Edinburgh Accies 31
ALAN LORIMER @ Raeburn Place
EDINBURGH ACCIES gave themselves a Christmas bonus with a four-try victory over Jed-Forest that lifts the Stockbridge men back off the foot of the table, ahead of nit just Musselburgh but also their Riverside opponents.
In a game played at as a yet an unreconstructed Raeburn Place, Iain Berthinussen‘s side put behind them some dispiriting results to post a winning performance that halted Jed’s renaissance run. Crucially Accies secured a bonus point, albeit with a debatable penalty try and over the piece deserved their victory from a performance that put an emphasis on defence and territory-winning play from the forwards.
“There was a real grunt in our defence that has been missing over the last two or three weeks. I thought the boys got on with doing their job today. But there’s still a hell of a hill to climb.” suggested Berthinussen. “We talked this week about things like not getting out of our half. We didn’t want to score out a positive with a negative by giving away a try as soon as we had scored. There were elements of that today.
Accies benefitted from the return at stand-off of Jamie Loomes, whose tactical kicking and general control of the game gave the home team an advantage. Also impressive for the home side was outside centre Ruari Campbell. “This is the fourth game we’ve played Ruari at centre and it appears to be working for us,” said Berthinussen. “He’s a very good sevens player, so he defends well and gets quite a few turnovers.”
It has to be said that Accies were helped by mistakes in handling and poor judgment at times by Jed, who never really showed the rhythm in their game that brought them success in their previous two matches.
“When we were in attack we broke the line on several occasions but squandered chances with risky offloads,” said beaten head coach Gavin Kerr. “Accies played the game through the forwards. They got into the 22 with pick and go.
“There are things we have to tighten up on. We have to be more accurate. There’s a lot of good things about our play but mistakes are killing us at crucial times. When we were in good scoring positions we gave the ball away.”
Jed were not helped by a knee injury to Callum Young that forced the Scotland 7s squad player to retire at half-time. Nor did it help that second-row Gregor Law was yellow carded after Accies had scored a penalty try.
Jed looked the livelier of the two sides in the opening phases of play but Accies were the first to get points on the board with a try by Loomes after pick-and-drive play by the home forwards. Full-back Callum Ramm kicking the conversion.
The Riverside team replied almost immediately with a powerful line-out drive and then a break by Gary Munro whose pass sent Rory Marshall sprinting to the line. Robbie Yourston’s conversion levelling the scores.
Minutes after the excellent break by Munro, the stand-off dropped a pass in his side’s 22, giving Accies a scrum from which they kept the ball tight and ground their way to the line for a forwards try credited to Chris Thomson and converted by Ramm.
Just before half-time, Accies struck once more, again using the driving power for their forwards from a line-out. Sean Crombie appeared to have completed the forward rumble but surprisingly referee John Smith awarded a penalty try and equally surprisingly sent Jed’s Gregor Law to the bin.
Buoyed by the success of their forwards, Accies refused to change a successful formula and reaped a further result minutes after the break when repeated picking and driving ended with back-row Jack Bruce grounding the ball, Ramm again converting.
Jed then gave themselves some hope of a fightback when scrum half Nik Stingl picked out the unmarked Dom Buckley, who raced over for his side’s second try, converted by Yourston.
However, any notion Jed had of rescuing the game was shot to pieces when Ramm kicked a penalty goal to seal an Accies’ win.
Edinburgh Accies: C Ramm; R Wilson, R Campbell, N Armstrong, H McLean; J Loomes, M Love; C Imrie, S Crombie, D Anderson, R McConnell, D Dinnen, C Thomson, J Sole, J Bruce. Subs: C Black, C Lacour, C Bain, B Grainger, R Bonner.
Jed-Forest: L Young; C Young, R Marshall, R Yourston, J Laing; G Munro, N Stingl; T Jeffrey, F Scott, P Ferreira, B Saxton, G Law, G Young, M Weekley, D Buckley. Subs: F Scott, H Meadows, A Keeler, F Harkness, J McGough.
Referee: John Smith (Edinburgh RS)
Edinburgh Accies: Tries: Loomes, Thomson, Bruce, Penalty Try; Cons: Ramm 3; Pen: Ramms.
Jed-Forest: Tries: Marshall, Buckley; Cons: Yourston 2.
Scoring Sequence (Edinburgh Accies first): 5-0; 7-0; 7-5; 7-7; 12-7; 14-7; 21-7 (h-t) 26-7; 28-7; 28-12; 28-14; 31-14.
Yellow cards –
Man-of-the-Match: Stand-off Jamie Loomes had been missing from the Accies side for several weeks after suffering a hamstring strain. His return against Jed gave Accies the tactical kicking they needed. Moreover he tackled well and showed how to take a try scoring chance.
Talking point: It’s always good receive a boost before the Christmas break and Edinburgh Accies will certainly benefit psychologically from their victory over Jed. For Jed, it was a winter solstice set-back in a match when their much vaunted backline was held in check by a determined Accies defence.