Match Report from: Coach Andy Render
After 5 good weeks of preseason work the U16 lads got their first run-out of the season at a dry but windy Greenlaw against our old friends and rivals Stewartry. This was to be the squad’s first run together ahead of the start of the Mitsubishi Galant Conference B fixtures next weekend.
Travelling with a squad of 17 it was hoped to give all players game time as well as try a few options in key positions over three 20 min periods.
From kick off Annan had to defend against a strong Stewartry onslaught and despite some strong defence eventually the hosts powered over for an unconverted try. From the restart Annan put some good attacking play together and were rewarded when from a surge by Josh Cairns the referee spotted an illegal high tackle and award a Penalty Try.
At the 1/3rd interval the Annan coaches reminded their charges to be more aggressive in defence and also the attacking breakdown and this appeared to pay dividends when in the 2nd period Annan enjoyed a prolonged period of dominance.
Ruaridh Bell was first to score with a surge up the centre after strong work by the pack which was followed by a score from Callum Kirk with a strong run up the left wing. Bell was to score a 2nd try shortly after in a similar way to his 1st and the period ended with an Indy Swan score after some excellent continuity and support play. Fraser McMillan converted 3 of these.
The coaches urged the team for a final effort in the 3rd period but to their credit Stewartry fought back to score 4 quick fire scores through backs and forwards, none of which were converted in the strong cross wind. Towards the end Annan roused themselves and drove forward strongly and Kirk was once again on the end of the final pass to score in the corner – this went unconverted.
So the game finished 6 tries to 5 in Annan’s favour with the PT and conversions the final tally being 38-25. A valuable runout for the lads ahead on next week’s trip to Greenock. Plenty for the coaches to work on in both attack and defence as well as fitness but some really encouraging play in spells too.
Our thanks as always to parents for helping with transport and to our hosts at Stewartry for the game and post match food.
Training continues this week on Tues/Thurs at 6pm.
Annan Tigers Team: Indy Swan, John Mackay, Josh Cairns, James Plumstead, Jamie Arthur, Max Coupland, Callum Kirk, Aitken Render (C), Lex Stevenson, Fraser McMillan, Robbie Byers, Euan Watson, John Glendinning, Jake Mitchell, Ruaridh Bell, David Templeton, Curran Stainthorpe