Boroughmuir Bears 0
COLIN RENTON @ Meggetland
WATSONIANS bagged a third successive win in the FOSROC Super6 Sprint competition with a workmanlike effort against their neighbours. It certainly wasn’t a game that would have had anyone on the edge of their seats, although there were some decent individual contributors on both sides. In the end, the result could be attributed to the greater team effort of the visitors, while Bears had some decent performers but struggled overall to make any impression, reflected by the fact they failed to score, although they could take some consolation from an improved second half effort.
While admitting that there are still areas needing work, Watsonians coach Fergus Pringle is happy with the progress the Myreside squad is making.
“I’m chuffed with the performance,” he said. “I thought we were really good without the ball. We really tried to play in the first half, we just didn’t quite get it going. There was a couple of errors around the breakdown where Boroughmuir managed to get in there. We just didn’t quite get the rhythm. But we came to play and although we didn’t quite get it going, the boys stuck in. Defensively I thought we were good”.
It was a different story in the home camp where there were certainly reasons for positivity, but a troubling lack of any threat to the opposition try line.
“Our guys stuck in really well. The fact that it was 12-0 with the last kick to go, we have to take a positive from that because to be honest we really weren’t in the game. If it had been a fight, it probably would have been stopped in 40-50 minutes,” said Pringle’s counterpart Graham Shiel. “But the guys kept working. We didn’t manage the pitch at all territorially. We were hardly in their half and that’s fundamentally the game. We need to look at it and make sure we’re addressing some of the issues. We’ll dust ourselves down.”
He remains convinced that he has the makings of a decent side, but concedes that it is still a work in progress. “We competed heavily in a physical game and in some ways that’s a step forward for us,” Shiel added. “It’s not a lack of effort or work-rate from the players. It’s just that ultimately we weren’t good enough.”
The Bears shortcomings in an attacking sense were evident from the start. The visitors enjoyed the better of the opening exchanges, and their early territorial supremacy paid off in nine minutes. From a scrum on the edge of the home 22, the ball was spun out to Joe Reynolds, who bounced through two tackles and stretched over for the opening try, with Jason Baggott banging over the conversion.
The intensity of the contest was high and Duncan Munn followed several of his colleagues in needing treatment after taking a hit that looked dangerous, but proved he had recovered with a smother tackle as Watsonians broke from deep a couple of minutes later.
Bears may have posed little threat to the opposition try line, but there was no lack of commitment in defence, with Hamish Bain outstanding and Craig Keddie also contributing to the tackle tally as the hosts quelled a lively Watsonians attack.
Rory Brand thought he had added a second try but play was called back for a double movement. However, momentum remained with the visitors and the score was only delayed until the 23rd minute when Brand popped the ball up for Lewis Berg whose perfectly angled run took him past two defenders for an unconverted touchdown.
The rain began to have an impact on the proceedings and attempting to play the ball became a higher-risk strategy for both sides, with a mounting knock-on count the inevitable result. On another day Watsonians might have lost men to the sin bin – or worse – for dangerous tackles on two occasions, then their luck ran out when a Brand hit on his opposite number, Ruiaridh Swan, earned him a yellow and ended his counterpart’s involvement in the game.
Having failed to pose any real questions in the first half, Bears sought to apply greater pressure in the early part of the second period. Harry Mercer put boot to ball in an attempt to turn the Watsonians defence, although visits to the 22 remained elusive and the third quarter came and went with neither side having come close to scoring.
The attrition continued as the game ticked towards its conclusion, although the visitors gradually regained the ascendancy. And they added three points to their haul with the final action of the afternoon when Lee Millar stroked over a 25-metre penalty.
Boroughmuir Bears: T Brown; G Faulds, D Munn, R McCallum (R Kerr 72), J Jenkins; H Mercer (A Scott 60), R Swan (M Johnstone 36); B Sweet (C Anderson 66), C Tait (I Carmichael 60), M McGinley (C Smith 51), J Fisher, H Bain (E Stewart 69), E Ferrie, R Tait (S McGinley 28), C Keddie©.
Watsonians Rugby: H Paterson; L MacPherson, L Berg, J Reynolds, A Guthrie (R Daley 73); j Baggott (L Millar 53), R Brand (R Frostwick 46); S Gunn (C Imrie 60) , C Davies© (P Harrison 60), G Scougall (C Norrie 73), L Ball (K Watt 60), K van Niekerk (H Fisher 73), S Cecil, K Main, I Moody.
Referee: G Ormiston
Watsonians: Tries:Reynolds, Berg; Con: Baggott; Pen: Millar.
Boroughmuir Bears: No scorers
Scoring sequence (Boroughmuir Bears first): 0-5; 0-7;’ 0-12 (h-t) 0-15.
Yellow Cards –
Man-of-the-match: Harry Paterson was eager to be involved and looked dangerous with ball in hand, while the Lewis Berg asked questions of the opposition defence and bagged a try. But it was his centre partner Joe Reynolds who earned the nod for his game management and try scoring contribution.
Talking point: The difference between the two sides was that all of the Watsonians players were good rather than outstanding, while Bears had some decent performances but too many individuals fell short.