Bulls Tamed by Jedforest Power Play
By Neil Mitchell
Bulls 19 - Jed 50
After last week’s great win on the road, Hamilton faced the visit of free-scoring Jedforest. The victory moved the visitors to within 1 point of the league leadership despite a significant injury list. A final score of 19 – 50, however does not reflect the competitive nature of the contest as Hamilton played strong, attractive attacking rugby, but could not live with the skills and structure of a well disciplined of their Border visitors.
It took 10 minutes for Jed to get on the score board despite their territorial dominance in the early exchanges. Hamilton’s defence stood up to a sequence of powerful attacks, but eventually succumbed when the Young twins’ powerful running released Ewan Scott to score under the posts, and convert his own try. Hamilton went on the attack but handling in the strong wind brought the error. Jed capitalised on the turn over. Their second try was created by the vision of the excellent Ewan Scott at stand off, spotting that Hamilton’s defence was short of numbers on the narrow side. He scooped up a loose ball and broke blind and after good interplay with Lewis young, sent the full back in at the corner.
Hamilton’s indiscipline at the breakdown started to hurt them as a succession of penalties saw Jed into the Hamilton 22. Hamilton were holding their own in the set piece up front, but Jed’s accuracy at the breakdown led to their next score as a series of pick and goes at the loose saw Lock Gregor Law get the try under the posts. After a 4 try last week, Law went on to bag a hat trick in this fixture. He got his second 10 minutes later. Jed survived Hamilton’s determined attack, defending with great structure and a careless penalty from Hamilton allowed them to exit and turn defence into attack. From a lineout maul, Law forced his way over for the bonus point try.
Hamilton got on the score board on 32 minutes when a period of sustained forward pressure left Wilson with sight of the line. He still and much to do, but dragged two defenders over to score under the posts and convert his own try. However, Jed had the last say of the half when lock Clark Skeldon at the back of another maul forced the try to take the score to 7 – 33 at half time, although Hugo Crush
almost replied, but was held up on the line.
The second half seemed to be following the same pattern with Jed on the attack. Hamilton’s defence was defiant and held out until Hooker Grant McCowan
capitalised on strong forward play to pick and go and dive over under the posts. Wilson added the extras.The comeback seemed to be on, especially when 10 minutes later lock Ryan Butcher
made a great break on the wing and forced his way into the Jed half. Quick ball to the backs saw it whipped to the other wing where Gregor Brodie
popped up to score. Hamilton were really chasing the game, but again their indiscipline hurt them when Jed were awarded a penalty converted by Scott to open the gap. Despite Hamilton’s attacking intend, it was Jed who landed the next 2 sores. The first, Law’s hat trick try, showing a real turn of speed as broke through the Hamilton defence. The last came as a result of Hamilton’s quest to at least get the try bonus point. As the pressed the visitor’s line, Scott intercepted what would have been a scoring pass to break clear to half way. A clever cross-field kick was gathered by substitute winger Kyle Amos to score between the uprights. Final score 19 – 50, reflected the way Jed stuck to their structures in attack and defence, conceding only 3 penalties in the whole match.
Though understandably disappointed, Coach Gemmell, acknowledged the skill sets of the opposition, while applauding his own side’s application, and determination. Next week sees the Bulls visit Musselburgh who had an unexpected win at Gala.