Mackie S2 Dominate
Mackie Play to their strengths
Magnificent Mackie S2
It has been something of a frustrating disjointed season for the S2’s. Games have been planned but then cancelled. The Scottish winter does not favour continuity and consistency of play. However, week in week out the players train and develop the skills they need to evolve into an effective rugby team. They are not big in stature but the S2s make up for it in speed and commitment. And all the training is now beginning to pay off. Highland visited Redcloak for a return game on Saturday 19th. They had beaten Mackie in the mud of Inverness 3 weeks ago. Mackie in fact had lost narrowly to Highland in their three previous meetings. Conditions in each were swamp-like and the wind and rain in Inverness did not favour a small mobile team. They had been bulldozed by the Highland juggernaut, big bruising players coached to play a bruising forwards game. However, at Redcloak on Saturday 19th it was dry, the ground firm and only a slight breeze to contend with. Different conditions for a different style of faster, more skilful rugby. The players may have been nervous before the game because of the previous encounters. They expected a big physical team and a tough physical game, and it was Highland who got one. The visitors were mauled and outplayed by a voracious Mackie S2 team who were in no mood to acquiesce. Starved of game time maybe, but it did not show.
The game was played at a fast and furious pace. But each time Mackie found control and time on the ball they cut loose and with speed and slick passing were able to pick apart the Highland team. Mackie scored almost at will and even though the opposition put up a strong contest, they were well beaten by a much better drilled, mobile and fast finishing team. The S2’s today looked the part. They played 15-man rugby with skill and passion. The final score was 30-7 in Mackie’s favour or more importantly a try count of 9 to 2. Highland were not just beaten they were routed by a far more dynamic team. The hard training is now paying off. Players are improving and learning what to do and how to function together. This was a victory for team work and for the coaches who are there on those wet Wednesday evenings and Saturdays mornings trying to bring out the best in the players.
The first score was almost from kick off. Mackie recycled ball from a ruck and passed it through the back line releasing Murray Allan whose turn of pace took him around the stretched Highland defence. A great wingers try. Try number 2 was from a forward drive with Oscar Burslem grounding the ball over the line. Highland then replied with a break away try against the run of play after weak Mackie tackling. It looked like a contest was developing, but Mackie found another gear. They were quick on the offensive again and a second try by Murray Allan was a walk in after a good passage of back play. Highland started the second period of play stronger but Mackie hit them on the counter attack with good interplay and ball retention resulting in a spectacular try for Findlay Rhind. Straight from the kick off Jack Malloy collected the ball and made a 50 metre surge through the Highland team breaking through a number of tackles. He was caught short of the line but again the recycling skills of Mackie were too good for Highland with Matthew Buchanan crossing for try number 5. Next to score was Joseph Reid taking a short ball at stand off and surging through the weak Highland defence. In the third and final 20minute period Highland struck back with a try from a 5 metre penalty after Mackie had been caught offside at a ruck. However, any thoughts of a fight back were soon extinguished. Mackie crossed for three more tries from Cameron Thain, Jack Malloy, Mathew Buchanan and Findlay Rhind to cement a well-earned victory. If they had been more clinical Mackie could have scored even more as they squandered a couple of other good overlaps. Nevertheless, it was an impressive performance from an improving team and a comprehensive victory.