Dounby: 1st Sep 2012
Orkney U16s were the only home team to record a winning result at the weekend with a fine display of attacking rugby which Ellon had no answer for. Dounby was the venue for the game which sees a return to the West for a Caledonia League game for some time in recent years.
Orkney won the toss and decided to play with the slight wind blowing down the pitch away from the school and the boys were in control straight away after indecision from the Ellon forwards from the kick off. The Orkney pack were solid in the scrum despite the weight advantage being in Ellon's favour and with Scrum half Mark Sinclair giving his opposite man pressure at the back the ball spilled out in Ellon 22m line. Chris Munson reacted winning the ball exchanging the ball with James Nicolson and Orrin Fraser gaining good ground.
A quick ruck resulted with strong ruck clearing from Taylor Pirie to get the backs into motion with Cameron Gray breaking the gain line. Once again Chris Munson was in possession and after driving play from the rest of the forwards Chris went over for the try, a great start to the game with the Ellon boys looking shell shocked, Taylor Pilkington duly converted giving a 7 -0 score line after eight minutes.
From the re-start Orkney gained good field position after a quality kick from Cairan Drever who then applied pressure with Robbie Drever to get back into the Ellon Half. Soon after the Ellon backs gave away a penalty and Pilkington slotted the easy penalty in front of the sticks. (10-0).
Ellon woke up from the kick off catching the Orkney boys sleeping and resulted in an Orkney player knocking the ball forward. The Ellon scrum had also improved and gave good ball to their backs who showed a glimpse of what they are capable of with a half break from their number 12 but cover tackling from Russell and Gray prevented a score.
The Orkney players then controlled the next ten minutes with quality offloading play, support and continuity which could have resulted in another two tries but handling errors at the crucial time stopped play. Ellon used their strength in the driving lineout to gain yards but once the Orkney boys altered their body positions to counter the drive the Ellon players kicked possession away.
Substitutes, Scott Smith, Euan Humphries and Jack Scott refreshed the pack before half time and turned over ball well especially holding up the Ellon drives resulting in a turnover in possession. An infringement by Ellon being offside at the ruck after abrasive play by Craig Stout and Ross Sinclair saw Pilkington kick another penalty which kept the score board ticking over (13-0).
Soon after the Orkney backs spread the ball wide and released Craig Russell in the bottom left hand corner but he decided to kick the ball away close to the line squandering a try opportunity. It was Andrew Shaw who crossed for a try after good work by the forwards down the right hand side with good inter linking play from Craig Stout, Liam Moar and Ross Sinclair. Pilkington Converted. (20 -0)
Just before half time a solid Orkney scrum put real pressure on the Ellon try line and a maul was created by Cameron Gray who was driven by Craig Russell and the pack over the line to Score in the left hand corner, Russell being awarded the try. The conversion was missed. (25-0)
Half time 25 – 0.
The second half was not as eventful as the first with Ellon using the wind to exert pressure on the Orkney team but the Orkney players counter attacked well with Cairan Drever, Andrew Shaw & Sam Croy who looked comfortable under the high ball. Orkney should have scored after ten minutes but failed to get the ball into the width where the space was, however a penalty was converted by Pilkington to take the lead to 28 – 0.
Ellon scored a consolation try at the death with winger Matthew Bartlett going over in the corner after several penalties were conceded by Orkney.
U16s coach Bruce Ruthven commented; “this is a great start for the boys, they have performed very well and did not allow Ellon an opportunity to play today. It was very pleasing to see the quality of tackling, rucking and teamwork that went into the performance. We have a very young squad this season with the majority of the squad still aged to play U16s next season so it was great to get a good start. We have a lot of things to work on such as decision making, getting the ball into the width and organisation of Kick-offs but realistically for the first game of the season this was a solid performance over a strong club in the North East.”
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