2009/2010: Scottish Premiership Two



G. Taylor15C. McKeand
R. Watson14B. Aitken
(c) N. Cassie13S. James
R. McClymont12D. Notman
C. Binnie11S. Watson
J. Noonan10S. Muir (c)
A. Gillman9D. Reive
G. Warnock1K. Anderson
G. King2M. Rutherford
J. Coffey3S. Cameron
R. Jenkins4F. Hope
 D. Kellock5A. Cairns
T. Peyton6G. Owens
A. Boag7A. Warnock
J. Pinder8J. Kelly
 I. Nelson16C. Arthur
 D. McKay17J. Green
 M. Longton18H. Green
B. Wright19A. Reid
Gillman, WatsonTryJames (2), Owens (2), Aitken, Cameron
Mr R. McHenry (Dumfries)


GHA fell today for the second successive league match. Defeat at Kelso a week ago, with a bonus point, was followed by an even more substantial loss as they went down against Biggar at Braidholm, conceding six tries and scoring just two. 

However, GHA’s brace of tries were the best of the match. They were gems in an otherwise drab day, not just in weather terms.

When Andrew Gillman scored the first of them it cut the Biggar lead to 15-11 after half an hour. GHA were back in the game then, but the second, scored by Rory Watson, was too late to affect contest. It was the last score of the match.

Gillman’s try was, pure and simple, an individual effort after the forwards had won turnover ball deep inside their own half. The scrum half kicked ahead, chased with the pace that marks his game, and hacked ahead to outrun Biggar’s two defenders. He still had much to do, pouncing to score only centimetres before the ball bounced over the dead-ball line.

It was only immediately after Biggar’s sixth try that GHA scored again. A hefty hit from the restart forced a turnover, and Ross McClymont found the way to cut through for Watson to finish off in the right corner.

Jim Noonan could not convert either try. But he kicked a penalty goal and drop goal, one after each of Biggar’s first two tries, for 6-12 after 16 minutes.

For much of the game, GHA were on the back foot, forced to call on all their defensive nous. But no one can answer against the driving maul, at least when in deficit in avoirdupois. Three times Biggar had penalty lineouts close to the GHA goal-line, and they scored on each occasion with driving mauls.

Collapsing the maul was a positive element in the Experimental Law Variations: converting that tactic into illegality, as we have now, effectively legalised obstruction. But the driving maul has to be better policed than it was today. The maul that produced the second Biggar try stopped twice and trundled sideways once that was contrary to the laws. The next drive-over try, the one that gave Biggar the bonus point, originated in a lineout where the visitors inserted a blocker between the jumper and the opposition for blocking read obstructing.

Biggar, however, scored three other tries. All were good ones. The visitors would have won even under the ELVs.

Source: Bill McMurtrie

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