Newton Stewart RFC Beat Lenzie by 30 Points in Penultimate Match

Lenzie RFC 14 – 44 Newton Stewart RFC

BT West Division 1

3rd April 2016


The penultimate game of the season for Newton Stewart RFC took them on the road to face Glasgow side Lenzie RFC. With everything poised for a nail-biting end to the season at the top of the table, Newton Stewart needed to win to keep their title chances alive.

The visitors kicked off the game and Lenzie gathered the ball. After a few short phases of play, Reds’ second row Craig Johnstone turned the ball over and Newton Stewart came on the attack. Making yards, they looked dangerous until a Lenzie high tackle on back row David Montgomery halted their progression. The resulting penalty for Newton Stewart was kicked to the corner. The line out which followed was effective and the Reds set up a driving maul, pushing their way over the line to allow Montgomery to score his first try of the game. The conversion attempt from stand off Jamie Muir went wide.

Lenzie replied to this early blow by going on the attack themselves. Breaking through the Newton Stewart line, they threw the ball wide and ran some good angles, eventually making it over the try line. The conversion followed to allow the home team to take the lead.

A little disappointed by their unusually weak defence, Newton Stewart responded by pressurising their hosts once more. Fullback Tyrell Wilson collected the ball in space and used his pace to carve a path around a couple of the opposition. He then passed to the evergreen hooker Martin Wallace who found himself twenty metres from the try line with no defender in sight. His speed is not renowned, however it was sufficient in this instance, and Newton Stewart took the lead once more, 7-10.

Determined not to be pushed out of the game, Lenzie returned to the Reds’ try line once more. Scoring again tipped the balance back towards the home side, with the added conversion keeping them clear of their visitors.

The play seemed to ebb and flow from one end of the pitch to another. Newton Stewart’s back line now had some opportunity to get involved in the game, and keen to take their chances, winger Stuart McAllister scored. Muir was able to convert this time and the Reds knew they must start to protect and consolidate this lead.

Playing to their strengths, Newton Stewart began to utilise their effective set piece. Another clean line out brought an opportunity to replicate the earlier driving maul, and Montgomery steered proceedings over the line once more for his second try of the game. Muir converted and the bonus point was secured with the conclusion of the half.

With the scoreline reading 14-24, the visitors knew they must tighten up their defence in the second half.

Receiving the kick off to begin the second half, Newton Stewart came on the attack. They were immediately awarded a penalty which Muir kicked to extend their lead further.

Some quick ball and slick passing made for some high paced rugby in the second half and the superior fitness of the Reds began to show. Lenzie struggled to keep up with the rate of play and the Newton Stewart backs took control. Winger Liam Brawls received the ball in space and was able to cut through the remaining Lenzie defence to score.

The next score was build up over a lot of phases and was a great team try. Playing the kind of rugby Newton Stewart have been noted for this season, the ball was passed back and forth along the lines, refusing to give their opponents any easy opportunities. Eventually it was second row Duncan Skimming who carried the ball the final yards over the line. Conversion followed this time and the lead was comfortable now for the Reds.

In the final stages of the match, a fabulous break by centre Fraser Morton to draw the last man created space for Fraser Thompson who received the ball and scored his first try for the club. Final score 44-14.

Man of the match was back row Mark McCornick for his impressive work in defence and good ball carrying. Always committed to the tackle, he is a consistently reliable link in the defensive chain, and he needed to be in this game.

With three weeks until the Reds’ final game of the season, away to close rivals Carrick RFC, Newton Stewart must work on their defence. Carrick play a fast-paced game, with their strength in their back line, and they will look to run through the Newton Stewart defensive line at every opportunity. The Reds have score over one hundred tries this season, an impressive statistic, and one that can give them confidence in their ability to rack up points in their final game, but the defence must match the scoring prowess. It looks set to be a superb final game for the club this season.

League leaders Glasgow Accies won their match away to Oban this week too, leaving them with a final away game to Allan Glens to finish the season. A win for them in this final game will secure the title; a loss leaves Newton Stewart and Carrick with everything to play for. 


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