Tries by Dale Clancy (2) & Shanon Temita; Neil Warnock added 3 conversions
In the course of a week, Peebles went from saints to sinners as they were totally outclassed by bottom of the table's GHA at Braidholm on Saturday. The home side backs were more alert to the game and constantly wrong footed the Peebles defence who for once slid of tackles all throughout. "They missed more tackles today than they have for the rest of the season" said a perturbed Director of Rugby, Bob Hogarth.
The previous week's report in the GHA program stated "... GHA could have little complaint about the defeat as they use little of their undoubted advantage in the pace of their outside backs." Unfortunately for the Gytes men they did the exact opposite this week as fullback, Ross McClymont, constantly wrong footed the visitors and set up try after try, especially for centre and captain, Niall Cassie who grabbed 4 tries in the game, whilst scrum half, Andrew Gillman and 2nd row, Simon Shearer scored the other 2..
Other than defence, the home team were quickly in on tackled Peebles players stealing a lot of unprotected ball on the ground and whilst it was felt that some of their actions were illegal, the played the referee to a T and until a yellow card in the second half, got away with most of their transgressions, whilst Peebles were penalised ad infinitum. How easily this occurred will give the coaches much work to do before the game against Gala which Peebles must win to stay in the top 4 for the split.
The home side got off to a cracking start, leading 15 points to nil and not looking good for Peebles. Peebles did show some flourishes and grabbed back Dale Clancy's firsts try mid way through the first half, converted by Neil Warnock, as the travelling supporters breathed a sigh of relief in the hope that a turnaround had started. This was dispelled shortly thereafter as two further tries and a conversion, was countered by Dale Clancy's second, converted by Neil Warnock just before the interval that brought a half time score of 27 points to 14 and a cliff to climb for the Tweed Homes men who had to turn to face the slight slope.
Although Peebles knocked on the kick off, they won the encounter after the scrum and hope emerged, just as Shanon Temita did from a maul driving hard over the line under the posts, converted by Neil Warnock to make the score 27 - 21.
Then disaster struck as Drew Moore dived over the line, only for the referee to be unsighted and give a held up decision. Worse still the Peebles skipper was eventually led from the pitch clutching his arm indicating a dislocated shoulder. Flanker Euan Jackson who had been playing very well, moved to scrum half and deputised well; David Brown came on in the flank but along with influential centre Dave Mclean leaving with a suspected cruciate injury, the moment passed and Peebles could not get sufficiently into the game, whilst the home backs continued to tantalise them as they added the additional 2 tries and conversion to complete the rout.
Peebles travelled to GHA with hopes high that they could confirm their top four place before the final game against Gala. They left with that hope in tatters, and must beat Gala who confirmed their place along with Edinburgh Accies and Aberdeen Grammar Rugby means that the fight for the final place is now a 3 horse race between Peebles, Falkirk and Hillhead/Jordanhill.
1 Willie Aitken 11 Martin Cruickshank
2 Ryan McConnell 12 David McLean
3 Adam Clark 13 Dale Clancy
4 David Harvey 14 Neil Hogarth
5 Andrew Brown 15 Donald Anderson
6 Shanon Temita 16 Matt Carryer
7 Euan Jackson 17 Kenneth Clyde
8 Allan Warnock 18 David Brown
9 Drew Moore 19 Connor Blyth
10 Neil Warnock 20