Peebles RFC 1st XV - Report
Date: Saturday 9th March 2013 - Kick Off: 12:30
RBS Championship - RBS Championship B
|Peebles||19||vs||17||Howe of Fife|
Escape to Victory
Stuart Paton at The Gytes
Saturday the 9th of March 2013 , a day to remember for all. A huge crowd from both Fife and Peebles had made their way to The Gytes in what could be the penultimate title decider in RBS Championship League B. Howe were one point clear of Peebles with two games remaining. It was tense, it was cold and it was very windy. It was all or nothing for both teams.
Adam Clark returned to the front row for Peebles and Conor Blyth resumed on the wing from Ross Brown with Kenny Clyde playing 4 instead of the usual 5 which was taken by Allan Warnock. Paul Stewart made a welcome return from injury to the bench.
Howe kicked off, and Kenny Clyde took to ground for Greg Raeburn to clear to touch. Howe then took the ball up from the lineout for James Hemara to put in a huge hit. Howe were swarming all over Peebles at the breakdown with speed and intensity. Kenny Clyde was then taken out in a high tackle and Greg put a superb kick to touch from the penalty. Unfortunately Peebles couldn’t take advantage and lost their own line out. Howe then gave away their own advantage when they kicked the ball straight out. Howe then took the ball up to Pees and Dalton Hall put in a mighty hit. Pees then were awarded a scrum from a Howe forward pass. Ryan McConnell took the ball on from Howes error at the scrum, and went to ground. As play rolled on Pees won a lineout which was taken by Dalts who went to ground. Donald Anderson took the ball on, and fed Hemara, who knocked on.
The game was being played at a frantic pace, and both teams appeared quite nervous. Howe then mauled the ball up and broke out through Dom Martin. Pees hit through Cruickshanks smashing in and won a turnover ball. Ryan took the ball up and kicked to touch. Howe then infringed at the breakdown and Pees had a penalty 40 yards out. Up stepped Greg Raeburn to smash over a fabulous penalty and Peebles were 3 nil up in 14 minutes.
Cal Scott took the Howe kick off and went to ground. Some frantic rucking ensued, with Kenny Clyde making some excellent breeenges. Howe again put in a high tackle on Cal Scott and Pees had another penalty. Greg Raeburn punted over and Pees were 6 nil to the good.
Dom Martin who looked dangerous for Howe throughout then took the ball on a run. Luckily Howe knocked on, as Cruicky put in a vital tackle on Martin. From the scrum Donald found Cruicky who released Hemara who stormed up but Peebles were penalised for a forward pass. Noted that Howe had done their homework, and everytime Hemara received the ball, someone was right on top of him. It had been rumoured that when Howe had their free week last Saturday, that four members of the club had taken in the Murrayfield- Pees game in prep for the crunch game ahead.
Howe then rucked the ball up towards Peebles line, for Dalts to take turnover ball, but be penalised. Howe continued to ruck up, Kenny Clyde put in a huge hit on the counter . The rucks went on, as Howe surged forward, releasing the ball at pace, and looking very dangerous. Rory Drummond was released and sailed over, for Howe, Don Martin converted, and it was game on at Peebles 6 Howe 7
Pees then got a penalty from Howe boring in at the scrum. Greg kicked to touch and the lineout was on the Fifers 5 yard line. This time it was Pees who set up rucks with Warren picking and driving as did Hemara and Clyde only for what seemed like a Howe turnover. However the ref has spotted Fife hands sweeping the ball on the ground. Greg converted and Pees retook the lead 9-7.
Kenny Clyde took the kick off to release Greg who kicked to Howe who took and returned only for Cruicky to take his mark. Dom Martin was then released by Howe and went on a storming run before going to ground. The ball was spun wide, Pees missed their tackles and in swept Matt Keeble, the hooker to give Howe a 12 – 9 lead at half time. Frantic frantic nervy game, but the crowd were loving it, and the atmosphere was electric. The Gytes Faithfull’s nerves were in tatters already. To be honest Howe were looking pretty impressive, and Pees were looking a tad uptight.
Howe came straight back at Peebles from the Pees kick off with S Martin and Chris Mason making ground. Pees managed to get turnover ball at the breakdown which was a lucky escape. Clinch then went on a great run for Peebles, only to be bundled into touch. Howe then rucked ball up and at Pees who looked suddenly all at sevens. Pees infringed and Howe had a penalty. Luckily for Pees, it was missed. Howe then turned over a Peebles ruck and through Martin and Calcott they set up Dom Martin to release full back Grant Thomson who went over again. The conversion was missed but Howe were now 19-7 ahead and looking very strong as they came forward in numbers and at pace. Paul Stewart and Matty Carryer came on for Peebles to bolster the tiring pack and strengthen the scrum.
Kearney then picked up from the back of a Peebles scrum and released Donald Anderson who rampaged up the park but he had no support. Howes Grant Thomson was binned for not releasing Donald in the tackle. David Wills then came on at scrum half for Peebles and Donald Anderson went to number ten. It was the introduction at such crucial timing of Anderson at 10, Wills at 9, Bubs and Matty that proved to be a masterstroke. Pees were now dominating the scrum as Matty worked away on his opposite number and the immensely strong Bubs doing the same. Peebles cranked up the pressure, Cruicky then found Donald who released The Rhino who burst over the line. To reduce the score to 14-17. The crowd was going more Ape than Glentress. The conversion from Donald reduced the score further to 16-17 to set up the tightest most nervous and dramatic ending ever to a game at The Gytes . Peter Wright, Colin Brown and the Pees bench and background staff could be heard urging the team forwards. The Pees crowd were shouting them on too. It all seemed to finally lift Peebles game to a different level.
Peebles then spent the final quarter camped in Howes 22, setting up ruck after ruck, and cranking it up. From a lineout infringement by Howe Pees took a quick restart, Willsie broke through only to be bundled into touch. Howe took their own lineout and rucked, as Pees steamed in to counter ruck. Pees turned over ball to set up a further series of rucks. Matty Carryer was everywhere giving it all. Kenny Clyde was also in the thick of everything. Vidal Sussoon must have been so upset seeing Kenny’s golden locks getting ruffled so much. The pressure was getting to Howe and they began to infringe repeatedly at the breakdown. Thomson came out the bin, only to be replaced by Steedman who was a repeat offender.
Pees again rucked up from the scrum, and Howe began to crumble as Bubs and Matty piled it on. Howe again infringed as they were now camped on their own five yard line enveloped in a sea of red and white. As the ref blew up again, we were all wondering why a penalty try was not awarded. 3 minutes remained when Pees finally decided to kick one of the many penalties awarded. The huge crowd went silent as up stepped Donald (I will play anywhere) Anderson to slot the ball over the posts Cue mass hysteria in the crowd, and I hear also on radio Borders where Stuart McCulloch was cheering on The Red and Whites. It was an unbelievable turnaround.
The final three minutes was mayhem and pandemonium, the crowd cheered and cheered. Peebles knocked on as they intercepted ball from a Howe attack. Just keep it together lads!! Only two minutes to go! The atmosphere at the Gytes was just electric as the massive Howe crowd roared their team back into the game. Howe broke up the park. The Pees faithful looked away! Bubs came in and HIT! Pees then turned over ball and managed to gain a lineout as they were bundled into touch. Lineout ball was secured, the ball was booted into touch. The final whistle blew. Mass celebrations on and off the park followed! Players and coaches were jumping for joy, and the supporters were in mass ecstasy.
All said, you had to feel for Howe and their fans. They had given Peebles one helluva game, scored three tries to one and left empty handed, but for a bonus point. Really there should be two teams promoted, Howe deserve to go up with Peebles. They played fantastically well.
Peebles now have one last game against lowly Morgan who have conceded over seven hundred points. Even though we are two points clear, Howe could still win the league. Go to Morgan and smash them up boys, and make certain . Your destiny is in your own hands.
Saturday was a special day for PRFC. What a gutsy performance, even if it was not the free flowing rugby we have watched all season. It was a team effort, determination, motivation, ambition, and bravery under the cosh, won the day. The substitutions by Wrighty were a masterstroke. The crowd was overwhelming for both teams. Lets take a huge support to Morgan. For those of you who were at your first game of the season, or have only made it to a couple of games this season. Please come back, your club needs you.