Strathmore 2nd XV 39,
Arbroath RFC 29
ARBROATH travelled to Forfar to play Strathmore 2nd XV in the RBS Caledonia Division Three League.
The visitors started much the better team and looked dangerous from the outset. Quick thinking from Collins in taking a quick line-out released Nakavulevu but the ball was knocked on when shipped down the line.
Strathy hit back though and nearly scored when the referee adjudged there to be a double movement as they crossed the line. Nakavulevu was running the show in the backline, a well judged chip behind the advancing defence saw Lee gather and surge over to open the scoring.
Growing in confidence, Pinnington and B. Irving took the game to Strathmore making inroads. Strathmore managed to clear their lines but Lilley was covering and released Jones who weaved through three defenders to further increase the lead to 12-0.
Strathy were stung into retaliation and hit back with a quick reply to make the score 12-5. Poor handling from the Strathy back line saw the ball spilt and Nakavulevu gathered the loose ball to put the visitors 19-5 up.
Further exchanges between both teams saw the score reach 22-17 at half-time.
The second half saw the game hanging in the balance. Shaw was sin-binned when the referee adjudged a tackle to be dangerous and the home side took full advantage of the numerical advantage by scoring three unanswered tries. It could easily have been four if not for a fantastic effort from Collins in chasing a lost cause and forcing the opposition player out of the try area before the ball was grounded.
With the game slipping away from them and with the hot conditions sapping their strength, Arbroath dug deep and continued to pound away at the Strathy defence. Nakavulevu countered ambitiously from his own try line and after beating a couple of defenders, he smartly offloaded to Lee who beat the full-back to bring Arbroath within a score of drawing the game at 36-29.
With nothing left to give, Strathy were just about keeping Arbroath at arm’s length. In testament to how seriously they were taking Arbroath’s chances of a comeback, they attempted two penalty kicks at goal, one of which was successful to make the final score 39-29.
This was a performance to be proud of and if a couple of refereeing decisions had gone their way and a few more extra reinforcements were available then the outcome could have been different. The team is moving in the right direction though and is starting to see the benefits of all their hard work at training.
Team: McLennan, G. Irving, Neish, McIntosh, McIntyre, Lee, Jones, Pinnington, Collins, Nakavulevu, Cooper, Lilley, Shaw, Williams (c), Starkey, B. Irving, McKenzie and Adair.
Tomorrow (Saturday), Arbroath are at the High School pitches against Stobswell,
Training continues at RM Condor every Thursday at 6.15 p.m. All standards welcome. Find us on www.arbroathrfc.com or www.facebook.com/groups/arbroathrfc