Langholm regain pride with intelligent play
Published at 21:39, Wednesday, 11 January 2012
LANGHOLM travelled to Edinburgh last Saturday intent on proving they were better than the 111-0 result against Gala.
RHC Cougars 30 Langholm 10
They started strongly and took the game to RHC. There was some very positive attacking rugby with pick and drives from a solid ruck platform.
This led to a penalty because RHC continually killed ball to slow down the game. Skipper Niall Cubbon took the kick 25 metres out and put Langholm in front.
Langholm put together some intelligent moves, combining backs and forwards, and were only denied from building any momentum because RHC slowed ball recycle from rucks. There followed 15 minutes of almost continuous scrums which collapsed regularly and the referee awarded a string of free kicks. RHC opted to go for the set scrum because their heavier pack had the Langholm eight in severe trouble and were able to push them back at will as they tried to achieve the push-over. RHC secured a push-over try but the conversion was missed.
As the Cougars pressed, a penalty kicked to touch led to a five-metre lineout which they secured. The ball was transferred along the back line for the winger to go in on the overlap and he ran round behind the posts for a try, which was converted. They added another penalty and Cubbon was unlucky to push a similar attempt inches wide to leave the score 15-3 at half-time.
In the second half Langholm played some really good rugby. They had RHC on the back foot and the opposition were saved only by some very indifferent refereeing decisions which had both coaches baffled. A free kick to the home side was quickly taken and the ball carrier was tackled early by scrum-half Mark Young who was sent to the sin bin.
Langholm upped their game and continued to attack the Cougars’ line and were camped in the home 22. Some good recycled ruck ball saw Richard Mackay, acting at scrum-half, feed Cubbon who broke several tackles at pace to crash over near the posts for a fine try which he converted.
With 10 minutes left, RHC extended their lead with a penalty goal and added an unconverted try. With seconds to go they were awarded a converted try when their big prop barged over from close range.
This was disputable because hooker Stephen Devlin was clearly underneath the ball as the player tried to ground it. A penalty was given at the restart for dissent and, as Devlin continued to complain, he was yellow-carded.
Team: C Jardine, L Miller, J Reid, A Cavers, R Mackay, N Cubbon, M Young, D Divers, S Devlin, C Little, A Tyler, J Ratcliffe, J Ashton-Smith, S Howatson, S Graham. Replacement: S Jammeh.
Langholm were praised by Gala for fulfilling the Border League fixture, although it was a one-sided game, with 17 tries run in. Langholm had their moments but the difference in league positions was all too evident.
Contrary to some reports, the game was short by only two minutes in the first half and three minutes in the second. Gala coaching staff asked the referee to cut it short before 100 points but this was ignored. Langholm’s coaches praised the players who turned out. To play fixtures like this they must have a full-strength team available and some players must reconsider their commitment.
Team C Jardine, R Mackay, L Miller, C McSkeen, A Tyler, N Cubbon, S Devlin, D Divers, D Johnston, M McGimpsey, C Little, J Ratcliffe, J Ashton-Smith, S Howatson, S Graham. Replacement: P Halliday.
Langholm travel to Dunfermline on Saturday.
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