On a sunny autumnal day, Hills 2nd XV dazzled Dalziel to come away with a 62 – 5 bonus point win. This win comes on the back of two disappointing losses but is the result of persistence in training. Frustrations have been evident in coaches Dougie and Stuart who see the potential in all reserve players, but finally hard work on handling drills has paid off.
The conditions were perfect at Jordanhill High School and for a number of the team this was a return to an old haunt. The match provided great entertainment with 10 tries consisting of a Hat-trick from Bourrel and first Hills tries for Smillie and Thompson. Similar targets set by the 1st XV were used for the 2nd XV and certainly the number of phases and number of attacks crossing the gain line were much higher than in recent weeks. The management of backs by Donaldson along with the changing angles and finding of gaps by centres Franklin and Mayes troubled Dalziel from start to finish.
Scoring started very early in the game with a first line break and collective finish. It was then the first Hills score for Smillie from a No.8 pick from a scrum close to Dalziel’s line, quick ball started the second phase to a waiting Donaldson who quickly passed onto Smillie who cut a great angle to break through the line to get between the uprights. The third try was touched down after a great forwards line out and release by Donaldson at 10 to Franklin who broke the attempted tackles from Dalziel centres. Hills fourth was Bourel’s first of the afternoon, an overthrown lineout gathered by Gillie, offloaded to Bourrel to crash through a challenging defence. Hills confidence was shining through, the forwards were punishing a soft Dalziel pack in the scrum as well contending well at every line out. Hills fifth try was very much a team try, the phase started within the Hills 22, good hands and running saw Franklin make a break running from to their 22 before facing a one on one with Dalziel fullback, a loose pass was made to Johnston who stretched out to catch above his head before gathering securely and headed straight for the line to touch down. Dalziel did manage to score one try as they capitalised on Hills not securing fringes while defending a maul after a lineout, Dalziel’s large pack was consuming defenders and their number 12 broke off on the blindside for a speedy sprint to the line. Mayes and Bourrel both crossed the line for tries six and seven before substitute Plunkett made it eight by stretching out to touch the ball right on the line. Try nine came after a lineout was picked up by McGoldrick to link with Franklin to off load to Thompson to cross the line. The final try was to be scored by Bourel to make it his hat-trick for the game.
Hills certainly played their game and at a speed that Dalziel could not keep up with. However, Hills were their own worst enemy at times giving away over 15 penalties, most of which were for coming in from the side and being offside. The defence was strong with many double tackles stopping Dalziel in their tracks. Handling and communication had improved greatly from recent weeks and with displays like this, there is no reason why Hills 2nd XV can’t climb the league table. There will be a well-earned break in matches but the squad will return to play away to Hamilton 3rd XV on Saturday 2nd December 2017.
Hills 2nd XV: Dale Coghill; Callum Kettles; Blair MacKenzie; Loïs Legendre; Charlie Smillie; Fraser Gillie; Steven Kay; Hélian Bourrel; Gaëtan Boyer; Tom Donaldson; Conor Thompson; Jamie Franklin; Ruaridh Mayes; Blair Johnston; Graham Davidson; Adam Plunkett; Preston McGoldrick; Tom Primrose; Johnny Kinniburgh.
Report & Picture by Martin Malone