressure as scrum half and being creamed on a number of occasions by Wandees. Tactical kicking with some clever chips over Mackie by Wandees also exposed some Mackie weakness's but something we will be focused on for future fixtures. Wandees totally dominated the 1st half scoring 3 tries and converting two of them against Mackies two tries of the 1st half being scored by Matthew Davies and James Swan, and the end of the 1st half the game looked like it was slipping from Mackie with the score line sitting 10-19 to Wandees.
A stern half time chat from Eric on his crutches to the boys set a few honest truths which the Mackie boys were well aware of, lack of forwards securing clean ball at the breakdown and no support to players breaking the gain line along with poor tackling as we repeatedly slipped off the Wandees attacking runners were key messages. Stern criticism was given for running across the pitch instead of straightening the attack and coaches didn't hold back singling out Matthew and Robbie to be more aware of the pressure they put on themselves doing this. The boys lined up for the 2nd half restart knowing they needed to change the game and do it right from the restart to keep this game in contention.
The phrase "a game of two halves" was very true of this game, a very different performance assisted by a few changes in positions and putting Liam in his usual back row spot and Eoin in at full back seemed to help with everyone looking more hungry for the game. Some good carries from Fergus, with Liam and Fraser working harder at the breakdown gave the out half pairing of two Fin's some better ball to work with. The two Fin's are showing they can work well together with Fin S identifying space and on one occasion being really unlucky for a perfectly weighted kick over the Wandees defense to just bounce wrong for Harry, if it had being gathered Harry would certainly have been clear for a try. Mackie built on their work and seemed to close down the Wandees play makers and some excellent defensive work on the wing from Aidan holding off some strong attempts for Wandees to break the Mackie line. Some great work in the line out from Levi also spoiling many of the Wandee's throws. Mackie finally got things to gel and in the 2nd half ran in 4 tries from Eoin, Aidan, Fennick, and Liam, along with Robbie converting Aidan's try, all of this was done without conceding a score to Wandees which put the 2nd half 22-0 to Mackie which showed some courage and spirit from the Mackie boys pulling the game back to a final whistle score 32-19, the joy of the win was clear to see as the final whistle went and the Mackie boys cheered loudly.
A lot to be learnt from this game and where the previous weeks performance has set the benchmark of what we are capable of and should be able to perform each week. Positives are certainly taken from the game as it shows what the team are capable of if they regroup and cut out the weakness's.
Lots of areas to work on too, some of the basics such as
cutting out cross field running,
depth in attack so players not taking the ball flat and static
Another win as we progress into the league and look forward to getting good player numbers for next weeks game at Gordonstoun.