Slow start costs Marr at Meggetland
2 valuable points gained away from home
Marr Rugby 1st XV summary: Injuries and other unavailability led to several changes in Marr’s starting line-up and bench. In the Marr pack notable absentees Angus Johnston. Ross Miller and Chris Nisbet were joined at the last minute by Kyle Hatherall. Fraser Grant who had already won a place on the bench was promoted to the starting line-up while Kyle Vallance (sponsored by Finesse Marquees) was called into the squad to join the replacements.
In the opening exchanges Marr started brightly with forwards and backs combining well. Their efforts were rewarded on eight minutes with a converted try. Greg Jackson crashed through from close range after Colin Sturgeon had made an incisive break to take play close to the Boroughmuir line. Boroughmuir made an immediate response with a converted penalty.
Just into the second quarter Boroughmuir kicked a penalty to the corner. From the resulting lineout a textbook training ground move was executed with precision and Johnny Matthews completed the play as he crossed the line to score what was to be the first of his three tries for the day. On twenty-five minutes Marr equalised after a penalty converted by Colin Sturgeon. Failing to deal effectively with the restart Marr lost possession and immediately came under pressure from repeated phases of Boroughmuir attacking play. Eventually they created sufficient space for a score in the corner. Approaching half time Boroughmuir further extended their lead with another try that came of a close range attacking lineout. Marr had been penalised for not releasing the ball in a tackle and in confident mood Boroughmuir opted not to take an easy three points but instead kick to the corner. The pack delivered the try under the posts after several close range charges were repelled. This opened up a twelve point lead as the half ended 22 – 10.
For the second half Marr made a tactical switch. Colin Sturgeon moved to stand-off and Gregor Paxton was brought on at inside centre. An energetic start was rewarded with a penalty close to Boroughmuir’s line. Marr opted to take a scrum and from the phases they started to stretch the defence. After several close range attacks were beaten back Marr retained possession and the impetus. Fraser Grant capitalised on a gap as he perfectly angled his run in from 15 metres. Early in the second half Greg Jackson and James Malcolm were replaced due to injury and Neil Wallace and Stephen Adair come on as replacements
Boroughmuir continued to hit back with some adventurous play and probing runs from forwards and backs who were combining well and testing Marr’s defence. Eventually the pressure gained a penalty advantage and once again they opted to kick to the corner. From the lineout Johnny Matthews scored his third try of the day as he threw it short, received a return pass and broke up the narrow side skipping past the cover tackles.
This sparked a good response from Marr who enjoyed ten or so minutes of possession and territory in Boroughmuir’s half. During this time Colin Sturgeon reduced the deficit with a penalty conversion and Will Farquhar burrowed his way under a pile of defenders to touch down for a try. The conversion levelled the score.
With five minutes remaining Boroughmuir added their final try and conversion. This set up a final flurry as Marr battled to regain possession and get back on to the attack. Boroughmuir worked well to retain control. In the dying minutes Marr won a penalty deep in their half. Replacement Max Freydell gained 60 metres from the kick to take the attacking lineout deep into Boroughmuir territory. Marr attacked off the throw in and took play to Boroughmuir’s try line. Desperate defence followed and in the final play of the match Marr pressure was rewarded with a forward dominated try scored by Will Farquhar. Boroughmuir’s massed ranks charged the conversion attempt which was unsuccessful to leave them with a two point advantage and their first win of the season. Marr had to settle for a try and losing bonus points.
All said and done it was a creditable performance that earned two points that will be vital in Marr’s campaign. A number of players excelled, in particular Greg Peterson who delivered a phenomenal work rate in attack and defence. Marr move on from this match to regroup and deal with the growing list of injuries as they prepare for the match that everyone has been waiting for since April – a 1st XV tie between Marr Rugby and Ayr - after almost a 40 year gap since the last one - I'm told in the late 70's in an Ayrshire Cup match at Millbrae.
Marr Rugby 1st XV Man of the match – Greg Peterson
Marr Rugby 1st XV scorers
Tries: Greg Jackson; Fraser Grant and William Farquhar (2)
Conversions: Colin Sturgeon (3)
Penalties: Colin Sturgeon (2)