Strathmore RFC 1 XV vs HJRFC Men 1st XV

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Recap

HILLS SNATCH DEFEAT FROM THE JAWS OF VICTORY

Strathmore 14 points Hillhead Jordanhill  12 points

Although the bare stats. might suggest  a “ game of two halves”  – after  40 minutes  Hills were 12-0 up – this was more a case of the one that got away from the Glasgow visitors.  The playing surface was heavy  and cut up badly as the game progressed,  to such an extent that the match referee, the estimable J P Doyle, could have been  forgiven,  in the final 20 minutes of this absorbing  fixture,  for not knowing which player was in which side,  such was the cloying mud on everyone.

Yet in the first 40 minutes  when there were still some patches of green on the field, Hills played some good rugby with stand off  Rory Harte’s  kicking from hand producing significant territorial gains. Callum Griffiths  was immense in ball carrying and all the unglamorous  chores  of the back row forward, while Giacomo Sanders was a very effective front of the line out jumper.  Strathmore  were rarely out of their half  in this period and were under huge territorial pressure.  The hosts, however,  had not been helped by an injury to one of their props  during the warm up, and then, after only 5 minutes play, one of their centres went off.   Paradoxically  the game started to turn in their favour when uncontested scrums were required after only 30 minutes,  following another front  row injury. Up until that point, the Hills scrummage had been a very potent weapon, driving Strathmore back frequently, but once it became depowered, the visitors  attacking ploys off first  phase ball diminished. All Hills points  came courtesy of Rory Harte’s eye for the gap with two short range scores off quickly delivered ruck ball.    One of these was converted.

Hills travelling support all felt confident  about their team’s ability to cross for more tries in the second half, but the visitors  lost their way badly by trying to play more of an expansive game than they had in the first half.    Being 15 metres behind  the gain line is not the game plan when there is mud  everywhere and the forwards prefer the ball in front of them,  and not out in the wide channels.  The hosts were then invited back into the game,  and their half backs, Mellis and Butchart,  made the most of it by returning  turnover  ball back down the field with increasing regularity. Craig Colvin at the back for Hills became increasingly pressurised,  and Hills began to crack,  even after the emptying of the replacements’  bench.  Strathmore  were now on the front  foot,  and it was no surprise that they scored two good close range tries, both of which were converted  to take them 2 points ahead with only 8 minutes left  to play.    Hills did try to raise their game by camping in the opposition  twenty two,  but try as they might,  their hosts were not for buckling with bodies  being regularly thrown in the way of their opponents. The final whistle produced  scenes of joy among the home support  and players,   but  ones of utter devastation among the visitors.

To say that Hills have lost their way after streaking into the lead at the top of the table with 5 straight wins is no understatement.  It is hoped the hard lessons  learned of how to play wet weather rugby  on heavy grounds will be very quickly assimilated,  as this week’s weather  forecast suggests more of the same  for their visit to Fort Matilda  to play Greenock Wanderers on Saturday December 11th at 14.00.

Details

Date Time League Season
December 4, 2021 TBD Tennent's National League Division 3 2021-22

Results

TeamPoints
Strathmore RFC 1 XV14
HJRFC Men 1st XV12

Strathmore RFC 1 XV

Position T C P DG
 0000

HJRFC Men 1st XV

Position T C P DG
 0000

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