Arbroath 36 Fife Southern 17
Arbroath Rugby Club hosted Fife Southern Rugby Club for the opening fixture of the new Midlands Division 3 season.
Fife Southern started the match with a high hanging ball straight to club captain Watson, early pressure and dominating at the ruck was key to a good start and Arbroath committed to this with every attack.
With this pressure came plenty of ball to the strong wing pairing of the Collins brothers, who wreaked havoc in the Fife end of the park, so with quick thinking from Jones the ball was won from a turn over, spun out to Shaw and Owens, who unleashed a flying J. Collins, who slid over the try line in the corner for his first try of the day.
The second try by Arbroath came from the strong pack of Hall, Gilfillan and Mcintyre winning more ball and passing a perfectly waited ball to winger J. Collins to side step his way through to score under the posts. Try No.3 came once again from a dominant and secure pack holding on to the ball at the back of the scrum waiting for the opportune moment to release J. Collins to score.
However dominant Arbroath were, small mistakes were creeping in and this led to Fife putting pressure on the defensive line, and at the fourth phase of attack by the men from Fife they went over in the corner for their first try of the afternoon.
Club captain Watson passed on a few words of wisdom to all concerned and this had the desired effect on all, E. Collins darted 40 metres jinking past three players who were not sure which way he had gone and supported by Grey passed an inch perfect pass to J. Collins who certainly knew where the posts were.
With only minutes gone after the restart man-of-the-match McIntyre created a super try with a quick tap penalty then darted off down the centre of the pitch with great determination and at the last minute offloaded to Grey, who went over for another Arbroath try.
Much credit must go to visiting team who never stopped putting pressure on the men in green and gold, and they were rewarded by all their hard work with their second try of the game, a sliced clearance kick deep in the Arbroath 22 went straight to the grateful hands of the Fife flanker, who slid under the sticks for their second try. This spurred Fife on and a penalty was converted at the second attempt, as the Fife kicker complained about a noise from the sideline on his first attempt which missed.
In the final 10 minutes of the game Arbroath started to work on all fronts, the line out pairing of Muir and Watson won a ball off the top, Jones rifled the ball to the storming Owens, who ran over the defending Fife winger to score and cap a thoroughly entertaining match for all watching.
T Hall, R Gilfillan, M Proctor, R Muir, R Watson (c), A Mcintyre, I Neish, J Newth, D Jones, C Owens, J Nakavulevu, C Hay, J Collins, E Collins, D Shaw, I Cooper, D Crowe, C Bedwell, I Neish, W Hancock, G Cowan, S Lewis
Arbroath 91 Strathmore 2nds 0
Arbroath travelled a short journey to local rivals Strathmore Rugby Club for their second Midlands game of the season. Strathmore won the toss an elected to kick to Arbroath.
Arbroath were the first to settle into their gameplan with a lineout stolen and a bullet pass from Nakavulevu to Shaw, who slid in under the posts for the first of what would be the floodgates opening. The second try came from a great driving maul from the Arbroath pack, and with ball in hand Proctor made a strong barging run to off load to McIntyre for the first of his three tries.
By now Arbroath had the game by the scruff of the neck, Strathmore were standing off allowing Arbroath to run at them and Arbroath gratefully accepted, phase play and drawing the Strathy Men in worked towards the following try for Phillips.
The next try came from quick thinking by Nakavulevu, with a tap penalty and short burst over the try line.
Seconds latter from the restart the ball went through all the hands to Newth, who didn’t need asking twice and slid over for another try. After a sublime side step past the lone Strathy full-back. E. Collins was not going to be out done, with blistering pace and natural balance he went over to open his account. Minutes before half-time Arbroath scored a real team try through McIntyre for his second try.
The second half continued as the first half ended with McIntyre snipping at the base of the scrum to score his hat-rick of tries for the day. Williams showed a clean pair of heels to his fellow winger as he went over in the corner. Grey was not to be outdone, and with two strong pacey runs left all in his wake.
Veteran forward Cowan also made his mark on the game going over the whitewash for his first of the season. Shaw put the final nail in the coffin with the last try of the game.
T. Hall (c) , M Proctor, J Bedwell, R Muir, C Bedwell, A McIntyre, J Newth, D Jones, J Nakavulevu, I Cooper, D Shaw, D Williams, M Phillips, E Collins, D Crowe, G Cowan, S Fosbury, I Neish, L Grey C Jones