ELEVENTH HEAVEN AS GHA PUT SAINTS TO SWORD

GHA RFC MATCH 256: GHA RFC 65 – 14 DUMFRIES SAINTS RFC 

2012/2013 Scottish Championship A

GHA RFC 

 DUMFRIES SAINTS RFC

S. Lang 15 T. Hiddleston
R. Jericevich 14 A. Wilson
H. O’Hare 13 M. Yates
(c) A. Henderson 12 S. Hiddleston (c)
J. Brogan 11 K. Henderson
D. Dunn 10 G. Gemmell
A. Gillman 9 A. Ainslie
M. Kidd 1 S. Graham
J. Malcolm 2 F. Paul
S. Fisher 3 G. Duffy
R. Jenkins 4 B. Hunt
J. Auld 5 A. Mather
D. Malcolm 6 M. McClatchey
P. Harkins 7 C. Wicks
G. MacDonald 8 S. Renwick
S. Spowart 16 D. Boyd
J. Pinder 17 J. Kerr
A. Auld 18 A. Prentice
C. Binnie 19
Jericevich (3), Gillman (2), Lang (2), A. Auld, Fisher, Henderson, O’Hare Try McClatchey
Brogan (3), Lang (2) Con
Pen T. Hiddleston (3)
DG
Referee
Mr C. Brett (Edinburgh RS)

 

A bonus point was secured inside half an hour and 7 more tries flowed in during the second half as GHA swept beyond a half-century of points in beating Dumfries at Braidholm on Saturday. It was a day when the making and the taking of chances were blood brothers.

Victory strengthened GHA’s position atop the Championship A division table, and it added to probably a unique situation in that the leaders’ total of bonus points exceeds the number of games played. GHA’s 14 matches have produced 10 wins, 16 bonuses, and 56 league points.

GHA’s rugby was a happy mixture of strength up front and pace among the backs. The forwards were fearsome at times in their driving play, and that was complemented by their enthusiasm with ball in hand, none more so than the youngsters, Grant MacDonald and James Malcolm. That element of the GHA game was as much a joy as the strike running of the likes of Rangi Jericevich and Andrew Gillman as well as the precise and accurate passes of Andrew Henderson.

Jericevich scored three tries, and Gillman had two, as did Scott Lang, with one each from Hefin O’Hare, Henderson, Alan Auld, and Sean Fisher. It the midst of all that, it might almost have escaped notice that only five of the 11 tries were converted – three by John Brogan, and two by Lang.

However, it was not always one-way traffic. Despite the scoreboard, Dumfries were competitive for much of the game. Indeed, they had the chance to be the game’s first scorers, when GHA conceded a penalty in the first minute, but Tom Hiddleston struck it wide.

Hiddleston did kick two penalty goals in the middle of the first half, cutting GHA back to 12-6 after 22 minutes. He had another immediately before the interval, and the Dumfries perseverance was rewarded when the forwards drove over for a Mark McClatchey try nine minutes into the second half.

But how the visitors must have agonised at how their mistakes were so harshly exploited, as with GHA’s first try, which was born with a Dumfries fumble when they were pressing in the home 22. Jamie Auld secured that loose ball, and O’Hare linked to send Jericevich away on a 60-metre run for his first try. Brogan converted.

GHA’s second was from much closer range, O’Hare going in from a tapped penalty in the Dumfries 22. So GHA led 12-0 after only six minutes. But Hiddleston soon responded with his first penalty goal, and his second followed in 22 minutes.

Seeing their lead cut to six points sparked GHA into life again. Lang went over from swift crossfield passing, Brogan converting, and O’Hare’s chip through up the right touchline allowed Jericevich to scamper in for his second try.

Hiddleston’s third penalty goal made the half-time score 24-9, but only five minutes into the second half GHA had increased their lead by 12 points. Fisher was driven over to finish off percussion hammering on the visitors’ line, Brogan converting, and after Donald Malcolm had initiated another drive by his fellow forwards Henderson’s perfectly weighted pass sent Jericevich in for his third.

It was then that Dumfries had their sole try, but in the final half-hour GHA produced five more of their own. A driven scrummage close to the visitors’ line made the opportunity for Henderson to score off his own tapped penalty, Chris Binnie and Alan Auld had been on the field for only seconds before they joined in a scoring move, the former’s break allowing the latter to run in from around 30 metres, and in the final quarter Gillman’s searing pace took him clear for two individual tries. Those scores by the scrum half bracketed Lang’s second try, made by another long, spot-on pass from Henderson. Lang converted the last two tries.

That final quarter included a cameo appearance by Jamie Pinder, back at Braidholm after a sojourn home in New Zealand. No doubt more will be seen of the predatory back-row forward in GHA’s remaining matches.

Scottish Rugby Blog:

Scottish Rugby Blog, an online news source independent from the SRU, has built a reputation for it’s insightful, interesting articles and discussion on the Scottish game.

They sent their roving reporter, Moody Blue, to Braidholm to take in the GHA versus Dumfries clash. Read the review here: http://www.scottishrugbyblog.co.uk/2013/01/a-dip-into-rbs-chamionship-a-moody-blue-at-braidholm/ 

Source: David Coates, Moody Blue & Dumfries Saints, Monday 28th January 2013

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