2012/2013: Scottish Championship A



S. Swankie15C. Sorbie
C. Simpkins14R. Jericevich
M. Scade13H. O’Hare
G. Hall12A. Henderson (c)
G. Low11C. Binnie
G. McNeish10T. Jericevich
R. Davies9A. Gillman
M. Llyod1S. Spowart
D. Foote2J. Malcolm
A. Warneford3S. Fisher
M. Pinkerton4R. Jenkins
J. Carr5J. Auld
G. Valentine6D. Malcolm
(c) J. Lawrie7P. Harkins
C. Eadie8A. Auld
R. Gribbons16M. Kidd
W. Daley17D. Larkin
G. Queen18G. MacDonald
R. Blanchflower19A. Spowart
Swankie (3), TBCTryR. Jericevich (2), A. Auld, Binnie, Larkin
McNeish, TBCConT. Jericevich (2)
McNeishPenT. Jericevich
Mr M. Goodman


GHA’s indifferent start to the season continued yet they secured another bonus point win leaving them 2nd in the league on points difference after two games. The performance was best described as ‘patchy’ with some great play in scoring 5 tries but a catalogue of errors which continued to give Dunfermline a foothold in the game, and indeed the lead for much of it.

Like last week, GHA started the game at a blistering pace. From the first posession, they worked their way up field through a dozen or so phases, stretching the home defense before fly half Tane Jericevich threw a long miss pass for brother Rangi to score near the corner. Tane converted.

Dunfermline’s young fly half had a superb game with the boot, using the blustery conditions to great effect as he continually pinned GHA inside their own 22. This territorial game paid off when GHA fumbled handing Dunfermline a scrum 5 metres from the GHA line. A neat blind side move saw the dangerous full back break through for their opening score. The conversion was missed.

After an entertaining opening 10 minutes, the rest of the first half was dominated by the referees whistle with GHA giving away an inordinate amount of penalties, allowing Dunfermline to dominate territorially. A second Dunfermline try was scored from a 5m lineout catch and drive mid way through the first half. GHA looked to have notched a second of their own when a break up the right hand side was hacked ahead. Alan Auld looked like he’d be first to the ball but the referee called to him that he was offside. At which point, Alan stopped his run and stepped aside. Paul Harkins who was close behind followed up and scored it. But, bizzarrely, the referee decided to give the offside decision against Auld, despite him playing no part in the move.

The Dunfermline fly half kicked a penalty shortly before half time to leave the score at 15-7 to the home team at the break.

A disastrous start to the second half saw Dunfermline score a third try, again from their full back when he stepped round a GHA front row who was caught out of position in the centre. The conversion was missed to leave the score at 20-7 and GHA had a task on their hands to get back in the game. The difficulty of this task was then compounded when Paul Harkins saw yellow for an infringement at a ruck.

It was a mark of the team’s character that shortly after going down to 14, GHA scored when Alan Auld made a break in the mid-field. The GHA number 8 rounded the full back to score near the posts.

Still down to 14, GHA worked their way up the field again and from a line out catch and drive they drove the ball close to the Dunfermline line. Several pick and goes from the forwards were eventually rewarded when young second row Declan Larkin forced his way over.

Harkins retuned to the fray and then came the fourth and bonus point score, GHA’s backs received some quality first phase ball off of a line out and the ball was spun wide where full back Craig Sorbie hit a fantastic line to break clear. He drew the last man and fed Rang Jericevich for his second score. With that, GHA regained the lead with the score at 22-20.

The returning Gillman then showed a great piece of opportunism. GHA won a penalty just inside the Dunfermline half. The ever alert Gillman tapped and went, breaking up the left hand side with a deft chip which he regained before feeding left wing Chris Binnie for GHA’s fifth. The try was converted and GHA led 29-20. A further penalty was added and GHA were comfortable at 32-20.

In the dying minutes Dunfermline poured on the pressure as they looked for the losing bonus point. GHA’s defence stood firm until that man again, Dunfermline’s full back, broke the GHA line and dived over on the final whistle. The try was converted to leave the final score at 32-27.

GHA showed great character to come from 20-7 behind early in the second half scoring 25 unanswered points to help seal the victory. GHA captain Andy Henderson feels the team showed great character to come from behind early in the second half. He said:

“It shows that we didn’t panic. I think the conditions did play a part in the way the game went. There was a bit of a breeze which they used really well in the first half which kept us pinned back. In the second half we had a bit more territory, held onto the ball a little bit. It shows good character to come back and play with maturity to not panic in that situation and to come back and get a good win.”

Henderson feels the GHA’s start to the game was the best since he has been at the club. He added:

“We started probably the best since I’ve been at the club. We scored a well worked try but unfortunately they came back into it quite strongly some defensive lapses let them get back into it. We managed to stay with them and improved a little as early as the second half. I think to come back from two scores down was very pleasing. Overall I think we are pleased with a bonus point win but there is room for improvement.”

GHA’s next match is a derby game at home against West of Scotland on Saturday 8th September. KO 3pm.

Captain Andy Henderson believes it will be GHA’s toughest test yet despite West of
Scotland losing their first two games. He said:

“It will be very tough. They have lost their first two games but they are a team who
have come down from the league above. They will have played last season at a higher level than us which is an advantage in itself. Also they are used to the pace of the game being quicker and more physical. We played them in a friendly last year which they won quite well. We know it is going to be tough but hopefully we can make some improvements and continue our winning start.”

GHA know that their level of performance will have to improve significantly in the coming weeks if they are to maintain their winning streak.

Source: Bill McMurtrie & David Coates

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