Edinburgh Accies 45
JACK NIXON @ Raeburn Place
ONE hundred and fifty years on from the first rugby international at Raeburn Place, it might have been reasonable to expect a feast of running rugby would be on offer by way of celebrating the anniversary from Edinburgh Accies and Jed-Forest. What we got, in fact, was an example of the modern game, full of thunder, big hits and, in fairness, some champagne moments from the home side in the first half.
Accies were the vastly superior side for long spells, although the Borderers, when they found their touch, proved to be no slouches, running in three tries – but four less than their capital opponents.
Iain Berthinussen, the Accies head coach, was generally happy with his side’s seven-try performance. “Considering we have been out of competitive action for 18 months, this was a positive start to our campaign,” he said. “The downside is we gave away a total of 11 penalties which is too many. We need to learn to respect referees, even when we don’t agree with decisions but it’s a good result to take into our next game away to Musselburgh.”
His opposite number Scott Tomlinson was equally disappointed in his team’s discipline which enabled the home side to build on an 18th-minute try, scoring three tries in a 12-minute spell.
“Having started well we gave ourselves a mountain to climb,” Tomlinson said. “Instead of trailing by 28 points, we could have been 14 -7 up half way through the half but gave away possession through our indiscipline. But we will learn from this experience. I thought winger Keiran Hayes stepped up well from the junior ranks, something which doesn’t always happen in the Border game.”
The Riverside team could not have been helped by being held up on the Edinburgh bypass, resulting in the game starting 12 minutes late. Jed looked the more likely team to score at first, but then a number of home forward rushes led to flanker Jamie Sole plundering the visitors’ try line, with his score converted by stand-off Jamie Loomes.
Stung into action, Jed rallied only to be penalised when in control in their opponents’ 22. The Borderers paid dearly, losing three tries between the 28th minute and half-time, scored by Cole Imrie, Loomes and Ruaridh Campbell, all converted by Loomes (with two) and Richard Mill.
At half-time it looked all over, only for Tomlinson to lift his side with some homespun truths, resulting in a 43rd-minute touchdown from the alert Gregor Young. The wide awake winger stunned the home defence to go in for a try, converted by stand-off Gary Munro to make it 28 – 7, and possibly game on.
Accies were up to the challenge, however, composing themselves to make the game safe with three further tries, attributed to winger Mark Sinclair, Sole and Vincent Hart, two of which were converted by the overall excellent Loomes.
Late efforts from Jed’s Paul Ferriera and Rory Marshall ended the scoring in a generally entertaining game and perhaps a fitting tribute to the eight Academicals who graced the Scotland team all of 150 years ago at Raeburn Place on the very same pitch.
Edinburgh Accies: V Hart; H Janes, R Kent, R Mill, M Sinclair; J Loomes, B Grainger; T Cole, F McLaslan, C Lacour, F Simpson, S Whittaker, C Reid, J Sole, R Campbell. Subs used: R Simpson, R Montgomery, W Stephen.
Jed-Forest: L Young; R Shirra-Gibb, G (Gregor) Young, R Marshall, K Hayes; G Munro, N Stingl; G Paxton, F Campbell, H Meadows, C Skeldon, D Wardrop, G (Garry) Young, K Grieve, D Buckley. Subs used: A Stewart, P Ferriera, B Howe.
Referee: Samuel O’Neil.
Scorers : Edinburgh Accies: Tries: Sole 2, Imrie, Loomes, Campbell, Sinclair, Hart; Cons: Loomes 4, Mill.
Jed-Forest: Tries: G Young, Ferriera, Marshall; Cons: Munro 2.
Scoring sequence (Accies first): 5-0; 7-0; 12-0; 14-0; 19-0; 21-0; 26-0; 28-0 (h-t) 28-5; 28-7; 33-7; 38-7; 43-7; 45-7; 45-12,; 45-14; 45-19.
Man of the match: Accies flanker Jamie Sole who was a tower of strength in the home back, involving himself in all things good in the advance of his side.