Stornoway RFC vs. Ross – Sutherland RFC
RBS Caledonia Regional Bowl Round 2
29th October 2011
Ross Sutherland rugby Club left it late to progress to the quarter finals stages of the RBS Caledonia Regional Bowl as Stornoway pushed and fought all the way to the final whistle.
Stornoway won the toss and decided to take advantage of the slight down hill made even greater with the strong wind behind them. This seen the visiting Stags on the back foot form the off and with the forward conceding an early penalty three minutes in for being offside at the ruck it was an easy three points for the home side to take the lead.
The majority of the first half seen both teams involved in an arm wrestle up front as both sides looked to break down and out muscle each others defence, a battle that Stornoway looked to be winning as they testing the Ross defence again and again. The Ross defence was holding firm and when Ross were awarded a penalty twenty minutes in scrum half Johnny Mann stepped up to levelled the points at three a piece. Stornoway were unable to take advantage of there position and territory as the whistle blew for half time 3 points to 3.
At half time Ross coach Rob Parks asked for the work rate to be upped in this second half as this game was still anyone’s to win.
It was the Stags that tipped the scale in there favour as they were awarded another penalty early in this second half with Johnny Mann slotting it through the posts from out wide to put the visitors 6 points up to 3.
It was then the turn of Stornoway to bring the fight to Ross which they did through a well worked drop goal from the Stornoway Stand off to bring this game level with just over twenty minutes to play.
Ross Sutherland again swung the game in there favour with the first try of the match. With a strong scrum set in there own twenty two No 8. Kenneth Mackenzie broke off the back of the scrum passed the blind side flanker and sucked in the winger to pop the pass out to flying wing Mike Gordon and with the wind behind him he beat the Stornoway full back to go over under the posts with the extra points being added by Johnny Mann, with Ross going up by 13points to 6.
From the restart Stornoway had the chance to take the game to within four points as they were awarded a penalty in front of the posts but the Ross players were able to breathe a little easer as they watched the effort drift wide. Stornoway were to find the task even harder as with ten minutes to go Stornoway were reduced to 14 men as the Stornoway centre was sinned binned for repeated infringements at the ruck. John mann putting the resulting penalty through the uprights to extend the lead to 16 points to 6
From then on Ross had the winded behind them. With the backs taking advantage of the man overlap and it was only a matter of time before Ross were over for there second combing well out wide winger Ross Mellis showed great hands to pop the ball inside to veteran Iain Thompson. Johnny Mann was also showing great form with the boot to again put over the extra points to go up 23points to 6.
Ross had time for one more try and the last word went to the Ross forward pack as flanker Ruaridh Waugh made a break in midfield he found Jake Eaglesham who had moved int the second row in support who went over the line for a well worked forwards try. Johnny Mann again adding the conversion to finish off the match with a 100% record with the boot as Ross finished the match 30points to 6 and heading through to the quarter finals of the competition.
Coach Rob Parkes “Some periods of great play, unfortunately it was mixed with plenty of average phases. Our defence was good but we still need to work on line speed in defence and up the fitness to maintain pressure and tempo throughout, some very pleasing individual performances made for an entertaining game and fair result, but overall delighted with the boys in what has been a long day and looking forward to the quarter finals”
Final score 6 – 30
1. S. Reid, 2.D. Edes, 3 D. Ross, 4.J. Dickinson, 5.A. Ansbro, 6 R. Waugh, 7.S. Munro, 8.K. Mackenzie, 9.J. Mann, 10.D. Kennedy (Capt), 11 M. Gordon, 12.J. Eaglesham, 13.K. Thomas, 14.R. Mellis, 15.B. Parks, Subs – A. Maclean, L. Sinclair, I. Thompson.