Orkney Under 16s away v Ross Sutherland
Invergordon, Sunday 3rd October
A squad of 16 headed to Ross Sutherland on Sunday and were surprised to find some sunshine to play the match in.
Ross Sutherland had 11 players so 2 Orkney players went across to enable a 13 a side game to be played. It was agreed to make it 3 periods of 20 minutes to enable the Orkney players to rotate playing for Ross Sutherland.
There was good interplay between the forwards and backs and Orkney moved the ball close to the Ross Sutherland line and Angus Brown ran in from reasonably close range avoiding the cover defence. Alex Scarth converted.
Orkney continued the strong work after the restart and quickly won the ball back with the forwards continuing to drive well. The forwards drove well, and the ball moved quickly to the backs where Christy MacLeod made an incivse run and Tommy Stockan finished off with a strong run. Alex converted.
This was Orkney’s first game with competitive scrums and line outs. The Ross Sutherland pack was considerably bigger than Orkney’s but Alastair Park struck one against the head and from this the backs ran well, moving the ball quickly and released Brogan Russell to run in a try. Brogan later had to retire injured with a wrist injury. Alex converted again.
Ross Sutherland started to use their bigger pack and were starting to dominate the scrums. From a Ross break Angus Brown made a text book tackle to bring down one of Ross’s bigger players and stop a promising break. Christy made another strong tackle shortly afterwards driving the player back well.
From one a ruck which Orkney managed to win, the backs attacked down the blind slide and Scott Craigie made a run from long range evading two tackles to score in the corner.
Ross Sutherland pressurised again but Alex intercepted and ran in a good score and then converted.
In one of the last moves of the first period Orkney’s forwards again drove well, releasing the backs to attack Ross Sutherland. Ross tackled well and from a ruck inside the Ross 22, Alfie drove into Ross’s biggest player, the ball was released then by Will to Ryan Linklater who ignored the four man overlap and evaded the last of Ross’s defence to score.
The score at the end of the first 20 was Ross Sutherland 0 – 38 Orkney.
At the start of the second period Ross Sutherland started to drive more and keep the ball with their heavier pack. Orkney initially struggled with this and were slow at times to respond to the changes in Ross’s approach. The Orkney scrum was starting to struggle and the game became bogged down. When Orkney tried to release their backs the ball was not going to hand as well as in the first period.
Angus Dougall harassed the Ross pack at the line out and Orkney started to gain a grip again on the game. James Braddock supported well at the rucks trying to steal some ball. The backs managed to move the ball and Ryan Slater made a break on the wing but was well tackled by the Ross cover defence. Robbie Adamson received the ball and made ground.
Christy as captain worked hard to drive the team and regain the momentum from the first period.
Finally the backs managed to find some pace and from some good work Tommy ran in a try. Alex converted.
From another piece of good play Christy ran at a good angle breaking the defence and released Alex in a for try which he converted.
From the last play another good period of forward driving followed by the backs moving well resulted in Alex scoring again and then converting.
The score at the end of the 2nd period was Ross Sutherland 0-59 Orkney.
At the start of the 3rd period Alex was penalised a number of times for being off side and the forwards received a couple of penalties for hands in the ruck. This resulted in Ross moving to within 5 metres of the Orkney Line. From a penalty one of Ross’s big forwards managed to drive forwards and was driven over for their first try.
Tommy, now playing for Ross made some good breaks and Christy saved a try by making an excellent tackle deep within the Orkney 22.
Orkney’s forwards were starting to regain control in the scrums. From a series of rucks the backs attacked and Alex released Scott who made a good run through the Ross defence and then gave a good pass to Christy who evaded the last of the defence to score a try. Alex converted.
Tommy made a good run past three Orkney defenders to score a try for Ross Sutherland.
With the scoring finished there was still time for the Orkney forwards to drive the Ross Sutherland scrum backwards. While penalised for driving past the 1.5 metres allowed at this age level it proved to the forwards that good technique can overcome a heavier pack.
The final score was Ross Sutherland 10 – 66 Orkney. While a clear win, Ross posed Orkney some problems and it was pleasing to see Orkney working out the solutions to some of these problems.
Well done to all the players who took a turn for Ross. Special mentions to Will, James, Angus Brown and Tommy who stood out when playing for them.
Players Player: Christy MacLeod
Coaches Player: Scott Craigie.
Thank you to all the coaches and to Ross Sutherland RFC for their usual excellent hospitality.
Back row (l to r) : Angus Dougall, Alastair Park, Alfie Copland, Thorfinn Sinclair, Tommy Stockan, Alex Scarth, Declan MacLeod, Ryan Linklater
Front row (l to r): Robbie Adamson, Will Brass, Angus Brown, Christy MacLeod (cpt), James Braddock, Scott Craigie, Ryan Slater, Brogan Russell.