Seniors Coach Jingles gives his match report:
Although I did not see vast swaths of the game as I was tied up in the trenches running the medical field hospital I will try and give the players on the park justice with my report.
The September sunshine was this week greeted with the rugby it deserved and Porty started with a bang. Executing the game plan discussed before the game, Portobello were on the front foot from the start. This proved that the Yellow and Gold’s can get out the traps. The side had seen many changes over the past 24 hours, was to see many more during the game and welcomed the 36th and 37th players of the campaign in the shape of Sean Kneeshaw and Sam Faichney.
Following the opening salvo Portobello worked their way up field with some good angles and runners assisting the ball that had been run wide with Ali Bain swerving his way near to the Penicuik line. Pressure was maintained by good continuity and dynamic rucking and when the ball was worked to the left an easy 2 v 1 was executed accurately to allow Keith Jeffrey to score in the corner which the scorer picked himself up and struck a cracking conversion. This was to be his last involvement as he was to leave with a shoulder injury and replaced by Kieran Thomson
The Achilles heel of most rugby teams is to concede straight after a score and Portobello succumbed to this terrible affliction. Straight away the Porty lads did not deal with the kick off, putting pressure on their selves resulting in a lineout on the home sides 22. The ball was moved right by Penicuik and the Porty defence pattern and line speed was good, however the tackling did not match this shape and the Penicuik number 15 bulldozed over the Porty defence to score.
This was to mark a spell in the game where Porty heads were rattled with the backs being decimated and the changes on the park were wide spread ending with Conor Dempsey No 8 in the centre, Sean kneeshaw in the back row and Jack Stevenson pressganged into fullback.
Penicuik took advantage moving swiftly up field and the reporter’s man of the match (No15) for Penicuik was on the score board again scoring to the left of the posts and slotting the conversion. 7-14.
Lesser sides could have crumbled at this stage with the number of injuries and the changes in personnel, however not Porty it galvanised the side and they continued to execute the game plan effectively, build pressure in the Penicuik 22 and had redressed the balance by half time when the captain Darren Roe drove over from short range and Kieran Thomson added the extras.
Porty felt they still had a real chance at half time and turned on the front foot immediately, executing the game plan, playing rugby in the Penicuik half and applying pressure which resulted in two clear cut opportunities.
This was to be quickly followed by Portobello moving Penicuik all over the park, keeping good continuity and developing a three man overlap. However they were too far apart in the middle of the field and the receivers were running away from the ball. This was not lost on Penicuik’s veteran winger who read the situation, timing his interception to perfection and peeling back the years with his pace as he scampered the length of the pitch to score.
This seemed to knock the stuffing out of the Porty lads and the next two tries were scored by the visitors their 15 getting his hat trick and their loose head prop barrelling over from short range. Both were converted by the fullback bring his points tally for the day to 25
Porty came with a late flourish which saw Mitch Walker scoring a well-deserved try from short range, converted by Kieran Thomson. They continued to press for the two bonus points on offer but were unable to make it stick.
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