Battered And Bruised Ross Progress To Semi Finals

Trinity Accies RFC vs. Ross – Sutherland RFC
Regional Bowl Quarter Final
26th March 2011
14- 17
Ross-Sutherland secured there first away win of the season this past Saturday with a 17 to 14 points win against Edinburgh side Trinity Accies RFC and with it booked themselves a place in the Semi Finals of the Regional Bowl.
Trinity were first to gain the advantage of this evenly balanced tie with pressure on the Ross defence giving away a penalty on the twenty two. The home team opted to go for the posts and the subsequent kick was successful for Trinity to go three points up.

Trinity looked to continue to add to this good start and test the Ross defence early, but the Ross-Sutherland defence was equal to the home sides attack limiting there scoring opportunity to a drop goal attempt that drifted wide at the last minute.  

The Ross-Sutherland forwards started to enjoy more and more of the position, with a series of pick and drives from the base of rucks putting the Trinity defence on the back foot. The Trinity defence would be tested further still when Ross winger Gareth Braddock got his hands on a loose clearance and after making a darting run into the heart of the midfield showed quick hands to set opposite winger Mike Gordon free and was caught late by the Trinity No10 who was shown yellow for challenge much to the disproval of the home crowd. 

From then on Ross were camped in the trinity half for much of the half testing the home teams defence on numerous occasions with Scrum half Stuart Mack continually alternating the point of attack from the forwards to the backs. When flying winger Mike Gordon found a sniff of space out wide it looked like he was in for the first try of the match but the Trinity defence held firm to put him out in the corner. With the end of the half fast approaching the visitors had the chance to equal the score when they were awarded a penalty well inside the Trinty half but the kick was pushed wide by Captain Stuart Mack bringing the half to an end with the home team up three points to nil.

Ross were awarded another penalty early in the second half giving Stuart Mack another opportunity with the boot this time he made no mistake in front of the posts and scene was set for an exciting second half with the score all square at three points a piece.

It was then the turn of Trinity, enjoying a good spell of pressure putting together waves of attack through there mobile back line that tested the Ross defence stretching it to the limit but points were to be slim pickings today with all the pressure resulting in a single converted penalty but it was enough to see the home side put there noses in front.

Ross-Sutherland were not about to sit back and watch this opportunity for a semi final spot pass them buy, The Ross front row were working hard at the break down to secure good ball allowing the likes of Ken Mackenzie and Ruaridh Waugh in the back row to start hitting the line a pace and punching wholes in the trinity defence to get over the game line

It was through this momentum along with a series of quick tap and go penalty’s that allowed the old warrior Gerry Rosie to hit the line at pace and after bouncing off several tackles went over for the first try of the match. The kick was converted by Stuart Mack

Trinity took advantage of Ross-Sutherlands indiscipline to hit back with a penalty of there own and bring the game back to a single point. But it was Ross that again went over for the second try of the game again the damage coming from dominant forward play combined with great off-loading and when Ross were awarded a penalty and the trinity five meter line big Lachie Stewart showed great strength to bulldoze through and stretch for the line. The conversion was again converted by Stuart Mack as the cup tie reached fever pitch at 17 points to 9 in Ross’s favour. 

True to the nature of this cup-tie, with ten minutes still remaining Trinity hit the Ross defence with attack after attack as they tried desperately to rescue this tie the pressure paid off with a try from rolling maul off a line out ten meters from the Ross line. The conversion attempt was missed.

This signalled the end of the match, which was met with jubilant scenes of celebration by the battered and bruised Ross-Sutherland players as they progress to the semi-final for only the second time in the clubs history and one game away from a taking to the pitch at Murrayfield.                

Ross-Sutherland Stags travel away to Strathendrick RFC this Saturday in the semi-final of the Regional Bowl competion and one game away from a trip to Murrayfield, which would be a huge achievement for the club.  Ross are the only Northern team left in any of the Scottish rugby cup competitions.
Ross-Sutherland First IV: 1. G.Rosie 2. M. Kennedy 3. K. Drain 4. A. Ansbro 5. K. Mackenzie 6. G.Smith 7. R. Waugh 8. L. Stewart 9. S. Mack 10. A. Kennedy 11. M. Gordon 12. D.Kennedy 13. J. Eaglesham 14. G.Braddick 15. J.Sutherland subs: J. Mann, B.Parkes, K. Thomas, A.Maclean, K. Dalrimple