Superb perfomance from Reds to kick-start 2019!
By Jo firstname.lastname@example.org
Nine tries scored again Hillhead-Jordanhill RFC.
Newton Stewart RFC were back in league action last weekend and looked fresh after their festive break, playing some slick and exciting rugby and scoring nine tries in the process.
The Reds came out of the blocks firing on all cylinders and immediately made their presence known. The first try came after just five minutes: some clever work up the blind-side from Robbie ‘Spike’ McCornick drew the final defender to allow winger Liam Brawls to open the scoring.
Newton Stewart’s confidence appeared to be high as they played fast-paced rugby, passing the ball along the lines with fluidity and creating gaps in the Hillhead-Jordanhill defensive line as a result. This produced tries for flanker Calum Gaw and full-back Russell Morton before the half-hour mark with the former converted by centre Fraser Morton for a 17-0 lead.
The visitors had spells of possession and looked lively with the ball in hand. Some big tackles came in from the Reds, with Calum Gaw and captain Mark McCornick (returning from injury) giving an excellent display at the breakdown to force several turnovers.
In the later stages of the first half Newton Stewart found themselves deep in their opponents half once again. Utilising the powerful carrying and direct running of the forwards now, scrum-half Robbie McCornick slotted a neat pass into the hands of back row James Wallace who was rampaging forward at speed. He crashed over the line for the final try of the first half, which F Morton duly converted once more to give a 24-0 score-line going into half-time.
The second half began must as the first one had: with exciting, fast-paced rugby from the Reds. Brawls set off on a blistering break up the pitch, knocking defenders flying before getting the off-load away cleanly. Some clean passing followed, with most of the team getting involved in this attack. Hooker Thomas MacDonald dummied his man and passed to stand-off David Gaw, who collected the final pass in space to run through for a converted try.
Demonstrating their versatility, the next Reds’ try came off the back of a rolling maul, with the forwards creating momentum and Thomas MacDonald stealing the limelight for the score.
Hillhead-Jordanhill got some time with the ball in hand once more, and Newton Stewart switched to defensive mode. Some huge tackles come in from centre Jack ‘the giant slayer’ Gaw, routinely taking down opponents twice his size. Using their scrum as a platform for attack however, the visitors avoided a whitewash when their stand-off received the ball out wide and ran in a try before converting it also, 36-7.
Second row pairing William McCornick and Alan Ferrie worked well together, making territory with the ball in hand and running good supportive lines. The latter scored the next try at full stretch, utilising his height and strength to finish it well before Morton converted.
Ferrie broke up the pitch again just a few minutes later to put his side in a good field position. The ball was thrown quickly through the hands once more before it finally ended up with Fraser Morton who scored in the far corner.
Winger Jamie Muir initiated the final score of the day, making a break upfield to ultimately put Robert Service in possession on the wing, the latter using his pace to finish off the move, and the game, at 53-7.
This was a superb start to 2019 from Newton Stewart, producing a comprehensive win coupled with convincing performance. The fast-paced, off-loading rugby involved the whole team and was exciting to watch.
Returning captain Mark McCornick gave a great account of himself as usual, whilst Liam Brawls was explosive and physical with the ball in hand. Alan Ferrie created a multitude of chances too, running with the ball and in support.
Man of the match was flanker Calum Gaw. He did a power of unseen work, as always, competing at the break-down, tackling incessantly and on this occasion scoring a super try.
Next weekend the Reds travel the long journey to Orkney RFC, where the welcome is always warm and the competition fierce. With this performance behind them, Newton Stewart can go north in a confident frame of mind and will embrace the challenge ahead.
Team: Russell Morton, Jamie Muir, Fraser Morton, Jack Gaw, Liam Brawls, David Gaw, Robbie McCornick, Gavin Freeland, Ross Campbell, Ronan McDonald, William McCornick, Alan Ferrie, Mark McCornick (capt), Calum Gaw, James Wallace. Subs: Connal McDonald, Robert Service, Thomas MacDonald, David Adams.