BT WEST DIVISION 4
SATURDAY 1ST OCTOBER 2016
ARGYLL & BUTE 46-29 HYNDLAND
Argyll & Bute RFC welcomed Hyndland to Glencruitten on Saturday for the first game between the two sides this season. Argyll had beaten the visitor’s home and away last season but knew they would be in for a tough test today.
The home side boasted a squad of 19 players, frustratingly however after last week’s call off at Cowal due to a lack of numbers. Players returning to the squad included Allan Wright, Darren Miller, Travis Smith, and Islay’s Anthony Bowman.
Argyll made a great start to the game and scored straight from the kick off. An offload by Mid Argyll’s Mark Charlton found scrum half Allan Wright who raced clear from the halfway line to touch down under the posts. Steven Parrs conversion gave a 7-0 lead with only seconds of the game being played.
This was not a sign of what was to come as the visitors would make the home side work hard throughout the game. Hyndland took possession of the ball and were looking dangerous with some strong runners in the backline. They levelled the score to 7-7 after 5 minutes when some extremely poor tackling in the Argyll backline let the Hyndland inside centre in for a try.
Argyll regrouped from this and dominated the play in the Hyndland half. A combination of poor discipline at the breakdown and a lack of firepower due to uncontested scrums meant that Argyll were struggling to get on the front foot and create any meaningful scoring chances. The hosts regained the lead with Steven Parr penalty, 10-7.
Hyndland though had other ideas of how the game was to go and scored two tries in a five minute period to lead 17-10. The visitors however did not have to work hard for their scores, again due to some woeful tackling along the Argyll backline.
The hosts knew they were not playing well and would have to up their efforts particularly in defence to get anything out of the match. Injuries within the Argyll team meant that utility back, Gin Tas entered the field in what would be a memorable game for the Lithuanian.
Just before halftime a Hyndland clearing kick was gathered by the replacement Gin Tas inside his own half. The payer then went on a storming run down the touchline, weaving his way through the defence to touch down under the posts. Another conversion from Parr tied the scores at 17-17 at the break.
Like the first half Argyll made the best start to the second and scored a try within the first five minutes. Daniel Brodericked picked and went blind from the uncontested scrum before offloading to replacement winger Eba Mecauskas who touched down in the corner. A great conversion extended the score to 24-17.
From the resulting kick off came the best score of the day. Islay’s Anthony Bowman caught the ball in his own 22 and very cleverly kicked over the top of the on rushing Hyndland pack. Bowman’s pace let him reach the ball before anyone else where he gathered it on one hand by the halfway line and raced clear to score a fantastic try.
This great individual effort brought the score to 31-17 with Argyll hungry to press on.
Despite Argyll going a couple of tries ahead much credit must go to Hyndland who kept fighting in the game. The visitors were at times even down to as low as 13 players due to a lack of subs and injuries.
Again some poor tackling let Hyndland in for another soft score to narrow the margin to 31-22. Argyll though with a numerical advantage were dominating most of the attacking play and looed dangerous every time they moved forward with the ball.
Now playing at stand off for the injured Steven Parr, Gin Tas capped off an impressive afternoon with two further tries taking his total to four for the afternoon as Argyll raced 46-22 ahead.
Hyndland though refused to give up and scored a deserved consolation giving a final score of 46-29 in an entertaining game.
Despite the win Argyll knew that it was by all means not a complete performance with much work needed in defence. The attacking play of the team was encouraging throughout the game with seven good tries scored.
Argyll must step up their overall performance next weekend as they travel to face neighbours Isle of Mull RFC next Saturday. Mull have been unlucky not to have won the majority of their opening five matches and will provide Argyll with their toughest test of the season so far.
Kick off is 3pm at Garmony (TBC)
Argyll & Bute
Darren Miller, Craig McGuire, Mark Charlton, Kyle Graham, Jonathan Sayer, David Petrov, Neil Rimmer, Daniel Broderick, Allan Wright, Steven Parr, Alexandre Jobin, Daniel Hoey, Lewis MacFarlane, Roddy Morrison (Captian), Anthony Bowman.
Travis Smith, Eba Mescauskas, Gin Tas, Ruairidh Lister Campbell