Douglas Murray picked up the ball and charged through defence and using a good leg drive broke the first tackles before he was eventually stopped, The Orkney forwards showed off their good rucking technique and prevented Caithness from turning the ball over. Alistair Morgan, playing at scrum half, was doing a good job at getting the ball out to the centres that were making good ground into the Caithness half. The ball reached Archie Porteous who sprinted past his opposite number to score in the corner (5-0). This gave Orkney a big confidence boost and they were prepared to get stuck in after the restart.
Caithness restarted the game and gave it to their Number 12 who made a good run into the Orkney half with relative ease, it was only when Liam Thomson blocked his path that he was stopped, again Caithness were committing to rucks and pushed Orkney off the ball, there scrum half picked the ball up and attempted to run himself but found he was surrounded and a duo of Henry Gordon and Tyler Mackenzie quickly tackled him to the ground.
The counter ruck proved unsuccessful and Caithness kept possession of the ball, again it was given to the number 12, this time he found a gap down the wing and squeezed through to score a try (5-5) a quick team talk while Caithness took their conversion kick gave the coaches time to explain to the squad a few things that could be worked on and it was clear that they took it all in after the restart as there was a big improvement in the rucking with Orkney turning over a lot of the Caithness balls and the tackling with all player showing a lot of effort to make tackles.
Caithness immediately responded with good attacking runs putting Orkney under a lot of pressure, great tackling came from Archie MacPhail and Arron Gibson but it was not enough to stop Caithness making a break down the wing, Archie Porteous stopped the attack with a good diving tackle bringing the player into touch.
Orkney won the lineout and managed to get the ball away but good tackling forced a knock on giving Caithness the advantage which they used well and managed to score again, this time with the conversion added (12-12). Orkney were keen to finish the first half in the lead so a big push was made by everybody to get one final score, Douglas again charged through the defence brushing off the tackles. Alistair and Harry both used the ball well to move it into space where it was taken forwards and dived over the line. The conversion drifted wide (17-12).
As Half time came the Orkney boys got a quick rest allowing for another team talk. The boys were pleased with their performance so far and knew where there could be improvements made. A few changes in the squad saw Mathew Rendall go in at scrumhalf and Arjun Pankhania come on at the wing.
Orkney restarted the game attacking down the right wing with Bruce Ritch making good ground being supported by Craig Drever. Caithness seemed to have no answer to the attack as it moved closer to the try line, the ball was passed and then offloaded to Magnus Merriman who broke a tackle and dived over the line with players hanging off of him (22-17).
Caithness restarted again with some good running in the forwards pushing Orkney back to their own line, play continued in Orkneys half for another 5 minutes with the Orkney defence withstanding numerous attacks, as the boys became tired gaps started to appear and Caithness took advantage of this and scored in the corner (22-22).
Coach Liam Sharpe added;
“The boys have played really well today, I am very impressed with the turnout for the match and I’m glad that they put in so much effort. The boys took on board what was told to them at half time and really improved over the second half, we look forward to the start of the new year when there will be a return fixture In Caithness and the start of the Pentland Firth cup, as well as fixtures against Shetland”.
Squad: Magnus Merriman, Bruce Ritch, Craig Drever, Liam Thomson, Douglas Murray, Arron Gibson, Ryan Arcus, Adam Fallows, Alistair Morgan, Harry Siderfin, Arjun Pankhania, Archie MacPhail, Archie Porteous, Henry Gordon, John Esslemont, Aidan Mitchell, Keirin Wilson, Mathew Rendall, Elliot Brookfield, Cameron Fraser, Robbie Scott, Tyler Mackenzie
Match Report By Liam Sharpe