Bonus-point win for ‘Sonians at home
Friday night rugby returned to Myreside this week, but, with Edinburgh having abandoned ship and trudged back to BT Murrayfield, it was up to the Tennent’s Premiership to provide the entertainment.
Edinburgh Accies were the visitors, making the trip ‘South’ for the X round match against Watsonians.
The first period of the match was all Accies, with the home side barely able to touch the ball, but displaying great defensive capabilities to keep the visitors out. A couple of errors gave them the chance to clear, but they were soon under pressure again.
The first big scrum of the match lead to the first points. Watsonians easily dominated and scrum half, Murray Scott, broke clear and fed full back, Josh Rowland. He found a gap in the defence and kicked through into space where wing, Rufus McLean gathered from an advantageous bounce and sprinted in for the try. Stand-off, Lee Miller then converted for 7-0 just before 20 minutes.
Watsonians second try followed on from another pressure situation, but this time, one driven by themselves. Accies had resisted and forced play back, but a break through from midfield by McLean left the defenders chasing and the wing scored his second, converted, try in five minutes for 14-0.
Around five minutes from the break, Accies managed to come up with one of their own.
Having spent some more time with the ball, a couple of penalties against had ‘Sonians on the back foot in their 22. The ball was slung wide from a line out to 15, Vincent Grant, who took advantage of a stumble in the defence to put wing, Robbie Chalmers over in the right corner. The kick was missed and the score was 14-5.
Just before the break, Watsonians had to settle for a close in penalty following a period of hammering away at the Accies line, the sides going in at 17-5.
Three minutes into the second half, it was 24-5. A period of possession by the home side created a bit of space and, once again, a wide ball, put Rowland into space, the full back galloping in from miles out to score. Miller converted his third kick for 24-5.
Accies didn’t take too kindly to the ever increasing gap and went to work. A break down the left was snuffed out, but they retained possession and, within five minutes, the pack had driven close to, and along the line before flanker, Jamie Sole, found a gap and dived over for the try. Stand-off, Richard Mill, converted this time and the score now stood at 24-12.
With neither side seeming prepared to commit, there followed 10 minutes of probing and kicking before the inevitable error was made and Watsonians won a penalty just outside Accies 22. Miller scored with the kick and it was 27-12 for the home side.
Another 10 minutes of toing-and-froing found the ball in Accies hands on the ‘Sonians’ try line. However, the home side won a turn-over and broke clear with McLean, accompanied by Rowlands, carrying deep into opposition territory, before a simple pass to the full back put the bonus-point try on the score board. Miller hit the post for his only miss on the night, but it was now 32-12.
Accies scored a simple try a few minutes later, flanker Michael Badenhorst sprinting clear inside the 22 to dive under the posts. Mill converted and it was 32-19 with around 15 minutes remaining.
Accies were again under pressure for most of the remaining time and the match was finished off by the home forwards, the whole pack forcing the ball over the line with seconds to spare, dragging scorer, DJ Innes, along for the ride. Miller then topped off a fine display with the conversion and a 39-19 scoreline.
Images from the match will appear here over the next few days.