Super Series Sprint: Glasgow Warriors A blow Boroughmuir Bears away

Pro back-up side bounce back from opening weekend loss with muscular and clinical performance

Glasgow Warriors A on the attack against Boroughmuir Bears at Meggetland. Image: Jim McGoldrick
Glasgow Warriors A on the attack against Boroughmuir Bears at Meggetland. Image: Jim McGoldrick

Boroughmuir Bears 12

Glasgow Warriors A 54

ALAN LORIMER @ Meggetland

BOROUGHMUIR BEARS  felt the full force and sheer raw anger of a Glasgow Warriors A side desperate to atone for their defeat to Ayrshire Bulls a week earlier and in the event the Meggetland men were unable to resist the massive physical superiority of the visitors’ forward pack that profited from four maul tries.

It was hard at times to figure out how Bears could combat the firepower of Warriors but to their credit the home side’s  set-scrum remained solid throughout. It was, however, in the driving maul where Warriors had a huge advantage and that combined with the intelligent and powerful running of their back-row trio accounted for so much of the points tally by the end of the game.

Reflecting on the change of fortune from last week to this week, Warriors’ coach Pete Horne suggested:  “Last week we were a wee bit disappointed with our performance against Ayr. We felt we created a bit in the first half but didn’t take our chances, then in the second half we were a wee bit sloppy. We lost a bit of edge in the physical battle. But this week we challenged boys. We had a great week in training. We prepared well against the Warriors team that played last night against the Scarlets and caused them some problems on the Tuesday.


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“We got a lot out of today. The boys looked like they were professional players today. And that’s exactly what we’re after.  The back-row were brilliant: Gregor Brown was outstanding and we had two quality young hookers out there in Gus Fraser and Gregor Hiddleston. It was great to see them come out and really impose themselves. We dominated up front which made it easy for us but there was a lot of hard work went into that.”

For Bears, there was some satisfaction in scoring two tries but overall this was harsh lesson for a side that is aiming to be less ‘semi’ and more ‘pro’.

“We were just outclassed and outperformed,” conceded Graham Shiel, the Boroughmuir Bears head coach. “Glasgow came here with their tails between their legs and they were wanting to hand out a lesson. We struggled up front and in getting our defensive systems in place. We gave them too much respect and too much space. It was tough but we’ve got to take learnings out of this.

“We’ve got a lot of young players who aspire to play in the pro game and that’s the standard they need to reach to enable them to do that. It’s a pretty clear indicator of how far we are off the required standard and of how much we have to do. These guys have got to find ways of playing at this level. But it only gets tougher with Ayrshire Bulls coming here next,” concluded Shiel.

It was clear from the outset that Warriors were still smarting from their reverse against Bulls in round one of the competition, manifested by a muscular approach and a domination of possession that gave the Meggetland men little opportunity to show their skills.

Warriors quickly showed their determination to stamp their authority in the game by scoring in the opening two minutes of play with a maul drive that produced a try for hooker Fraser. Duncan Weir added the conversion and the veteran Scotland fly-half was then called into action off the tee to convert a solo try by back-row Ally Miller.

Bears, already under pressure, were placed under greater strain when wing Mason Cullen was yellow carded. From the subsequent penalty play Warriors again showed their power game with a powerful driving maul that created a second try for Fraser.

 

Once again Weir added the extras and within minutes the Warriors stand-off made it four from four off the tee after converting his side’s bonus point try, scored by back-row Euan Ferrie off a perfectly angled run from five metres out.

It looked as though Warriors would claim a third maul try only for the Bears to collapse the moving mass giving referee Ian Kenney no option but award a penalty try.

Fortunately for the game, Bears managed to find attacking confidence, triggered by a mazy run from Cullen. Then, when second row Jack Fisher broke clear there was a sense that the Meggetland side might achieve a breakthrough.  The perception was correct; seconds later Cullen chasing a clever grubber kick won the sprint for the touchdown to score a much needed try for the home side leaving Bears trailing 5-35 at half time.

The somewhat one-sided game flow continued in the second half as first Brown finished off yet another maul drive with an unconverted try and then replacement Ben Ashfar dotted the ball down after telling handling by Warriors, this time Christian Townsend converting for a 47-5 lead.

Bears, however, responded positively, with a clever kick by Tom Quinlan and gather by Callum Ramm, who took the ball to the Warriors’ line allowing the supporting Craig Keddie to score on the follow-up, Quinlan adding the conversion.

It was left to Warriors to have the final say in scoring, as replacement Ross McKnight made a simple interception of an over-ambitious pass to score a try, Townsend’s conversion signing off a comfortable win.

 

Teams –

Boroughmuir Bears: C Ramm; M Cullen, K Johnston, S Robeson, J Jenkins; T Quinlan, R Swan; I Carmichael, C Tait, M McGinley, J Fish, J King, C Keddie, S McGinley, T Andrews. Subs: J Blyth-Lafferty, B Sweet, M Goodwin, A Allen, K Westlake, B Young, A Scott, A Thom.

Glasgow Warriors A: C Townsend; A Caqusau, B Salmon, D Munn, L Jarvie; D Weir, S Kennedy;J Drummond, A Fraser, M Walker, M Williamson, A Samuel, A Miller, E Ferrie, G Brown. Subs: G Hiddleston, L Sordoni, H McLeod, A Smeaton, B Afshar, A Bogidrau, R McKnight.

Referee: Ian Kenney

 

Scorers –

Boroughmuir Bears: Tries Cullen, Keddie; Con: Quinlan.

Glasgow Warriors A: Tries Fraser 2, Penalty Try, Ferrie, Miller, Brown, Afshar, McKnight; Cons: Weir 4, Townsen 2.

Scoring Sequence (Boroughmuir first):  0-5; 0-7; 0-12; 0-14; 0-19; 0-21; 0-26; 0-28; 0-35; 5-35 (h-t) 5-40; 5-45; 5-47; 10-47; 12-47; 12-52; 12-54

Yellow cards –

Boroughmuir Bears: Cullen (25mins)

 

Man-of-the-Match: Many good performers in the Warriors side but none better than their No 8 Gregor Brown. The former Robert Gordon’s College back-row showed that he is back to form and as such will be challenging for a place in the full team.

Talking point: It’s difficult when a semi-pro side does not have the muscular wherewithal to take on a full pro side. That was the story of today; Warriors showed the standard to which the semi-pros aspire to attain. Bears have a little way to go yet.


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About Alan Lorimer 366 Articles
Scotland rugby correspondent for The Times for six years and subsequently contributed to Sunday Times, Daily and Sunday Telegraph, Scotsman, Herald, Scotland on Sunday, Sunday Herald and Reuters. Worked in Radio for BBC. Alan is Scottish rugby journalism's leading voice when it comes to youth and schools rugby.

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