Gordonstoun v Mackie
What a difference a week makes
"What a difference a week makes !"
With the league matches coming thick and fast Mackie U15's had an away fixture this week at Gordonstoun. After an early morning rendezvous the U15's and U16's shared the coach journey north and arrived ready for a hard game against the home team buoyant from a win against Grammar last week.
The team had been working hard at training after a hot and cold performance last week against Deeside/Wanderers and pressure was on to raise their game.
Conditions were perfect and after a quick warm up and team talk the referee blew his whistle to start the match. The first five minutes was all about both teams feeling each other out. Some big hits were being made by both side and most of the action was within five metres either side of the half way line. Eventually Gordonstoun knocked on and the first scrum of the match was awarded with Mackie getting the put in. Welcoming back Nathan Grundy, Dominic Lawson and hooker Euan Robertson to the front row after injuries to all three players the coaching team had high hopes for a good performance from the pack.
Mackie won their first scrum and after moving the ball wide the ball came back inside and after some great rucking, Drew Christie drove the ball over in the corner to make the first score of the game. Robbie Crighton lined up the first conversion but unfortunately the tight angle made for a difficult kick and it fell short.
Gordonstoun were soon on the attack and had Mackie on the back foot and it was only some great defence by Fergus Inglis and Clarence Wei that stopped the blues from getting a score of their own. The next few minutes had Mackie giving away a series of penalties for ill discipline around the break down and after a warning conversation with the referee Euan Robertson fell foul to the referees yellow card for a high tackle and repeatedly coming in from the side.
With Mackie down to 14 men gave Gordonstoun a numerical advantage and they quickly took advantage after some great play by their forwards they ended up in a maul five metres out and they managed despite some heroic defending by Fraser Lindsay and Levi Peddie to push over the line for their first score. Fortunately for Mackie the kick fell short.
Mackie soon took the lead after some excellent play in the forwards allowed Finlay Jacobson to sweep the ball to Finlay Sweetnam who popped a lovely ball back inside for Drew Christie to truck over the line for his second try of the game, this time Robbie Crighton's kick was successful, slotting the ball over with great accuracy.
Half time was soon upon us and after a very positive team talk the second half started. Mackie were quickly on the front foot and the next score was a total team try with nearly everyone playing a part, good work by Clarence Wei and Dominic Lawson at the break down allowed scrum half Fin to quickly spin the ball out through the number ten who fed Ethan Thomas who cut a great line before offloading to Mathew Davies who was playing in the unusual for him position of outside centre, Mathew Davies took contact but managed a great offload to Aiden Smith who ran in his first try of the game. With Robbie having a breather at the side of the pitch the kicking duties fell to Euan Robertson who slotted home with ease.
If the last try was a team effort the next was almost a one man effort, a break away by Nathan Grundy gained 20 metres and the only one close enough to offer support was Drew Christie who powered over the line under the posts. There was a moment of confusion at this point as the referee was playing advantage for a poorly timed shoulder charge by the Gordonstoun defence and at first Mackie thought the try was being disallowed and brought back for the initial offence, this led to a bit of back chat from the Mackie lads which in turn turned in to a little conversation between the referee, Fraser Lindsay and Drew Christie. However the try was awarded and Euan Robertson slotted the kick through the posts.
By this point Mackie were starting to find holes in the home teams defence and soon JJ Guyan was given a chance to open his legs and make some distance on the wings, he was stopped by a great tackle but Levi Peddie was in support to keep the ball alive and move it back in field. Our forwards were winning everything now and the two Findlays were getting clean and quick ball out to the backs who were beginning to run some excellent lines. A couple of outrageous side steps by Ethan Thomas and a returning Eoin Vaughn led to Mackie being deep inside the home teams twenty two and following some quick passes allowed Aiden Smith to run in another try. Alas the conversion fell short.
Within ten seconds of the restart Mackie were under the posts again, this time due to excellent work by Euan Robertson who caught the kick off, passed to Aiden Smith who showed the Gordonstoun boys a clean set of heels by sprinting down the wing before dipping a shoulder to side step the full back and putting the ball between the post. Euan easily kicking the extra points.
The next score for Mackie was a forwards try with Euan Robertson scoring from close distance. Robbie Crighton back on kicking duties slotted over. The last score fell to Drew Christie who ran through the defence to score in the corner.
The referee blew for full time with the final result being a 50-5 win for Mackie.
Overall a great team performance, and it was good to see our pre-match tactics worked well.