Picky: Sunday 3rd March 2013
Orkney welcomed Moray to the Pickaquoy on Sunday for the quarter final of the Caley Cup. Moray had been victors previously in the league season and brought another strong squad north for the anticipated game.
The game kicked off at a quick pace with both teams showing strong defence and astute kicking to put their team on the front foot. Moray soon took the lion’s share of possession and hammered the Orkney 22m line with their big pack of forwards but Orkney turned the ball over after sterling work from Euan Humphreys and Craig Stout.
The Orkney boys looked full of running and applied pressure into Morays 22m line and were again awarded a penalty which Taylor Pilkington-Tait duly converted (8-0). Once again Hard tackling from both teams resulted in a lot of turnovers and led to scrappy play for the remainder of the first half until Moray rumbled into the Orkney 22m area and went straight through the ruck catching the defence sleeping to score next to the posts, (8-5).
A breakdown in play led to ill discipline by the Moray prop who clearly threw a few punches and was lucky to only receive a yellow card. Orkney player Ciaran Drever received a blow to his side which resulted in the player receiving treatment and had to leave the field which was also a blow for Orkney losing a strong player. After play resumed with only a few minutes to half time Moray cleared their lines and Orkney failed to get the ball into touch resulting in a loose pass in the midfield which gave Moray an easy run in under the posts, the extra two point conversion was added. (8-12).
At half time Orkney knew they were still in the game and needed a big effort to win the game. Orkney had the worst possible ten minute period at the start of the second half with leaking three quick tries due to poor kicking, tackling and man marking which effectively put Moray out of sight.
Orkney continued to struggle for the remainder of the half with lack of composure, loose passes and losing possession at the breakdown. There were glimpses of the forwards making decisive runs with James Nicolson, Chris Munson, Taylor Pirie and Craig Stout leading from the front but continuity of the ball thwarted any real chances to score.
Taylor Pilkington Tait made a powerful run into the Moray half but the support was too far away and Orkney lost the ball. Moray continued to pile on the pressure and scored a further four good tries mainly in the outside channels with the Orkney defence leaving space on the outside due to two defenders tackling one attacker. The game finished 8 – 56.
Coach Bruce Ruthven commented;
“The performance in the second half was very disappointing especially after we showed we could match them in the first half. We failed to secure and retain possession and allowed Moray to dictate the game. The boys tried hard but lacked composure and our poor tactical awareness cost us dearly. The boys need to learn from this game and take the experience on board to make them better for next time. Moray are a strong team with most of their players S4 which makes things tough for our boys who have an even split of S3-S4 but Moray did play well and we wish them all the best for their semi-final versus Falkirk.”