If a week is long time in politics, then the seven weeks between Hills last game at Fort Matilda on December 11 and their next game at Perthshire seemed like an eternity. The performance was as if many of the Hills players were weighed down by “ ring rust”, such was the slowness of the game’s moves. To be fair, the pitch did not help , it was undulating and soft in places, making it very difficult for the Hills three quarters to put any pace on the ball. Despite Hills having approx. 80% of the territorial advantage in the first half, the Perthshire forwards held their own well against the visitors driven line out mauls. Certainly Conor Ferguson, the Hills captain, was positive in that period, always opting for the penalty kick to touch and the subsequent line out. But despite all the “huffing and puffing”, the game was scoreless after the first 40 with the hosts barely featuring in attack. However such was the physicality of the forwards’ exchanges, the “ Mighty Atom “ ( aka Preston McGoldrick) had to be replaced following a head knock.
The second half, extended in duration, due to lengthy spells of treatment for Hills’ injuries to Ross Jackson and Giacomo Sanders, both of whom were replaced, was almost a carbon copy of the first. Hills were in the ascendancy, but unable to break through. All throughout the game, Scott Halliday, at 12 for the Hills, was exceptional both in attack and defence and it was down to his rugby nous that the first score finally came in the 70th minute. He attacked well, and, from the breakdown, Rory Harte’s fast hands created space for an excellent finisher’s try from winger, Ciaran Callaghan. The Perthshire dam was broken and Damien Genocchio made sure of the win by a trademark try, scything through the disintegrating home defence. There were no extras from either of the scores as Hills kicker, stand off Rory Harte, had, for him, a forgettable day off the tee.
This was a hard fought victory, but the players and coaches will know they will have to find higher gears to play against visitors Lasswade in their table topping clash at Hughenden on Saturday January 29th, KO 14.00. New start, Lillian Villon, impressed at hooker, as did all the back three, Russell Tong, Ruiri Taylor and Ciaran Callaghan, but all the squad will require their “A” game on the 29th to record a win.
|January 22, 2022||TBD||Tennent's National League Division 3||2021-22|
|Perthshire RFC 1st XV||0|
|HJRFC Men 1st XV||10|
Perthshire RFC 1st XV
HJRFC Men 1st XV