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MUNTLY U15S RUN FREE AT HIGHLAND IN CALEDONIA SHIELD
Wed 31st Jan 2018
Muntly U15s travelled to Inverness in the first round of the Caledonia Shield last Sunday and came away with an emphatic victory over their Highland counterparts.

Only playing together for the second time this season, Muntly started scrappily and, despite enjoying the majority of possession, lacked the accuracy to take advantage; stubborn resistance from a well drilled Highland outfit saw a rising Muntly error count thwart their progress in the Highland half.

Indeed, the opening opportunities fell to the fleet footed Highland right winger who looked to be away on two occasions, before being bundled into touch by Muntly cover tackles.

It was a good third of the way through the first period before the deadlock was broken; Muntly, growing in confidence as they started to string together some good ruck phase play, broke to the right through some neat interplay from 2nd Row Jai Obrien and Flanker Dylan Price only to be held up just short of the Highland line.

First to arrive at the subsequent ruck, quick thinking Centre Frankie Gillespie picked up and drove over from short range to score.

With big defensive hits going in from both sides, there was plenty of opportunity for open, running play and Highland made several forays into the Muntly half after Muntly infringements at the breakdown.

Excellent line-out work from John Rodwell, saw the ball turned over and after a high tackle from Highland, Muntly elected to run the penalty from deep in their own half.

Skipper Alex Logie barrelled forward and quick ball saw Fly-Half Euan Willetts set prop Archie Wilson away into a gap; after shrugging off several tackles he made the line to stretch the Muntly lead.

Learning from their earlier errors, Muntly benefited from better discipline at the breakdown as Highland conceded a number of penalties for infringements at the ruck.

Sharp thinking from Scrum-half George Lunn, with a quick tap-and-go, and Full-back Tom Letch in support caught the Highland defence napping as Letch sprinted in from the 22.

The half drew to a close with Highland enjoying good territory once more; however, excellent Muntly tackling and counter-rucking once again secured valuable turnover ball and the half finished Highland 0 – Muntly 17, with Willetts having added a conversion.

Muntly put the tie beyond doubt in the opening minutes of the second half. With Highland enjoying good possession, working the ball through several phases and then trying to exploit space on the left, Centre Scott Cousar picked-off a short Highland pass to intercept and fly in under the posts from half way.

Then, the subsequent re-start was neatly gathered by winger Ross Arnott who made a sharp advance down the left before the re-cycled ball found its way to Willetts, who once more set Wilson away with a delightful, deft pass; Wilson, running a super line, duly side-stepped the fullback to dot down under the posts once more.

This quick-time Muntly double seemed to knock the stuffing out of Highland, who were already reeling from the constant tackle pressure exerted by Muntly, the back-row and centres in particular.

And this pressure continued to tell as a familiar pattern of forced turnover or Highland infringement allowed Muntly to cut loose.

Run ball from a penalty saw Wilson break once more before being brought down just short and the quick phase ball was moved left to find O’Brien who danced over the line.

Letch added his second when a knocked on Highland ball, centre-field was gratefully picked up and he outstripped the defence from his own half.

Letch was the grateful recipient once more when turnover ball, the product of yet more Gillespie and Cousar destructive tackling, was quickly off-loaded by Winger Markus McBain and his pace took him clear to complete his hat-trick.

Clearly enjoying themselves and bountiful possession, Muntly concluded proceedings with another fine try; Willetts spotted a gap in the back line and accelerated on the angle to almost get clear, and with the Highland cover about to pounce, he slipped the pass to Letch who glided over once more.

Willetts added 4 second half conversions for a final score of Highland U15s 0 – 55 Muntly U15s.

This was a massively improved and impressive performance from a Muntly squad that is still getting used to playing with each other.

By initially setting the tone for the match with solid defence and fine work on the ground, particularly from the back row of Price, Rodwell and Clark, Muntly were able to grow into the game.

The maturity of the performance in performing the basics well and being patient in waiting for their opportunities, bodes well for the future.

Particularly pleasing for the Muntly coaches was the commitment to, and the quality of, tackling across all 19 squad members and the intelligent rugby played throughout.

Muntly will now host Dunfermline U15s in the second round of the Caledonia Shield, 18th February 18.

Muntly U15s: Alex Logie (C), Archie Wilson, Scott Riach, Jai O’Brien, Charlie Anderson, Dylan Price, John Rodwell, Gregor Clark, George Lunn, Euan Willetts, Ross Arnott, Frankie Gillespie, Scott Cousar, Markus McBain, Tom Letch, Fraser Whitecross, Roddy Manson, Connor Falcus, Iain Stuart


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Caledonia 2 North

(2018/19 Results)
TEAM PLD PTS
Highland 2nd XV 4 20
Garioch 5 19
Mackie 3 15
North Police 4 11
Ab'deen Gram 2nd XV 4 9
Ross Sutherland 4 9
Banff 5 5
Moray 4 4
RAF Lossiemouth 3 2

Last 1st XV Game

1st XV Season (2018/19)
Garioch 35 - 12 Moray
20th Oct 18 - KO: 15:00
Venue: Kellands Park

Next 1st XV Game

1st XV Season (2018/19)
Moray vs Banff
27th Oct 18 - KO: 15:00
Venue: Morriston
:: More Fixtures

Caledonia 4 North

(2018/19 2nd XV Results)
TEAM PLD PTS
Peterhead 4 15
Fraserburgh 4 11
Inverness CD 5 10
Deeside 3 8
Moray 2nd XV 3 6
Dyce 3 6
Ab'deen Wdrs 2nd XV 0 -17

Last 2nd XV Game

2nd XV Season (2017/18)
Inverness CD 48 - 10 Moray 2nd XV
12th May 18 - KO: 15:00
Venue: Canal Park

Next 2nd XV Game

2nd XV Season (2018/19)
Moray 2nd Xv vs Deeside
27th Oct 18 - KO: 15:00
Venue: Morriston
:: More Fixtures

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