Match Report - 24 Oct 2009, Ross High Rugby Football Club 1st XV drew with Helensburgh
Ross High RFC 21 v Helensburgh 21
Ross High hosted west of Scotland side Helensburgh on Saturday which was overcast, threatening rain, with a slight breeze blowing down the slope.
Kicking up the slope the High forwards looked to be in fine fettle and applied sufficient pressure to go ahead by three points, courtesy of a converted penalty by stand off Steven McDonald. However, straight from the kick off the visitors gained possession and danced through the non- existent home defence to score with ease and turn around the deficit into a four point lead.
Having gained confidence from this, Helensburgh started to throw the ball about causing Ross all sorts of problems. Their forwards also had come into their own and were competing both in the loose and tight, and only an infringement close to the home line prevented them going further ahead, the referee awarding High a penalty a few yards from their line. Ross decided to run out of defence only to make five metres and give away a penalty. As the Helensburgh centre moved to take the kick Ross winger Graeme Bennion obviously forgot it was a penalty and charged the kick. The kicker screwed his kick across the front of the posts and the referee, correctly, ordered the kick to be retaken. To the home winger’s relief the centre produced an identical kick screwing it across the goalposts. This was only a short respite and by half time Helensburgh had two more goals to their tally due in the main to some shocking attempts at tackling by the Tranent team.
They persisted in trying to tackle high which would have looked more appropriate in touch rugby. One piece of consolation was a penalty by McDonald.
Half time 6 - 21
Ross kicked deep from the kick off and the visitors fumbled the ball backwards where it was eventually picked up and an attempt made to clear to touch, but Ross centre Adam Hook charged down the kick and followed through to score.
This was the perfect start to the hoped second half revival and it looked as though things were on track for the great Ross High escape when McDonald landed another penalty to put Ross within seven points of their opponents, with fully twenty minutes of the game left. In reality it took them to almost to the final whistle to get the elusive score. This was due in the main to players taking the ball on individually and more often that not getting isolated and giving a penalty away for holding on. There was no cohesion in the backs where the ball was slow and just looked inept.
The fight and grit shown at Forrester the week previous were sadly lacking throughout the team, although returning captain Steven Ketchin did show aggression and put in a fair shift. The score, when it came, was down to some strong rucking by the home forwards and after the first scoring attempt was held up over the line, prop forward Peter Cribbes forced himself over to score. McDonald saved his team from defeat by converting the try.
Another home game next week against GHK but a big all round performance will be needed if a win is to be achieved. Whether it is a lack of confidence in their ability or a ‘couldn’t care less’ attitude is something for discussion, but, whatever it is, it must get sorted out soon. The irony is, that after this poor display Ross climbed a place in the league.
Ross High Rugby Football Club 1st XV 21 - 21 Helensburgh