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1st XV - Match centre

Marr RFC
Aberdeen Grammar Rugby
R Miller, F Hazel, S Bickerstaff, L McLoughlin, W Farquhar
Tries
C Sturgeon (3), L McLoughlin
Conversions
Sat 19 Jan 14:00 - Club Championships - Tennent's National League Division 1 Full time

Brutal defensive display at Fullarton earns 5 points

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4 tries inside 30 minutes was enough to put away a quality Aberdeen Grammar side.

Match report by Stephen Allam

Marr Maintain Momentum to Maul Aberdeen

On a cold and still day at Fullarton Marr managed to suppress an Aberdeen side that had won their last seven Tennent’s National 1 matches.

Tennent's NL1- Marr Rugby v Aberdeen Grammar Rugby (19.1.1.9) photos courtesy of Ken Ferguson
10 photos

With a large home support and perfect weather for fluent rugby, Marr took to the field eager to maintain their position as league leaders.

Marr kicked off and Aberdeen gained possession. For the next seven minutes Aberdeen powered forward with good ball control from both backs and forwards. As they entered the Marr 22 metre line Marr managed to turn over the ball and Ross Miller went on the rampage gaining 50 metres deep into the Aberdeen half.

From a scrum awarded to Marr on the Aberdeen 22m Marr broke left and Liam McLoughlin came close to crossing the defending team’s line. From the resultant ruck the ball came to Marr’s big number 8 Miller, who managed to break the first tackle and power over the Aberdeen line for Marrr’s first score. Sturgeon duly converted.

Two minutes later Marr started a skilful rolling maul on Aberdeen’s 22m and managed to get within 2 metres of the line. The ball was passed out to the blindside, however the Aberdeen winger was offside and the referee deemed this serious enough to punish the Aberdeen player with a yellow card.

From the penalty scrum on the 5m mark Findlay Hazel decided to go blind side and with the Aberdeen defence focus on Marr’s Scott Bickerstaff , Hazel noticed the gap and sped through to touch down to further Marr’s lead.

The home side now full of confidence and a man advantage soon scored again. From inside Marr’s half the ball was passed out the forwards and it came to Ross Miller who made a break down the wing and used the overlap to pass to Scott Bickerstaff who turned on his well-known afterburners to leave the Aberdeen defence in his wake and to score in the corner.

Marr scored the bonus point try from a move from a line out. Colin Sturgeon made the break down the right wing. He had Scott Bickerstaff outside him but through a lovely dummy passed to his inside where he found Marr’ fullback McLoughlin at full pace and with a sufficient gap to run through and score a great try underneath the Aberdeen posts.
With the exciting first half coming to a close Aberdeen rallied and drove up the park rucking and mauling and testing the Marr defence to the full. Eventually the ball came to the Aberdeen wing forward Jollands and from a rolling maul touched down to give Aberdeen a deserved score.

Half time Marr 26 Aberdeen 7.

The second half kicked off with Marr confident in increasing their dominance in this match. However this did not happen. Aberdeen were determined to show why they have won their last seven games and that they were no push overs. For the next 25 minutes Aberdeen were camped deep into the Marr 22m. Time and again Aberdeen drove towards the Marr line and time and again Marr’s defence stood up and repelled the Aberdeen advances. This was a most impressive display of ball control by Aberdeen but equally a fine display by the home side’s defence, determined that Aberdeen would not cross their line.

Marr eventually won possession when Captain Conor Bickerstaff put in an extremely aggressive tackle on his opposite number and with his forwards driving over the ball Marr gained a vital turnover and at long last got possession of the ball back.

Craig Redpath Marr’ head coach now made a few changes with Evans coming on for Steel and Jamie Drummond coming on for Grant. Jamie, Marr’s Scotland under 18 squad player was making his debut for the 1st XV and received a big cheer as he entered the fray.
There was one more try to come [the only score in this very tight second half]. It came from one of the few times in this half when Marr threatened the Aberdeen line.

Marr’s forwards drove into the Aberdeen 22m and after several phases the ball came to William Farquhar and from a couple of metres out, drove over the Aberdeen line to make the final score Marr 33 Aberdeen Grammar 7.

Marr will we very satisfied with this performance. They scored some very good tries and their defence looked solid when called upon.

Aberdeen are a very strong side and we must give them credit for their second half performance. A performance that deserved more points, if it were not for Marr’s defensive capabilities.

Man of the match for the second week in a row was our very own captain Conor Bickerstaff.

Marr Rugby 1st XV man of the match – Conor Bickerstaff (sponsored by CCL Logistics)

Marr Rugby 1st XV scorers
Tries: Ross Miller; Findlay Hazel; Scott Bickerstaff; Liam McLoughlin and William Farquhar
Conversions: Colin Sturgeon (3) and Liam McLoughlin (1)

Conor Bickerstaff

Player of the Match

Conor Bickerstaff

Key moments

10:00
Try Ross Miller scores for Marr RFC
11:00
Conversion Colin Sturgeon kicks a conversion for Marr RFC
20:00
Try Findlay Hazel scores for Marr RFC
25:00
Try Scott Bickerstaff scores for Marr RFC
26:00
Conversion Liam McLoughlin kicks a conversion for Marr RFC
32:00
Try Liam McLoughlin scores for Marr RFC
33:00
Conversion Colin Sturgeon kicks a conversion for Marr RFC
70:00
Try William Farquhar scores for Marr RFC
71:00
Conversion Colin Sturgeon kicks a conversion for Marr RFC

Highlights

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80:00 Player of the Match
Conor Bickerstaff is awarded player of the match for Marr RFC
71:00 Conversion 33 - 0
Colin Sturgeon kicks a conversion for Marr RFC
70:00 Try 31 - 0
William Farquhar scores for Marr RFC
End of period 1
33:00 Conversion 26 - 0
Colin Sturgeon kicks a conversion for Marr RFC
32:00 Try 24 - 0
Liam McLoughlin scores for Marr RFC
26:00 Conversion 19 - 0
Liam McLoughlin kicks a conversion for Marr RFC
25:00 Try 17 - 0
Scott Bickerstaff scores for Marr RFC
20:00 Try 12 - 0
Findlay Hazel scores for Marr RFC
11:00 Conversion 7 - 0
Colin Sturgeon kicks a conversion for Marr RFC
10:00 Try 5 - 0
Ross Miller scores for Marr RFC
Start of the game
Replay game

As it happened

  • Marr RFC
  • Aberdeen Grammar Rugby
  • 0
  • Ross Miller Try 10:00'
  • Colin Sturgeon Conversion 11:00'
  • Findlay Hazel Try 20:00'
  • Scott Bickerstaff Try 25:00'
  • Liam McLoughlin Conversion 26:00'
  • Liam McLoughlin Try 32:00'
  • Colin Sturgeon Conversion 33:00'
  • William Farquhar Try 70:00'
  • Colin Sturgeon Conversion 71:00'

Team selection

McLoughlin, Liam McLoughlin, Liam
Bickerstaff, Scott Bickerstaff, Scott
Paxton, Gregor Paxton, Gregor
Bickerstaff, Conor Bickerstaff, Conor
Scott, Jack Scott, Jack
Sturgeon, Colin Sturgeon, Colin
Hazel, Findlay Hazel, Findlay
Miller, Ross Miller, Ross
Steel, Callum Steel, Callum
Law, Dan Law, Dan
Grant, Fraser Grant, Fraser
Bulger, Ewan Bulger, Ewan
Henderson, Calvin Henderson, Calvin
Rossi, Ollie Rossi, Ollie
Farquhar, William Farquhar, William

League round up

Other Tennent's National League Division 1 results

Hamilton Rugby Club
Musselburgh RFC
Cartha Queens Park RFC
Jed-Forest RFC
GHA RFC
Kelso RFC
Gala RFC
Kirkcaldy RFC
Selkirk RFC
Dundee HSFP RFC

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League table

# Team Pl Pts
1. Marr RFC 22 74
2. Selkirk RFC 2 6
3. Jed-Forest RFC 2 4
4. Gala RFC 2 4
5. GHA RFC 2 0
6. Musselburgh RFC 2 0
7. Aberdeen Grammar Rugby 2 0

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