ObanTENNENTS WEST DIVISION 2 OBAN LORNE 8-40 LENZIE Last weekend saw the return of league rugby to Glencruitten after the festive break. With Oban’s game against Millbrae on the 15th December being called off due to the weather conditions this was the first outing in a month for the green machine. With only one session in the bank on the Thursday before it was always going to be a tough game against the league leaders Lenzie. Oban had run them close down the road in September being narrowly beaten by 3 points after staging a spirited fightback in the second half. Oban fielded a fairly strong team but were light in numbers in the pack with back rowers Lorne Sinclair, Owen McDonald and Vice Capain Stephen Povey all missing. There was however a start at number 8 for 17 year old Kieron Morrison who has been a standout for the U18s this season. Lenzie started the game strongly and were very direct with good strong runs from their centres getting them on the front foot. Oban were struggling to contain them and with only five minutes of the match gone the Lenzie winger cut off his wing beating a number of Oban tackles to make the line and give Lenzie an early lead. The try was converted 0-7 Oban tried to respond straight from the kick off with some good linking play between forwards and backs but struggled to get any real penetration through the well organised and aggressive Lenzie defence. After a period of Oban possession they were awarded a Penalty kick and up stepped Finlay Carmichael to convert the three points. Lenzie were quick to get on the attack again and missed tackle in midfield allowed the powerful inside centre to cruise over the line to extend the lead to 14-3. Oban responded again and managed to string some good phases together and eventually generated some quick ball for the backs to exploit. The ball was worked wide for Craig Wright to cross in the corner for another fantastic score for the fullback. Finlay Carmichael narrowly missed the conversion Lenzie 14 Oban 8. Oban were back in the game and looking to keep things tight until the half time whistle. From a scrum inside their own 22 Carmichael attempted a chip over the top of the on rushing defence and the bounce of the ball took the ball just out of the reach of both Wright and Captain Roberts. If either of them had managed to secure that ball they were in for a score unfortunately the ball fell in to the hands of the Lenzie full back who hacked the ball forward again. The covering Oban players allowed the ball to bounce and once again the bounce took the ball in the Lenzie players hands and he strolled over for another try under the posts to give the visitors a 21-8 halftime lead. Oban were determined to close the gap in the 2nd half but just could not breach the Lenzie defence again. There were a number of close calls for Oban with a number of visits to the Lenzie 22 being repelled by the Lenzie Defence. Time and time again Oban tried to breach the line and got close on 3 or 4 occasions but either dropped the last pass or were wrestled in to touch just short of the line. The league leaders were showing why they have only conceded 84 points all season with some fantastic cover defence whenever Oban did have an opportunity. There are definitely lessons for Oban to take from this game as their own defence leaked a further 3 tries in the 2nd half for a final score of 40-8. Lenzie were made to work hard for their scores in the end but Oban were just off the pace and must now look ahead to trying to secure 2nd spot in the league as Lenzie are too far ahead now to be caught. Some tough games ahead for Oban starting with next weekends trip to Loch Lomond who are always a tough proposition. Then in two weeks time we welcome Uddingston who are currently in 2nd place in the league. There were some notable performances on Saturday with young Kieron Morrison making his debut at No8 being outstanding, Daniel Broderick also showed up well being a willing ball carrier time and again, in the backs Vasil Borisow had another outstanding game at 9 before moving into the back row to cover an injury. This allowed Ferg McCoss to come on and make his debut for Oban having recently moved to the area and he looks like being a really useful addition the squad
BT WEST DIVISION 1
SATURDAY 31ST MARCH
OBAN LORNE 64-15 HELENSBURGH
Oban Lorne welcomed Argyll rivals Helensburgh RFC to Glencruitten on Saturday in what was a must win game for the Greenmachine in the battle against relegation. Helensburgh sat bottom of the table on -4 points going into the game while Oban were 12 points ahead sitting 11th. A win would narrow the gap on fellow relegation candidates Irvine and Cambuslang who both had tough fixtures over the weekend.
Coach Corrie Louw was able to field a very strong starting XV. The only first choice players missing from action were scrum half Finlay Carmichael and back row Richard MacKay.
Local referee Willie Malone was in charge for the day and would have a busy afternoon ahead in a high scoring game.
The home side dominated territory and possession in the opening exchanges of the game but could not find a cutting edge to create and opening try. A Craig Wright penalty was missed after 10 minutes as Oban managed to build some good pressure near the line.
Oban’s first try of the game came on 12 minutes as some good play in the 22 resulted in a Tommy Sutherland offload near the line finding powerful winger Calum MacLachlan who touched down with ease. Captain, Wright made amends for his penalty miss by scoring a tricky conversion for a 7-0 lead.
Helensburgh improved after their shaky start and found good territory from dangerous runs by their outside centre and fullback. Connor Ferris strayed offside in the 22 allowing ‘Burgh’ to narrow the lead to 7-3 with a penalty attempt.
Calum MacLachlan was looking very dangerous on the left wing and was attracting significant interest from a worrying defence. MacLachlans trademark powerful play gifted his side some good territory eventually resulting in a 5 metre scrum. Oban’s strong pack drove the ball close to the line looking certain to score. Referee Malone decided that Helensburgh had prevented a certain try by knocking the ball out of Corrie Louws hands and awarded Oban a penalty try , 14-3.
Oban were well on top in the game and scored their third try of the game after 25 minutes. David McLaughlin had a fantastic run from halfway to put Oban 21-0 ahead with another Wright conversion.
Despite being comfortably ahead Oban were still a little rusty in some areas of play. Notably the teams tackling was not upto sufficient standard as Helensburgh breached the gain line on too many occasions. Credit must be given to the away side who attacked well at times and hit back with their first try of the day on 30 minutes to narrow Oban’s lead to 21-10.
Craig Wright responded immediately for his team as the fullback raced in from 20 meters out after some good build-up play from a strong scrum. This sealed the bonus point try and a healthy 28-10 lead.
The Greenmachine looked to add to their lead before the break but were undone with some sloppy lineout play which had in general been a negative area of the teams play.
Oban made a storming start to the second half and added to their tally within the first 20second off the kick off. Calum MacLachlan made Helensburgh pay for a lapse in defence as the winger ran in from 35 meters giving what was now handsome 35-10 lead.
Helensburgh though refused still to let this dampen their spirits and hit back straight away with another well worked try narrowing the lead briefly to 35-15.
With only 5 minutes gone in the half the third try arrived, again for Oban as Stand Off Iwan Rhys Roberts scored his first try for the club. At 42-15 ahead Oban could now relax a little, something they have not been able to do any game so far this season.
Oban’s shaky lineout play was improving into the second half, that along with a strong scrum gave an excellent base to attack from. Helensburgh were reduced to 14 men briefly with their fullback lying injured. Craig Wright capitalised on this by kicking into the vacant space putting pressure on the ‘Burgh’ winger who knocked on allowing Wright to dive over for his second score of the day.
Another try followed with Prop Connor Ferris diving over from close range , 54-15 to Oban Lorne.
As the half wore on tiredness creeped in . Changes were made with Andrew’s Johnston and MacDougall coming of the bench replacing Connor Ferris and Lorne MacLachlan while Daniel Kemp replaced Radi Maksimov. Jonathan Sayer also came on for Jack Strachan in the second row.
The quality of the game went downhill as it wore on. The majority of play was in midfield with some handling errors creeping in for both teams.
Oban scored two further tries in the closing stages to run out convincing 64-15 winners. First Inside Centre Jamie Bate sailed through a huge gap in the defence to score his first try since returning from injury. The last try came late on as a result of a driving maul close to the line. Player/ Coach Corrie Louw touched down to seal a very handsome victory for the men in Green.
Saturday’s win gifts Oban 5 points meaning the gap to Irvine RFC has been reduced to 5 points. Cambuslang are not far off, 6 points ahead. Oban Lorne have game sin hand on the teams above them and have a few ‘winnable’ matches coming up between now and the end of the season.
The task remains a tough one for Oban Lorne who this weekend welcome league leaders Carrick RFC. The teams met only two weeks ago with an understrength Oban going down 87-18. Saturdays game will likely be played at North Connel to give Oban Lorne Ladies the best possible pitch conditions for their National Bowl Semi Final on Sunday, Kick off 3pm.
- Sutherland, R. Maksimov, C. Louw, J. Baxter, J. Strachan, L. MacLachlan, S. Povey,
- Borisov, I. Rhys Roberts, D. McLaughlin, J. Bate, G. MacEachan, C. MacLachlan, C. Wright
- Johnston, A. MacDougall, J. Sayer, A. Houston, D. Kemp
RUGBY THIS WEEKEND AT OBAN LORNE RFC
OBAN LORNE 1ST XV
SATURDAY 24/09 OBAN LORNE v NETOWN STEWART WEST DIVISON 1
This Saturday the Greenmachine have a tough home match against Newton Stewart RFC. The visitors to Glencruitten have won all four of their opening fixtures and will provide Oban with a stern test.
Last season’s matches with Newton Stewart are an example of how hard the task will be on Saturday with Oban going down narrowly 15-12 at home in last season’s corresponding fixture and a 31-20 loss away from home.
Oban Lorne will be hoping to bounce back to winning ways after a disappointing start to the season with only one win from four matches. The ingredients however are available to produce a successful season. Some poor decision making, lapses in concentration and a lack of good luck has made an impact on the results so far this season.
Kick off is 3pm at Glencruitten, bar and clubhouse open as normal.
ARGYLL & BUTE RFC
SATURDAY 24/09 COWAL V ARGYLL & BUTE WEST DIVISION 4
Argyll & Bute will be looking to build on a positive start to the season as they travel to Dunoon to take on Argyll rivals Cowal RFC.
Argyll have fulfilled four fixtures this season with a 50% winning record. It is hoped a strong squad can make the trip to Dunoon on Saturday to take on what seems to be a much improved Cowal side from last season.
Kick off is 3pm at Dunoon Stadium
OBAN LORNE LADIES
SUNDAY 25/09 GRANGEMOUTH v OBAN LORNE LADIES NATIONAL LEAGUE 2
The ladies section play their first away game of the season on Saturday travelling to take on Grangemouth RFC. The ladies will be looking to build on last weekend’s 38-0 triumph over Helensburgh RFC that sent the team to the top of the league.
The team will be without Winger Ashley Lazzara who is in the RAH in Glasgow recovering from her injury in last weeks match – thought off all at the club are with Ashley for a speedy recovery!
SUNDAY 25/09 CARTHA v OBAN U16’s NORTH U16 GROUP
Oban U16s recorded a convincing 70-7 win over Hillhead Jordanhill last weekend. This Sundays fixture away to Cartha is in doubt due to Glasgow School Holidays. Oban U16s will travel to Campbeltown to take on the U16s there if the fixture in postponed.
SUNDAY 25/09 CARTHA v OBAN U14’s NORTH U14 GROUP
The U14s had a big home win against Strathaven last Sunday. Like the U16 match the U14 meeting is also in doubt due to school holidays.
SUNDAY 25/09 OBAN U14’s v STRATHAVEN NORTH U13 GROUP
Oban’s U13 team are at home to Strathaven on Sunday. There is a chance this match will be played as a S1/2 fixture that will include the U14 players. Kick off TBC
Mull and Oban Coaches complete UKCC Coaching Course
Ten Rugby Coaches from Isle of Mull RFC and Oban Lorne RFC completed their UKCC Level 1 in Coaching Rugby Union last weekend at Isle of Mull’s clubhouse at Garmony.
The weekend long course was attended by five coaches from each club from their respective Mini and Youth Rugby sections.
Course Tutor Nic Humphries and Coach Educator Allan Wright were left impressed by the knowledge and good examples of coaching practice shown by all of the candidates.
The completion of this course will have an extremely positive outcome on the Mini and Youth Rugby sections in Mull and Oban. Coaches who attended the course will now be able to broaden their ability to deliver safe, fun and well planned coaching sessions to get the best out of young players in the area.
Anyone interested in Coaching or Refereeing Rugby in Argyll and Bute should contact Rugby Development Officer Allan Wright at 07867425973 firstname.lastname@example.org