Renfrew 12 Braidholm 33
On an ideal day to play rugby, Braidholm, although sorely pressed, where the forwards stood up and performed a great shift, ran out comfortable winner on Saturday 33-12.
Yet again the forwards were outweighed and were small compared to the Renfrew pack. The game plan from the start was to run the ball at them, and run wide as often as possible. I have to say this plan sort of worked, although upfront if was tough.
Probably, against the run of play, Braidholm scored in the first 15 minutes, with Scott Mathieson breaking down the blindside of the scrum from inside his own half to score, adjacent to the posts and Scott Carson to convert, 7-0. A further flurry down the left wing with Carson & Mathieson competing to get the ball on the Renfrew try line, ended with Mathieson scoring in the corner, and Carson failing with the conversion, 12-0. Renfrew rallies and after some pressure came close only to give away an unnecessary penalty. Braidholm captain Carson signalled that he was going to kick right but with a surprise move kicked left, which was too far for the Braidholm winger but perfect for the Renfrew winger, when the ball landed at his feet all he had to do was kick the ball forward and score comfortably/easily in the corner, fortunately the error was not compounded as the conversion was missed, 12-5. This seemed to vitalise Braidholm and they went on the rampage scoring a further two tries, one by Callum Morrison after Scott Carson took a quick penalty, close to the Renfrew line and sent Morrison over the line. Carson converting, 19-5 and a great backs move, finished off again by Scott Mathieson, under the posts, to give Carson a simple effort which he happily complied, 26-5.
This wasnt job done and as expected Renfrew came at Braidholm, with a level of skill & endeavour that had been missing from their play in the first half, and forced Braidholm to take a backward step and camped themselves in the Braidholm 22. Great defensive work, predominantly by the forwards, with some help from the backs, repulsed the Renfrew foray for 25 plus minutes, until finally Renfrew Scores close to the posts and was converted, 26-12. Braidholm eventually conceded a score to and immediately got into the opponents half so they could show their strength of playing open and exiting rugby, which they did, culminating in a try for Massimo Pieri, who was following up as any good hooker should do, ably converted by Robin Smythe, who by this time, had replaced Scott Mathieson at Scrum Half, due to an ankle injury at half time, and Scott Carson as kicker, as the Braidholm captain had been taken off with a shoulder injury. Braidholm ran down the clock and took their third league victory.
This was the toughest game of the season so far and this particular match showed how well the forwards have responded to the pressures, full credit to them. Again the backs have partially shown their colours although it is fair to say that without the forward effort this game could have drifted away.
Braidholm Roving Reporter
Renfrew 12 Braidholm 33