“Hills” Uneven Performance is Their Undoing

Whitecraigs 46pts Hillhead/Jordanhill 17 pts

There can be no argument about the final score line which saw Whitecraigs motor to an impressive twenty seven points to five  half time lead ;  and then consolidate  finally  in the last  few minutes to add a further  twelve points after a  wobble from the start of the second period to the seventieth minute when the “Hills” were on top, outscoring their hosts by seventeen points  to seven.      But to practise  before the “Burns season”  :  “facts are chiels  which winna Ding “  and the eight to three  try winning margin,  while not perhaps being a fair reflection on the balance of play, is the one which appears in the rugby record and “Hills”  have to thole it and get on with it.

While “Hills”  forwards can take great credit from an improved scrummage and line out performance from the previous Saturday – two strikes against the head for Harry Perston – they were able to mount  only fleetingly  any periods of continuity play.  When the visitors worked well together, three/four phases  of driving play and then fast transfer to the open side, their play produced a try for flying left winger, Scott Busby, who scored in the left hand corner at the end of the first half.       Some dynamic driving up the middle of the field after fifty five minutes and fast hands from Darren Knox  allowed Scott Halliday to drive over for a thoroughly  merited try.   And then the pugnacious Ross Thomson at scrum half   scored a fine solo try from the base of the maul.   A quick dummy and then feint saw him tear through a gap and over the line like a Border terrier chasing a ferret.

There can be no doubt that the “Hills”, when they can collectively put their minds to it, can play with a freedom of expression and style, but the performance  has to be over the full eighty minutes  for their skills to merit to a win.       Playing “catch-up” rugby is not an easy chore,  and is very demanding on fitness and collective game plans and tactics.  The squad and their coaches should take considerable heart , however,   from this game.   That elusive first league win will surely come but only when their attention levels improve and possession/ball retention increases.

“Hills” 1st XV – Rory Harte, Dan Williams,  Scott Halliday, James Lowry (David Vallance), Scott Busby, Darren Knox, Ross Thomson, Carlos Celis (Adam Plunkett), Harry Perston, Blair Mackenzie, Calum Stove (C), Chris Warnock, Harry Cordner (Alex Armstrong), Chris Tulloch, Ryan Reilly.  All Subs used.

Bernie “The Bunnet” Mitchell