2013/2014: Scottish National League



S. Lang15D. Wills
R. Jericevich14R. Clinch
C. Binnie13C. Scott
(c) A. Henderson12D. Mundy
J. Couper11N. Hogarth
N. Cassie10G. Raeburn
M. Houston9S. McCormick
S. Carson1A. Clark
G. King2M. Carryer
S. Fisher3J. Menzie
R. Glen4J. Swiatek
J. Auld5K. Clyde
P. Harkins6C. McCann
A. Auld7D. Hall
G. MacDonald8W. Kearney
J. White16A. Brown
M. Fox17A. Warnock
D. Larkin18D. Clancy
J. Plumridge19C. Blyth
D. Dunn20
Carson, Cassie, Henderson, MacDonaldTryCarryer, Swiatek
Lang (3)ConRaeburn
Mr M. Hose (Edinburgh RS)


GHA’s scrummage was dominant in the win against Peebles at Braidholm on Saturday. It was so much so that every scrum was looked on with relish by the home support and the number of penalties conceded by Peebles in that set piece was close on double figures.

Nor did the home forwards weary from that task. Little more than five minutes were left when they had what was their best scrummage. It was the visitors’ put-in just five metres out from the Peebles goal-line, and not only did the GHA forwards drive the opposition off the ball but they maintained absolute control as they pushed over for Grant MacDonald to score his team’s fourth try.

It was the second successive Saturday on which GHA gained a scoring bonus. Whereas last week the four were gathered in a late rush in defeat by Stewart’s Melville, this time the tries were spread over the match, two in each half, the first by Niall Cassie in 14 minutes after a succession of scrums close to the Peebles goal-line. Scott Carson and Andy Henderson had
the two others.

Conditions were not ideal after morning rain and a deluge only an hour before kick-off. Peebles threatened briefly early on, but GHA were soon up to the visitors’ line. James Couper went over in the right corner, and though he was judged to have been held up it was the prelude to the home pack turning the screws in three successive scrums. Twice Peebles were penalised as GHA fractured the visitors’ scrum, and off the third Cassie sprinted in to the right of the posts.

Couper had another chance to score, but his hack ahead was too strong. Then when Dylan Munday essayed a rare break into GHA territory his good work wasted by the follow-up. GHA’s perseverance paid off just before the interval when Lang’s long penalty kick into the right corner provided the platform for Carson to plough over at the posts. Lang duly kicked his second conversion for 14-0, but he missed a penalty in first-half added time after Dalton Hall had been sin-binned.

During the interval the rain returned as the sky darkened as if the unseen sun had set two hours early, but GHA still saw their way to continue pressure. Carson was close to a second try before nine minutes into the second half, with the referee playing advantage from a scrum penalty, Murray Houston’s flat pass sent Henderson through to the left of the posts.

Lang stretched the lead to 21 points, but five minutes later Peebles responded with a try by
Jonathan Swiatek off a line-out drive. Greg Raeburn converted from well out on the left.
Niall Cassie was sin-binned on the hour, and that took the steam out of GHA’s efforts. But not long after his return the home pack claimed the bonus try. Almost immediately, though, it was Michael Fox’s turn to see a yellow card, and Peebles finished the day’s scoring with a
try for Matt Carryer, another off lineout ball.

It wasn’t a rugby spectacle for the neutral, but it showed up a difference in desire and game management as GHA stuck to a game plan of direct rugby in the wet conditions as Peebles chopped and changed their game to find a winning formula.

Source: Bill McMurtrie & Peebles RFC, Monday 4th November 2013

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