Scots v. Shore
It was wet and wild at Bellevue Hill.
It was a quick start by Scots with (15) Guy Porter making a good break which was followed up by (9) Theo Strang passing to (7) Charlie Smith who found (12) Angus Crichton outside him to score next to the posts. When he converted his try the score was 7-0 to Scots after three minutes and the majority of the crowd were expecting an early blowout.
However Shore had other ideas.
Shore came straight back with a great run by their captain (7) Jum Woodhill which resulted in a penalty in front of the posts which (9) Harry Emery subsequently missed and would prove costly in this wet and muddy game.
There was pressure by Shore for a solid ten minutes with continual probing, however the ground was saturated and contributed to a number of handling errors from both sides.
Poor handling saw Shore work the ball into the Scots quarter and after a number of phases, quick work down the blind saw an immediate overlap of 5 -2 and Woodhill scored. The kick was unsuccessful: 7-5 Scots.
With 13 minutes left in the half, Emery was on top of Strang at this stage and forced a poor pass at the base of the scrum however Strang recovered to scoop it up to a flying (15) Guy Porter who crossed for a try. It wasn’t converted and Scots led 12 – 5.
From a ruck near halfway (10) Dan England was hit hard by the defence and lost the ball backwards. Shore hacked it forward and with the fullback in the line, (13) Matt Dowsett won the race and scored adjacent to the posts. The try was converted by Emery to tie the score up 12-all with four minutes to go to halftime.
Sloppy conditions meant some sloppy play and the score was 12 -12 at the break.
Whilst it hasn’t rained again the conditions are unchanged. Scots push Shore scrum off the ball which occurs a couple of times this half. Scrappy play ensues however a lineout won by Scots in an attacking position sees the ball go through the hands to Crichton who pushes a pass under pressure which is intercepted by replacement winger (19) Luke Rixon who sprints away to score under the posts. Emery converts and the score is Shore 19 Scots 12, ten minutes into the second half.
Shore (1) Fergus Bragg was yellow carded for an indiscretion at the breakdown. The Scots forwards then took the ball up with a number of phases leading to a penalty which was quickly taken however Shore defended well.
With 19 minutes to go a second penalty to Scots saw the ball spread quickly to Crichton who ran hard and beat a few defenders with his power to score his second try next to the posts which he converted to even the score up 19 all.
With 13 minutes to go a penalty to shore in front of the posts after (7) Smith didn’t release the tackled player. Kick was successful by Emery to see Shore take the lead 22 – 19.
More dropped balls and penalties ensued, Shore defence is good and Scots handling letting them down.
Scrum to Shore who lost the ball in the play, a penalty to Scots sees the forwards taking the ball up and after eight phases the ball went to the backs to see (11) Jake Prindiville beat the defence to score in the corner. Kick was unsuccessful however at 24 – 22 Scots had got out of jail with less than two minutes remaining.
Shore came back again in the final seconds however Scots retained the ball and kicked it out to bring down the curtain on a wonderful fighting Shore team.
Scots didn’t enjoy the wet start and this was reflected in their positioning and handling. Their game plan didn’t match the conditions and it took a long time to complete any phase play.
Shore seemed to enjoy the conditions a lot more than their hosts and didn’t let up all match. Their defence in the backs caused a lot of frustration which they capitalised on well and it appeared the forwards were up to the task.
Scots – (6) Toby Rudolf, (8) Max Girdler, (15) Guy Porter and (12) Angus Crichton stood out for the home team with strong running. Girdler and Rudolf leading the forwards and Porter and Crichton scoring three tries between them.
Shore – (9) Harry Emery, (7) Jum Woodhill, (13) Matt Dowsett and (14) Toby Cooke all had strong games in attack and defence. In the conditions they played well and were constantly in the play.
Shore came to play and Scots turned up to have a game. Despite the drenching in the first ten minutes and the subsequent handling errors it was an entertaining game with Shore looking the likely winners with two minutes to go.
Through the course of the game the Shore players tested Scots at every opportunity and capitalised on poor handling errors. Shore were a good team who used the conditions to their advantage and were tenacious without getting the win.
Scots 24 (J. Prindiville, G. Porter tries; A. Crichton 2 tries, 2 cons) def. Shore 22 (J. Woodhill, M. Dowsett, L. Rixon tries; H. Emery 2 cons, pen)
Second XV — Shore 33 – Scots 14
Third XV — Scots 31 – Shore 7
Scots v Shore photos by “Jasdec”
See video highlights of the game below in “Discussion”
See report on Riverview v Joeys on next page