Match Report from: Coach Andy Render
Annan U16’s Jekyll and Hyde season continued on Sunday when they were unable to reproduce their good form from their previous game vs Kilmarnock when hosting their counterparts from Strathaven.
Annan & Strathaven U16’s holding a minutes silence before today’s Remembrance Day fixture.
Despite the visitors only travelling with 15 players and insufficient front row experience (which resulted in the points being forfeited to Annan and the game being classified as a Development game), they comprehensively outplayed the hosts in all facets of the game with a strong team ethos aligned with core skills with and without the ball.
After a 1 min silence was held to mark Remembrance Sunday, the game kicked off under sunny skies and Strathaven immediately took the game to Annan. The home team lacked the intensity of last weekend in the defensive line speed and this resulted in pressure in the Annan 22 and a try to open the scoring which was well converted. Shortly afterwards a 2nd unconverted try made it 0-12.
To their credit Annan showed some reaction and after holding out under their posts worked the ball upfield and Josh Cairns scored on the wide left-hand side (unconverted). This appeared to lift the hosts and they got a second try through Callum Kirk although they perhaps could and should have scored a far easier try if they had used the backs who had acres of space.
Unfortunately, Annan having got back to within 2pts relaxed and conceded two further soft tries, first from some weak tackling and then from a ragged kick chase and poor defensive cohesion to take the half time score to 10-24.
At half time Annan’s coaches tried to increase the team’s intensity and reminded them of their tackling drills and the need to work harder in both the contact areas and the defensive line. There appeared to be some reaction as shortly after the resumption Cairns scored a second try which was converted although Strathaven responded almost immediately with perhaps the pick of their scores when their standoff put in a delightful cross kick to the right wing which bounced kindly and was ran in under the posts.
The game was reduced to 14 aside when one of the Strathaven lads was injured and as the game was a Development exercise Annan’s coaches were happy to player match.
In the final quarter Indy Swan scored two tries (one conversion) and Strathaven added 4 further scores (disappointingly two of these were virtually direct from restarts when Annan’s tackling disintegrated both physically and more worryingly in the mental approach).
The final score was to come from Annan when Kirk got his 2nd of the day to make the final score Annan 34 Strathaven 55.
Much to work on for Annan and the coaching team ahead of next week’s trip to Stewartry where there will be hope of a reaction and a more representative display of the efforts put in at training.
Best on the day for Annan was winger John Glendinning who ran strongly with the ball and was one of the few who showed his tackling ability throughout the game.
U16 Tigers Team
- C Kirk
- J Mackay
- I Swan
- E Hepburn
- D Templeton
- J Plumstead
- A Render
- J Cairns
- B Latimer
- F McMillan
- J Mitchell
- E Watson
- R Bell
- J Glendinning
- L Stevenson
- R Byers
- J Arthur
- M Coupland