The Orkney Under 14 team traveled down to Aberdeen on Friday night for a game against Mackie RFC in the town of Stonehaven. The Mackie U14 team has a 2 year unbeaten record and was to be one of the toughest opponents on Orkney’s 2015/16 calendar.
The team arrived at Mackie’s ground to be met with heavy rain which continued throughout the match. During the first 10 minutes of play Mackie started strongly and it took Orkney a while to find their feet with good rucking and some committed tackling from Charlie Pasotti and Kieran Park holding Mackie at the Orkney 5m line.
However, their defense was breached and Mackie scored the first try of the match which they failed to convert. From the restart Mackie quickly passed out to the left wing forming a good ruck close to the touch line. Ewan Casely stripped the ball and managed to clear the danger for Orkney. A good 4 phases of play by Orkney followed only to lose out at a line out which saw them backed up on their 5m line again.
With a scrum to Mackie Orkney held well but a quick ball out, a score to the right of the posts and a conversion (the only one of the game) brought the score to 12-0. The opposition followed up with 2 quick tries from the kick off with Orkney slow to close down on the forwards and missing tackles. With the conditions on the park deteriorating both sides then had a period of scrappy play.
A few changes to the team saw Orkney begin to compete and win scrums and with Archie Flett managing to break tackles they started making good ground up to the Mackie 5m only to concede a penalty which took the pressure off the opposing team allowing them to clear their lines.
Orkney again pushed forward and with John Fuller in at scrum half they put together some good phases of play. A turnover to Mackie saw another quick ball out to the wing and despite Archie Flett putting in a try-saving tackle they were strong in the ruck and managed to make the try. Late into the last phase of the game Mackie were managing to dominate the scrums and rucks but Orkney fought back well.
The experience of the Mackie team, coupled with the tiring weather conditions led to a final score of 42-0, however, the Orkney team played some good rugby and competed positively and with confidence against their well-drilled opponents, all good learning points to build on for the future! Coaches’ Player went to Archie Flett and Players’ Player went to Charlie Pasotti.
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