A fine warm morning in the last week of summer greeted the sides for this pre-season fixture which was arranged as a result of both sides original opposition calling off.
Both sides looked to play rugby and exploit the space available. In the first half Forrester launched sustained pressure and scored 5 unanswered tries by picking their way through the jagged Portobello defence.
Portobello had their chances in the first half and repeatedly entered the Forrester 22 through good movement along the back line and some creative counter attack. Unfortunately they were not able to sustain the pressure and allowed their opposition an early exit on most occasions.
Soon after Porty put together their longest spell in the Forrester 22 and after repeated rucks sucking the Forrester defence close, a 4 man overlap was created. The final execution prevented it being exploited, however it was encouraging to see the lads playing some coordinated rugby and creating the opportunities.
Nine changes were affected at half time, seven of them in the pack and Forrester took advantage of the bedding in period by using their advantage in the scrum to score immediately after halftime.
George Parker gathered the Porty pack together and his words of wisdom had the desired effect as the Yellow and Blues spent the next 20 minutes in the Forrester half. They managed to maintain the pressure on the Forrester defence and this resulted in some free flowing well-constructed tries.
Good continuity from the forwards and a quick ball resulted in Mitch Walker making an outside break and executing a 2 v 1 to send in the ever present Ali Bain.
Porty’s flier could not be kept out of the action and it wasn’t long before he was on the end of another sweeping move which resulted in the winger dotting down in the corner for his hat trick.
Forrester were not finished and they managed to run in a few more tries. However they were more break away tries and Porty had gifted them through poor decision making.
Portobello finished the stronger and had the best of the exchanges in the second half and Mitch Walker demonstrated that all that swerve practice had been useful as he broke from deep to serpentine his way through the Forrester cover to score.
Right at the end of the game Keith Morrison who had been an attacking threat from fullback and wing sped down the wing found the back row willing to support and Max Moran put Conor Dempsey in the corner for the game’s final try.
This was a good game played in the right spirit and enabled Porty to build on the Game Plan it is establishing. There is plenty to work on and thankfully plenty to build on.
The Yellow and Blues go to Inverleith next week for their first league match.
Thanks go to Ref and Forrester for making the game an enjoyable pre-season for all who took part.