Peebles RFC 1st XV - Report
Date: Saturday 27th October 2012 - Kick Off: 15:00
RBS Championship - RBS Championship B
Pees Victorious in Clash of The Titans
Stuart Paton at The Gytes
On a beautiful warm, sunny, windless day on Saturday, the league leaders arrived at The Gytes, hoping to increase their lead at the table top, and dispose of the Peebles challenge for promotion. Having already crushed Peebles on the opening day of the season, Musselburgh’s hopes were high. However Peebles came out victorious, in what can only be described as a rugby spectacular. Having followed Peebles since the early 80’s I have witnessed few games as tense and exciting as this. Two teams going at each other for 80 minutes in a mighty tussle. There was no shortage of skill on offer, and the battle up front was a bruiser, but totally absorbing, for the large crowd which had descended to Fortress Gytes.
Peebles put pressure on the Musselburgh scrum from the outset. Though the lineout took a while to become effective and functional. Peebles had an early penalty for a Musselburgh high tackle around 40 yards out in front of the posts. However, Greg Raeburn missed the attempt. Kenny Clyde had made a welcome return to the second row. Warren Kearney was still captain, replacing the still injured Dale Clancy. Donald Anderson made a start at 9, leaving David Wills on the bench. Ryan McConnell retained the number 2 spot leaving the unfortunate Matt Carryer to warm the bench.
It took twenty eight minutes of an almighty tussle, during which time Peebles were dominant, before Pees broke the deadlock. From a scrum Donald fed Calum Scott who passed to Greg Raeburn who roared in for a 5 nil lead. Greg Raeburn missed the conversion. Dalton Hall was binned for a late tackle as Pees were fighting to clear their lines. Pees ended the half with some rampaging runs from Kearney and McConnell, with some great support work from James Hemara. It was the forwards who were creating the ball, l and some slick quick releasing at the breakdown from Donald Anderson ensured Peebles had a dominant first half. Not that Musselburgh were making a fight of it. 5 nil at halftime
At the start of the second half Kearney put in a huge hit to save Pees bacon as Musselburgh stormed our defensive line. Raeburn converted a penalty for a high tackle to put Peebles 8 nil up. Dalton returned and Paul Stewart was replaced by Rory Milne in the front row. Musselburgh were persistently infringing at the breakdown, but Peebles were keeping their cool. Musselburgh then missed a penalty. Lance Gahan then sailed over for Musselburgh and O’Hagan converted to make it 8-7. Musselburgh had upped the tempo and Pees were defending heroically. Matty Carryer then came on at prop, Clyde went off and Broonie went into the second row. Musselburgh then had a penalty 40 yards out for Pees holding on at the breakdown. A fabulous penalty gave Musselburgh a 10-8 lead. It was getting very tense.
Pees then conceded a very soft try after a poor clearance from their own 22. Musselburgh were now 15-8 up. Luckily the conversion rattled back off the post. Pees were under the cosh now, but the team as a whole stepped up to the plate to produce a grandstand finish. Willsie took over from Donald at scrum half. McConnell went on a rampage to release Hemara. Musselburgh however turned the ball over. The Musselburgh scrum half then retired to warm the sin bin. Pees then produced a great move after wheeling the scrum, Willsie found Raeburn who released Cruicky and Calum Scott zipped over to make it 13-15. Greg converted to make it 15 apiece. Greg Raeburn then slotted over a massive penalty for the kick of his young life to give Pees back the lead at 18-15
Both teams then upped their game and were throwing everything at each other. Graeme Hogarth then went off. Kearney took fabulous lineout ball to release Hemara, who passed to McConnell and Calum Scott received the ball to zip over to make the final score 23-15. This denied Musselburgh a bonus point, much to the relief of the Pees support. What a fantastic game. Peter Wright had his team tactics spot on.Take a bow Peebles RFC, this was simply the best most exciting game Peebles have played in for many a year. The crowd were well entertained, AND SOME. Roll on next weeks game at Haddington. Bear in mind it’s a 2 o clock kick off. Get there and support your local team. These are exciting times indeed at The Gytes. It is such a shame only one team will be promoted. Musselburgh are one fine team, but Pees matched them all the way. Mon The Pees