Oban Lorne edge Ar­gyll derby match against He­lens­burgh

The Oban Times - - Sport -

OBAN Lorne wel­comed Ar­gyll ri­vals He­lens­burgh RFC to Glen­cruit­ten on Satur­day. The teams had an early kick off to ac­com­mo­date the vis­i­tors re­quest to get back and al­low them to watch the World Cup fi­nal at their home club­house.

He­lens­burgh were sit­ting above Oban go­ing into the game but had two games in hand over the Green Ma­chine who were hop­ing to close the gap on the teams above them.

On a greasy pitch fol­low­ing the heavy overnight rain it was the vis­i­tors who made the brighter start. He­lens­burgh pinned the Green Ma­chine back into their own half for ex­tended pe­ri­ods of time.

On the rare oc­ca­sion that Oban man­aged to get out of their own half they were un­done with some poor de­ci­sion mak­ing and some du­bi­ous ref­er­ee­ing de­ci­sions much to the home crowd’s frus­tra­tion.

Around half­way through the first half, Oban were awarded a penalty just out­side the He­lens­burgh 22 – duly con­verted by Craig Wright for a 3- 0 lead.

He­lens­burgh were fairly one di- men­sional in their ap­proach to the game kick­ing for the touch lines and try­ing to set up driv­ing mauls which were eas­ily re­pelled by the Oban for­ward pack.

The Oban back line were look­ing to play a more ex­pan­sive game us­ing the speed out­side and were un­lucky not to un­lock the vis­i­tors’ defence a cou­ple of times with the last pass just not go­ing to hand. Th­ese at­tacks were be­ing launched from too far out to be ef­fec­tive but showed a will­ing­ness to play the game with width and speed.

Pres­suris­ing The sec­ond half started with Oban play­ing the ter­ri­tory game bet­ter get­ting the ball down field and pres­suris­ing the vis­i­tors’ back three. This ter­ri­to­rial ad­van­tage al­lowed Oban to fi­nally break into the He­lens­burgh 22 with some re­ally dy­namic and di­rect play.

Fol­low­ing a se­ries of quick rucks Tommy Suther­land was on hand to crash over the line to score the only try of the day – 8- 0.

Oban dropped off the pace and let He­lens­burgh back into the game due to a high penalty count from the referee.

He­lens­burgh con­verted one of th­ese penal­ties to make the score 8-3 go­ing into the clos­ing stages.

The vis­i­tors picked up the space for the last ten min­utes and the Oban defence man­aged to hold out a con­tin­ued spell of pres­sure with some heroic tack­ling to close out the game.

De­spite the nar­row score line there were some great per­for­mances from the team in­clud­ing twins Cammy and Struan Smith in the back row and Dan Fox at in­side Cen­tre.

Oban now face a tough trip to ri­vals Carrick RFC next week­end. The Ayr­shire men lost their first league game of the sea­son at New­ton Stew­art last week­end.

Oban will be look­ing for an­other win against a side they have en­joyed play­ing over the past few sea­sons. Kick off is 2pm in May­bole.

Oban Lorne: C. Louw, R. Mac­Queen, T. Suther­land, J. Bax­ter, A.MacDougall, C. Smith, S. Smith, L. MacLach­lan, D. Ma, D. McCabe, C. MacLach­lan, D. Fox, C. Wright, S. Khu­malo, R. Stones.

R. El Sanchez, V. Borisov, J. MacMil­lan,

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MAK­ING A SPLASH: Oban Lorne’s Ru­fus Stones makes a dash and a splash to se­cure the ball.

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ON THE RUN: Craig Wright puts in the leg­work and fights off the op­po­si­tion in a run which led

to the try.

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TRY TIME: Tommy Suther­land, No 3, pow­ers his way over the line to se­cure the first and only try

of the game.

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