ACCIES TEACH GHA LESSON IN FIRST DEFEAT OF SEASON

GHA RFC MATCH 240: ARDROSSAN ACADEMICALS RFC 27 – 14 GHA RFC 

2012/2013: Scottish Championship A

ARDROSSAN ACADEMICALS RFC 

 GHA RFC

B. Hunter 15 S. Lang
C. McKechnie 14 R. Jericevich
J. McKee 13 H. O’Hare
A. Duncan 12 D. Dunn
J. Young 11 R. McClymont
(c) A. Wilson 10 T. Jericevich
M. Grant 9 A. Gillman
B. Hamilton 1 S. Spowart
K. Blair 2 J. Malcolm
I. Frazer 3 M. Kidd
M. McFarlane 4 R. Jenkins
M. Henry 5 J. Auld
S. Lamont 6 D. Malcolm
A. Flint 7 P. Harkins
G. Telfer 8 A. Auld
D. Kean 16 S. Gallacher
T. Rodger 17 R. Glen
S. Nimmo 18 G. MacDonald
R. McDougall 19
Try R. Jericevich, T. Jericevich
Con T. Jericevich (2)
Pen
DG
Referee
Mr I. Morrison

 

GHA travelled to Ardrossan expecting a tough battle against a side with a strong home record and a reputation for their battling qualities. With several first team regulars unavailable, the team were well aware that to come away from Ardrossan with a win would be no easy task.

Nevertheless, GHA dominated the opening exchanges and were unlucky not to score on several occasions as they battered the home defence. Ross McClymont and Dominic Dunn both went close but in the end, Ardrossan were able to clear their lines when GHA were penalised with the line in sight. Inside centre Dunn picked up a knee injury and with no backs on the bench, Number 8 Alan Auld was moved to inside centre for the remainder of the game.

GHA eventually broke their duck on the score board when scrum half Andrew Gillman broke up the blind side from a scrum in the GHA half. Right wing Rangi Jericevich drifted to his inside and took an inside pass. He stepped inside the covering defenders and sprinted for the line, riding the attempted tackle of the last defender as he crossed the line. Tane Jericevich converted to give GHA a deserved lead.

GHA’s achilles heel so far this season has been their first up tackling and yet again this proved so as a number of poor tackles allowed Ardrossan to pressurise the GHA line. GHA held out inititially but Ardrossan were eventually awarded a try when they went over from close range. The try was converted.

Ardrossan were to add a further penalty before the half was out but GHA would’ve been cursing themselves for not capitalising on a number of opportunities to score before half time. The first looked an almost certain try as centre Hefin O’Hare burst through in the mid field. Full back Scott Lang was on hand to take the support pass but his pass to wing Jericevich was deemed forward with the try line beckoning. And on the half time whistle, Alan Auld made a break up the right hand touch line, he regained his own chip ahead and passed to Lang on his inside. Lang ran at the last defenders but didn’t seem to notice O’Hare on his inside. He was tackled short and his off load to O’Hare was marginally forward but the ball should perhaps have been given earlier.

Ardrossan led 10-7 and unlike in previous weeks, GHA had been unable to make their early opportunities count.

The second half was altogether more cagey. Ardrossan were relentlessly competitive in the contact area but never really tested GHA out wide, rather it was their abrasive forwards who found holes in the GHA defence and made ground thanks to more poor tackling from GHA in the tight. There was little of note in the third quarter until a GHA error handed Ardrossan a scrum in front of the posts, 5 metres from the GHA line. A neat blind side move saw them score a simple try that seemed far too easy from a GHA perspective. Trailing 15-7, GHA then enjoyed their best spell of the second period. For 10 minutes, they dominated possession, upping the tempo of their attack and eventually, Tane Jericevich broke through from 5 metres out and reached out to score. He converted to leave the scores at 15-14 with 10 minutes remaining.

This should’ve been the catalyst for GHA to finally take control of the game but this error strewn performance was about to get worse. The Ardrossan fly half sealed the game shortly after when another missed tackle let him slip through and under the posts for the score. GHA’s misery was compounded when 5 minutes from time, GHA’s Rangi Jericevich and Hefin O’Hare clashed in mid-air while fielding a high ball with Jericevich landing awkwardly and being forced from the field. In the ensuing melee, Ardrossan got their bonus point score.

The remainder of the game petered out with GHA being forced to play a second row on the right wing and their injured fly half, Tane Jericevich saw the game out at full back as he had pulled a groin muscle but there was no one left to replace him.

Head Coach Gordon MacPherson was left ruing his side’s missed opportunities. He said:

“It was a very inconsistent performance in terms of we played some good rugby and then we played some not so good stuff. [Also], we didn’t really adapt to the conditions. In saying that we had chances but didn’t convert our opportunities which was the difference between the two teams.”

GHA were missing a number of first team backs which MacPherson feels did have an impact on the team’s performance. He added:

“If you take the regular starters out of any team, especially the quality of Andy Henderson, it is going to have an impact. On top of the fact we had an injury after 25 minutes and we had to put one of our back rowers into the backs didn’t help. I wouldn’t use that as an excuse but it did have an impact on the actual team performance.”

Next up GHA are at home to Greenock Wanderers (3pm on Saturday) and will be looking to get back to winning ways and will hope to have more first team regulars back.

Head Coach Gordon MacPherson said:

“They had a good draw against Whitecraigs who are one of the stronger teams in the league so they will be a tough team to beat again. They aren’t just going to lie down and let us run over the top of them. We are hoping to have Andy back unfortunately we don’t have Craig Sorbie back for another week. We have a couple of injuries from the weekend so we won’t know [who’s available for Saturday] until Thursday. We are getting down to the bare bones in terms of our backs but we do have more cover in the forwards now.”

GHA know that they can not expect to compete at the top of the table whilst they continue to gift sides tries.

Source: Bill McMurtrie & David Coates

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