KIRKCALDY RFC S1/S2 33. MUSSELBURGH RFC S1/S2 33
The snow having arrived in volumes, it had gone by the time this fixture was due to start. The ground was left muddy and the winds were whipping in across the playing surface. This young squad of rugby players were not deterred and turned up in force ready to represent their club.
The 20-man squad for the fixture consisted of: (S1s) Benjamin, Cameron, Craig, Harry, Jack G, Jack D, Joshua, Logan , Matthew, Rhys, Rowan, Samuel, Scott ; (S2s) Ewan, Grant, Kevin, Isaac, Mark, Scott, Stephen.
It was evident from the start that the game was going to be a close game with no ground given easily.
The first try came after 10 minutes of close quarter play with the Blues doing exactly what the coaches had asked of them: keeping their lines tight and running with support. Isaac turned in a burst of pace on the wing to score the first try, his teammates having won the ball at the breakdown and moved it swiftly out to him in space. Cameron converted.
A hard fought reply try from Musselburgh kept the Blues on their toes at the breakdown, the ball having been ripped and then smuggled through the masses for a fall-over try on the line. Not to be undone by this, the juggernaut-express duo of Mark and Ewan got into gear for some points. These two had been winning breakdowns throughout the first half. They now kept upright going forward and with some nifty footwork around the outside, Ewan was first to touch down. Cameron converted.
Next up Mark decided he wasn’t going to let his 2nd row partner take all the bragging rights and he provided a powerful burst through the middle to touch down over a pile of bodies right between the posts. Cameron’s inability to miss continued with the conversion!
Scoring 3 tries to 1 a fair score-line at this point. Musselburgh had provided strong and clever defence. It was the better attacks and some clever on-field decisions by the Blues that were keeping the boys ahead. Musselburgh were never far away from scoring and they pinched one more before halftime.
The Blues replied though with a cutting, swerving (including what looked like a pirouette as part of the move) run from Logan to release Jack D to score. The next bit writes itself: Cameron scored the conversion. Half-time: 4 tries to 2.
The second half started in the same fashion with excellent rugby from both sides. The Blues were asleep for the first score after the half from Musselburgh. A rare lapse left their big, fast back through the middle of some missed tackles.
Injuries and risk of frost-bite now started to kick in. In fairly quick succession we lost Cameron, Joshua, Isaac and Stephen. Tiredness was starting to show from both sides. Musselburgh were working hard and were rewarded with a try. All square.
Then with 3 minutes to play the worst possible thing happened: a push-over try; a pile of bodies; claims of being held up but the ref was right on top of it. Musselburgh had the lead for the first time.
So, crumble and fall; heads drop? Well, not this squad. First they had to deal with a turnover ball. They worked hard to put pressure on the scrum that followed and turned the ball back. Now, the hard bit: breaking down 13 determined Musselburgh players. There was nothing left in the legs – these Blues boys had been running all day. But they mustered something from somewhere.
First a drive over the line. Held up. One minute to go. Next a scrum. With an all S1 front row that had taken everything thrown at them all game backed up with a powerful second row and Jack D playing his first game at 8, this was a fearless and dominant unit. The scrum was easily won. Driven. Picked up, and Ewan scored. No whistle. Still time to play?
Hearts-in-mouths time...defend, defend, defend. Musselburgh recover the ball. Not for long though. The Blues forwards bullied the ball back. Whistle goes. All over. 33-33. A draw. Stunning effort. Huge mental fortitude.
A great game of rugby from a fantastic group of boys. On the pitch everything is going right for this group and the Club as a whole. Support was awesome. Bill Berry provided his usual high class and assertive ref-ing. Given the conditions it’s a credit to everyone who turned up.