TENNENTS WEST DIVISION 2
UDDINGSTON 15-7 OBAN LORNE
SATURDAY 20TH OCTOBER 2018
Last weekend Oban Lorne travelled to Uddingston for another top of the table clash in West Division 2. Uddingston have had a strong start to the season and this has seen them sitting in second place with Oban just below them in third position.
A fairly settled Oban team travelled with some confidence following a good home win last weekend but knew this was going to be a tough game to win. A few last minute changes saw a shuffle in the backline with Oban welcoming back Bulgarian international scrum half Borisow Vasil, however with Finlay Carmichael not shaking off the effects of his dental work midweek he was moved out of position to stand off for the day. Oban also welcomed back number eight Owen McDonald following his two week suspension.
Oban started well controlling the possession and territory in the opening 10 minutes and things were looking positive when Owen Mcdonald crossed for the first try of the game on 15 mins after a well worked backline move was worked to wing and Roddy Morrison offloaded to the big number 8 to crash over the line. This was converted by Craig Wright to give Oban a 7-0 lead. Little did we know that this was to be Oban’s only score of the game but there was no lack of effort and opportunities.
Uddingston struck back a couple of minutes later. A knock on from the kick off gave them a good attacking platform and a well worked move saw their centre break the tackle and just mange to make the try line to bring the score back to 7-5 to Oban.
Oban were becoming increasingly frustrated by the lack of consistency by the referee with his interpretations changing from minute to minute. This is an area that the coaching team are acutely aware of and looking at ways of changing the mentality of players when things are going against them.
This frustration led to Uddingston getting a series of penalties and working their way up to the Oban 5m line when the prop broke from the back of the ruck and was tackled short of the line but was allowed an extra movement to place the ball over the line and the referee awarded the try much to the dismay of the Oban boys. They knew that they were now right up against it.
Oban worked hard to get back in the game but were just not clicking with the fluidity of the early season. Radi Maksimov had a great run just being knocked into touch a yard or so short of the line. Calum MacLachlan similarly had a great breenge through the Uddingston defence and was adjudged to have been held up over the line although he was adamant that he had grounded the ball.
Half time came with Uddingston enjoying a 10-7 lead.
A few changes were made early in the 2nd half with a reshuffle in the backline with Borisov moving to his normal scrum half position and Captain Iwan Roberts moving in to stand off. Craig wright moving to 13 also brought a bit more fluidity to the Oban backline but Uddingston were to score next. Another penalty kick to touch allowed a lineout 5yards out and a powerful rolling maul carried there prop over the line for a 15-7 lead.
This was to be the final score of the day and the next 30 mins was a lot of effort with no real reward. Oban huffed and puffed but just couldn’t break down the well organised defence. Whenever they did manage to string phases together it always fizzled out with the last pass going to ground or not being given.
A disappointing scoreline but improved team performance from last week Oban will need to up things yet again with Clydebank coming to Glencruitten next week.
Oban can take some comfort in pushing the top 2 team in the league so close away from home in the last few weeks losing only 8 points over the 2 games including the 27-24 loss away to league leaders Lenzie. With Oban to welcome both these teams to Glencruitten in the New Year neither team will be relishing the trip North.
Oban now have two home games on the bounce now with Clydebank this weekend coming and Bishopton who are sitting just below Oban in fourth spot visiting the following weekend. Another couple of hard games with another step up in performance required.
This Saturdays match with Clydebank RFC kicks off at 3pm at Glencruitten.