South playing in the yellow and blacks strips with the North playing in the red and white. It was good to see some old rugby faces return to the fold and a special referee appearance by Al Watson. The first half saw South kick off playing towards Kirkwall Bay.
First 10 mins were mainly contested between both teams 10m lines with the occasional line breaks by South’s Aaron Harvey on the far side needing 3 North players to bring him down and Ryan Mooney exploiting good foot work and a gap in the defence.
North’s Defence proved to be a tough nut to crack forcing south to knock on. Scrum ensued being retained by north and cleared by Alan Thomson.
Both sides went back and forward with the conditions proving to hinder champagne rugby being played with a wet muddy ball. The first bit of phase play rugby saw the North’s Alan Thomson nudge the ball into the South’s 22 almost bouncing out. South’s Alan Pirie came across to do his fullback duties and accidently fumbled the ball into the North’s Andrew Linklater’s hands and after a few passes they were held about 5m out from the South’s try line.
South’s defence was the winner in that exchange and managed to turn the ball over and clear their lines which moved the game back in the middle off the pitch. After a few football style kicks Andrew Linklater brought possession back into the hands which then saw the North’s Robbie Fergus have one of his many incredible carries.
Unfortunately, the ball was turned over by South’s Ally Amer,passed out to Mooney who used his superb speed and footwork to score under the posts with Bruce Pinkerton making it 7-0 South. Not much between the sides so far.
The North spent the next 5/10 mins camped in the South’s half mainly thanks to hard carries by the forwards, with the Captain Murray Simpson leading by example. After a period of pressure North were rewarded with a penalty 7m out and the classic shove it up the jumper approach resulted in a try to North’s Robbie Fergus who bulldozed his way over. 2 points added by Thomson. 7-7
The rest of the half was filled with various exchanges of scrums, lineouts, clearance kicks, big carries and trips into each teams 22s.
Second half kicked off by the North now playing towards Kirkwall Bay. The South immediately showed their intentions of winning the game by some good forward carries with the ball then shipped to Mooney who found himself with plenty of space and a defensive line in front of him made up of front row forwards. Needless to say, Mooney won that contest and when tackled close to the North’s 10m line he showed good hands to offload to Keith Deerness who was brought down by the North’s Fergus who tuned over the ball.
Line out ball retained by South who create a driving maul pushing the North back to about 10m off their line. Spotting a gap on the blindside, South’s Matin Wishart takes the ball from the back of the maul and carries hard scoring the South’s second try. Conversion missed.
North kick off but soon found themselves back in their own half due to the South carrying hard. Some champagne rugby soon followed with some good phase play and offloads with the North’s defence unable to cope. Try number 3 soon followed scored by South’s Martin Harper with a strong carry bouncing several tackles. Pinkerton adding the 2.
The North, trying to find some tries to get back in the game, spent most of the rest of the game camped in the South’s half. A combination of good defence by South and some poor rucking by the North, the South seemed to break down the attack and turn over the ball. They were rewarded with a 4th try scored by Pinkerton after pressure by South forced north to try clear their lines but unluckily it hit off one of their players into the hands of Ryan Arcus who offloaded to Pinkerton. Pinkerton adds the 2
Linklater kicked off with a short grubber kick which he retained. Some good carries by the North and poor discipline from the South led to a penalty on the South’s 5m line. Only one way that was going, the theme of the day tuck it up the jumper and carry hard. This resulted in a good forward try. Linklater missing the attempt at goal.
Final Score 26-12 the south.
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