Accies have a day to remember in the autumn sunshine
With the 1st XV taking on a big and well drilled side from Gordonians and the 2nd XV taking on the ‘old enemy’ across the fence all was set for some serious rugby!
Both the 1st XV and the Bobcats, as the 2nd XV have called themselves, are training together and playing to the same game plan, so movement between the two sides is easy. This has proved to be very valuable as the players who have moved up can testify. Every player who attends training is getting the best coaching support that the club can provide, with 5 coaches out regularly on Tuesday and Thursday, and the results are showing that it is working. There is clearly a terrific team spirit throughout the club. The 2nd XV players are putting real pressure on the 1’s which is what every club aims for. However it has to be said that the 2’s this season have benefitted from some really good coaching from Stuart Simmers and Fraser McCready and the whole Club is benefitting from their enthusiasm.
Today’s performance against GHK 2’s was an outstanding effort, against a side that are clearly competing for promotion, so a bonus point win, 27 -17, was fantastic. The Bobcats now sit top of Regional Reserve League 1.
Mike Belch’s 4th XV lunch was a fantastic success and the 50 plus participants appeared to enjoy the whole occasion.
The 1st XV took to the field on a beautiful autumnal afternoon. The Gordonians side were one of the biggest packs that Accies have played and in their outside centre and fullback they had a real threat.
Therefore it was not a real surprise that the first 20 minutes of this encounter demonstrated that Gordonians are a side with pride and commitment and a very powerful pack and backs that can test defences. For the first 15 minutes they camped themselves inside the Accie’s half. It was the superbly organised and disciplined defence that frustrated them. Eventually Accies did break out and looked the side they can be, when a spilled pass created a gap for the very talented and speedy stand-off who proceeded to run from well inside his own half to the touch line for the first try of the game. This was wide out and despite the fact that he was a left footed kicker on the right hand side of the pitch the conversion was missed. 0 – 5
Accies were clearly stung by this and were quickly back on the attack. Despite the obvious size advantage of the Gordonians pack, Accies forwards were now on top of their opponents and when Accies, extremely mobile pack, started to launch some serious ball carries they were breaking the gain line on most occasions. It is one of the great sights in any match to see forwards taking the ball wide and running with real commitment. So it was fitting when Accies got themselves into the opposition red zone that after several near misses it was Ryan Sweeney who crossed the whitewash for the first try. Good conversion by Jamie Loomes 7 – 5
Almost from the restart Accies were once again putting real pressure on the Gordonians defence and after some movement with, as usual, forwards and backs working together the gap opened and Jake McCready was on hand to convert it into 5 points. Well deserve for all his supporting work in this half. Good conversion by Jamie Loomes 14 – 5
In the space of 5 minutes Accies had turned the game and were now looking very confident.
Half-time 14 – 5
The second half got underway and we were about to be treated to 40 minutes of quality rugby. Both sides play expansive rugby and work hard to defend with attitude. However the Accies back division were now working off good position and were looking dangerous. From a lineout inside Gordonians 22 the ball was initially driven by the forwards then the ball was moved beautifully through two pairs of hands to Stewart Gray who committed two defenders and off to Jamie Loomes who again drew the covering defenders and a beautiful line was taken by Chris Woods as he ran over for the try.
Another successful conversion from an inform Jamie Loomes 21 – 5
Gordonians were clearly not going to make life easy for Accies, their defence was good and by using their big forwards and a fullback and outside centre that will cause many defences some serious headaches, they managed to work their way into Accies half but again well drilled and effective defence from all fifteen players, Accies took the spoils in that area of the game.
When Accies managed to get to within five metres of the try line, our captain and second row forward Chris Johnstone, had no hesitation in going for the scrum. A solid shove to within 1 metre of the line gave Ryan Sweeney a perfect platform to pick up and dive over.
Yes, it was clearly Jamie Loomes day as the 4th conversion soured over 28 – 5
From the kick off Ruaridh ‘Rob Roy’ Wilson carried the ball back at Gordonians and started off a movement that took Accies into the oppositions half. Two or three lovely passages of play saw the ball 30 metres out from the line and who but Ruaridh Wilson was on hand to drive towards the posts and when he was stopped the irrepressible Jamie Loomes was on hand to take the off load and score beside the posts – just beautiful.
Jamie was clearly relaxed and stoked the conversion over 35 – 5
Accies were now moving with a fluidity that we have become accustomed to this season and were playing some superb rugby that would do any side in national rugby proud.
Once again the forwards were running and recycling the ball and gaining ground and the back division was moving the ball from one side of the pitch to the other. It was not a surprise to see the Gordonians defence tire and a few gaps appear. Through one of those went (lost for words) Jamie Loomes and when he was stopped finally it was the remarkable Ryan Sweeney who was on hand to collect the pass and cross for his third try. Conversion 42 – 5
The relentless amount of defending must have been taking its toll on Gordonians but to be honest it certainly didn’t look like it.
With the game entering it’s final minutes Accies were pressing inside Gordonians 22 and from a lineout 20 meters out and on the stand side of the pitch, the pack laid the ball on a plate for Josh Waldin to set the backs on their way. A training ground move was executed superbly and with two passes and a beautifully angles run, Scott Simmons was clear and romped home for the final try. To be honest this scribe would love to have seen the final move in slow motion as it had all the skills and quality that you love to see during a game.
I think Jamie relaxed too much and would you believe it missed the conversion 47 – 5
Full-time 47 – 5
This was a match for the rugby enthusiast and first time watcher alike. It had two packs of high quality forwards who came prepared for the battle, some superb running and passing from the back divisions, and two defences who were organised and committed. Gordonians came to play open rugby and look like a side that will make a serious impact on National rugby, however today they come up against an Accies side that was keen to make amends for last week. As I said “you learn from your losses”.
We now have a three week rest during the Autumn Internationals and I am sure the players will be kept fit and prepared for the resumption on Dec 2nd at Newton Stewart, who are second in the league. It is our hope that we can organise a special bus to take down around 25 supporters to cheer the players on. It would leave New Anniesland around 12.00 and return around 6.00pm, for a cost of £10. If you would like to join us and support the boys please email me asap. This would be separate from the player’s bus. Let’s get behind the boys who are working so hard to achieve promotion!!!
Updated 19:31 - 6 Nov 2017 by Hugh Barrow