Shogun’s Top Guns Visit Laigh Bent
By Ross Whiteside
Another improvement on a previous league encounter
Saturday saw the Young Bulls entertain the conferences top side in what was anticipated was going to be one of the hardest games of the season as the unbeaten Boroughmuir Colts visited Laigh Bent with an early kick off due to the International at Murrayfield.
The game started with the Young Bulls under pressure from Muir’s fast flowing game and after 5 minutes of what seemed like constant pressure, the Boroughmuir centres finally identified a miss match in the middle of the Bulls defence to dot down under the posts and the conversion was added.
Hamilton retained the ball from the kick off, but after retaining possession for 4 or 5 phases took the ball into contact and the ball carrier was isolated which resulted in a turnover on their visitors 22. The ball was quickly moved wide and 3 offloads later they were in behind the cover defence to score under the posts. With another conversion added the score was 0-14.
10 minutes into the game and Hamilton lost the ball against the head on their put-in to a scrum. Boroughmuir again quickly moved the ball wide and a chip over the top deceived the Bull’s scrambling Full Back Lewis Reid and bounced kindly for their outside centre for him to run in unchallenged. Conversion added again and the score moved on to 0-21.
As usual with this bunch of young men representing Hamilton, they refused to let their heads go down and the next 10 minutes saw them match their visitors in both physically and commitment until following a scrum on halfway, the Muir Backs worked incredibly hard in getting round the corner in attack and created an overlap to score in the right hand corner, with the Fly Half missing his first conversion of the game the score moved on to 0-26.
Following the restart, a poor kick chase from Hamilton saw Boroughmuir runners glide thru the gaps left and score within a minute under the posts. 0-33.
The young Bulls were starting to feel the effects of the amount of tackles they were having to make and at points the good tackle techniques that they have shown over the past few games was starting to let them down as they were getting tired with 2 more tries being scored before the halftime whistle. Half Time score was 0-45.
During the break, the Hamilton coaches tried to reiterate the game plan of moving the ball wide and for the players to use the defensive line press as a team, and although they conceded an early converted try they put these instructions into perfect play when they managed to turn the ball over in the middle of the park following great pressure with the line press. With the ball moved wide to the right and it was left to Outside Centre Euan Stirling to run the ball in to score in the right corner. With the conversion missed the score was 5-52.
12 minutes into the half and the visitors had a scrum on the middle of the park on the Bulls 22. They moved the ball quickly to the right and this time Hamilton’s press defence missed the important first tackle which allowed the right wing to score in the corner. 5-59.
For the next 18 minutes the match was mainly played between the two 22 yard lines and it showed that when this U18 team play together as one, nail their basic skills and techniques they deserve to be playing at this level and can be a match for the other teams in the Conference. It also lets them know, that no matter what level you are playing at, if concentration or technique is poor then your opponents will take advantage.
Boroughmuir scored the final points of the match in the 26th minute of the half when they moved the ball out wide on the right to score in the corner. With the conversion missed a final score of 5-64 was recorded.
Although the scoreboard shows a one sided game, the amount of effort and determination put in by the Young Bulls didn’t go unnoticed with
the referee making a point of approaching the Hamilton Coaches commenting and applauding their players commitment and togetherness as a team with the quote of “It’s performances like today from a team who never gave up or let the score get to them being the reason I carry on refereeing” being passed onto the squad.
Once again, a strong support was greatly appreciated by the players and coaches.