Hamilton 2ndXV 21- 19 GHA 2ndXV

With seven enforced changes to last week’s team, the seconds pitched up at Leigh Bent to take on a Hamilton team who had achieved some excellent results of late.

It was obvious from the outset that GHA had the upper hand when it came to running rugby. An early penalty miss by Murray Houston was soon forgotten as GHA registered the first points of the game. The turnover ball from a ruck on their own 22 metre line was fed along the back line and resulted in a score for Rangi Jericevich. The conversion attempt was unsuccessful. However, the lead was only short-lived as from a scrum the Hamilton number 8 picked up and, due to some poor tackling by GHA, he was able to score. With a conversion slotted, Hamilton took the lead. With mistakes being made on both sides, the scorers weren’t troubled until the second half.

After some wise words from Coach Fairbairn at half time, GHA registered their second try of the game within one minute of the re-start. Excellent pressure from John Willock and Kerr McEwan saw the ball turned over and then some skillful interplay between Rangi Jericevich and Brandon Wamberg resulted in the centre crashing over for his second try. Murray Houston converted. Once again, the lead only lasted five minutes. A carbon copy score from Hamilton’s number 8 handed the lead back to them. Hamilton stretched the lead to 21 – 12 after a break by their number 8 who fed the supporting player for their third and final try of the day. With the conversion successful, Hamilton took a commanding lead. They then tried to press home the advantage, but for the second week running, GHA showed a resoluteness in defence and kept out the opposition. Déjà vu struck once again as GHA registered a try in the dying moments of the game. A length of the field break was halted illegally by Hamilton on their 5 metre line. Murray Houston took a quick tap and fed Rangi Jericevich to crash over for his hat-trick. Murray Houston successfully converted the try to bring GHA back to within 2 points. From the re-start, GHA broke deep into Hamilton territory. Quick ball from a ruck seemed to provide GHA with an opportunity to steal the game from Hamilton. However, the referee decided an infringement had occurred at the ruck and blew the final whistle.

Despite an error-strewn performance, another losing bonus point was the consolation prize. With Hamilton being the visitors to Braidholm on Saturday 20th February, GHA don’t have long to wait to avenge this disappointing result. Attendance at training on Tuesday and Thursday is essential.

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