League game @ Neilson Park, 26/11/11
|Dalziel 1st XV:||20|
Dalziel back to winning ways
ï¿¼On an extremely blustery day in Edinburgh, Dalziel travelled to Haddington hoping to put an end to their recent losing streak. With such a strong wind, both teams were going to have to minimize mistakes or else suffer the consequences of being put back into their own 22 by a huge kick on either turnover ball or penalties. Conditions were otherwise perfect however, and Dalziel were unusually quick to get into their stride with the wind at their backs in the first half. An early penalty conceded by the home side gave the Motherwell team a lineout in their 22, and scrum half Andy McLaren spotted a huge gap at the first ruck to snipe through under the posts unchallenged for the first converted try of the day. Then, from the restart Dalziel strung a few phases together in midfield before stand off Harris put in a delicate chip over the top for winger Lewis Matheson to sprint onto and dot down to take Dazielâ€™s tally to 14 within the first 10 minutes. Simpson converted both.
Playing into the wind, Haddington bounced back and stole the ball back from the restart, then their big runners provided good go forward ball for them phase after phase. Their number 7 in particular proved a tricky customer as the Dalziel boys struggled to put him down on a number of occasions, letting Haddington get over the gain line, and eventually they were able to spin the ball wide to score in the far corner, unconverted.
Dalziel almost got a third score in the first half as Harris made a searing break from a lineout on half way. He spun the ball wide to Kyle Matheson was caught just short of the line. They were awarded a penalty, however, and after a number of good phases the ball was spun out wide in search of the next score, but unfortunately good defensive work by the Haddington winger meant the chance was squandered. Dalziel had to settle for a Simpson penalty.
The second half came and Dalziel knew they were going to have to work even harder to get out of their own half with the strong wind against them. They started positively as they worked the ball from their own 22m to the halfway, only to concede a penalty and end up back on their own 5m line. Some sterling defensive work kept Haddington at bay for a while, but their try was almost inevitable. A Dalziel defender shot out of the line to hit man and ball but the ball was slipped past him and the Haddington player scooted in under the posts for a converted try. Dalziel replied with another Simpson penalty in front of the posts, taking the score to 20-12 .
Dalziel were not fazed by the pressure they were under and continued to play good rugby, even though they were playing into a strong wind, they were confident enough to throw the ball wide and were rewarded by a number of breaks and scurries into the Haddington half. However, with the wind at their back, it was much easier for Haddington to gain ground in attack. They scored a third try towards the end of the half as their winger broke down the flank and chipped ahead for their substitute wing forward to dot the ball down under the posts. That took the score to 20-19, and Dalzielâ€™s backs were well and truly against the wall at this point. They continued to play their game though, and worked extremely hard for each other by keeping the ball for long periods of time and making huge tackles when defending. A maverick kick in the Dalziel half handed the ball to Haddington and almost gave them the game, but a huge tackle was made on the home player and Dalziel managed to put the spilled ball out of play to win a hard fought game 20-19 in the end.
What Haddington had to say: Report - Photos - Video
David Irvine, Stephen Baird, George Sloan, Kris Watters, Craig Simmonds, Kris Hughes, Gavin Armstrong, Crawford Reid, Andy McLaren, John Harris, Lewis Matheson, James Baxendale, Kyle Matheson, Scott Johnstone, Robert Simpson
Subs: Les Barclay, Euan Stewart, Craig Lewis, Ross Westwood
Tries: Andy McLaren, Lewis Matheson
Conversions: Robert Simpson (2)
Penalties: Robert Simpson (2)
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