Match Report - 21 Jan 2012, Ross High Rugby Football Club 1st XV drew with Berwick
ROSS HIGH 15
Tries: A Hook, R Hook, L Welsh
Penalties: R Hook x2
After the disappointment last week with a loss to Portobello, this week’s home game against Berwick proved to be a massive turnaround in the performance of the Ross High boys. The Tranent men had a point to prove after repeatedly underachieving in the league all season and they did not waste any time in doing this. From the kick off the home side instilled a high tempo and intensity into the game which initially shocked the Berwick team who had convincingly beat High previously in the season. The early confrontations were won with Captain Bruce Stoddart leading the pack from the front as usual, these early battles proved to be physical with Ross High dominating.
The good forward play at the breakdowns and scrums where there was a marked improvement allowed for scrum half Barry Scott to deliver quick ball to the backs, giving opportunities to mount persistent attacks. Epitomized by full back Ryan Hook who took the initiative with some hard running breaking through the Berwick defence to score after what was a great individual effort. However Berwick eventually gathered themselves to reply with a converted score of their own. This did not faze the home side however, taking the game right back to the league high fliers. This was spearheaded by Adam Hook who after some slick play from the backs was able to find some running room, beating Berwick defenders all the way from the half way line before scoring.
The Hook brothers proved their calibre all day not only in attack but in defence anchoring the backs defensive line. Although after some decent attacking play Berwick replied once again with some points in the form of a penalty and try. Ross High were not finished however, the forwards showing they meant business after driving a maul from a lineout 30 yards down the pitch, to get the team in scoring range. Some powerful ball carrying from the pack got the ball to just short of the line before prop Luke Welsh marked his long awaited return to the team after injury with a try, bulldozing his way over the try line. After the furious play between the two sides the score was tied at 15-15 at half time.
The second half proved to be just as physical as the first and tempers flared with the game on a knife edge. The game came to a head when James Bannerman was sin binned along with the Berwick captain. During this period both teams kept the game tight, neither team wanting to make a mistake. Winger Ryan McDonald possibly saved the game for the home side at one point with a try saving tackle. Wingers McDonald and Waterson fielded the ball well all game counterattacking with deadly purpose. This proved valuable to the team’s efforts in light of the appalling weather conditions.
Kicker R.Hook struggled with the wind which severely affected his efforts at times. Each side defended well trying to force mistakes from the other, a tactic resulting from the tied score line and difficult weather. With the final whistle approaching High continued to press to within a yard of the Berwick line however they fell short of a winning try having to settle for the draw.
Ross High achieved the cohesive team performance they so badly needed with their best game of the season so far with every player giving nothing less than superb displays. High will aim to continue this form into next week’s derby against North Berwick away.
Ross High Team
1. R Watters 2. J Bannerman 3. L Welsh 4. K Brogan 5. B Stoddart 6. T Docherty 7. G Hepburn 8. R Strachan 9. B Scott 10. S Ross 11. L Waterson 12. A Hook 13. S Ashurst 14 R. McDonald 15. R Hook
Subs: R Cowan, B Bailie, M Patterson
Ross High Rugby Football Club 1st XV 15 - 15 Berwick