Edinburgh Accies 5
COLIN RENTON @ Goldenacre
HERIOT’S maintained their bid for a play-off spot with a five point haul from a repeat win over their near-neighbours, having despatched the same opposition in the cup seven days earlier. The Goldenacre men dominated in terms of possession and it was credit to the Accies’ defence that it took the hosts over an hour to secure a four try bonus.
Home coach Phil Smith had referred in his pre-match talk to suggestions by his Accies counterpart Derek O’Riordan that Heriot’s had taken his side lightly in the cup tie. And, Smith suggested, that his men had been too eager to react to that comment.
“Maybe we were almost over-egged,” he said. “It was an absolutely dominant performance. They offered stout defence and but for a few refereeing decisions that went against us we would have scored more tries and it would have loosened the game off. It’s a comfortable 30-point win, and we’ll take it.
“We got ourselves built up to really go at them which we did, but we didn’t get the reward. There was a little bit of frustration in there so it wasn’t how we wanted to win – we had to go workmanlike because we couldn’t get the shackles off them, which is fair play to their defence.”
For his part, O’Riordan was satisfied with the effort of his men, although he conceded that the home side were physically superior to his team.
“From our perspective, with injuries and unavailability, it was a challenging week trying to get things organised. I think we were pretty ballsy and we played pretty well. We just lacked the power game that they could rely on to get them over the try line,” he said. “I’m proud of what the boys have done in terms of the challenge we were facing with squad selection.”
“When we were in possession of the ball, we showed glimmers of our intention. We don’t have game breaking centres and we don’t have a pack the size of Heriot’s so we have to play to what our strengths are. If it doesn’t get you tries, at least we are staying true to what we are about.”
Hosts start with a bang
There was no repeat of the slow starts that have been a feature of recent Heriot’s performances and they took the lead in eight minutes. Charlie Jupp nicked a line-out throw five metres from the Accies line and the home pack drove over with Jack McLean dotting down. Ross Jones added the extras and he did so again six minutes later when Andrew Simmers touched down against the post after a multi-phase assault on the Accies line.
It took Accies 20 minutes to find their way into the opposition 22. And they were unfortunate not to come away with points after a series of attacks that were superbly defended by the hosts.
Heriot’s twice passed up a straightforward kicks at goal. The first opportunity was squandered and, as they attempted to spin the ball wide following the second set-piece, Cammy Gray plucked it from the air and raced the length of the field for a fine opportunist try that cut the half-time deficit to nine points.
Angus Inwood joined the fray at half-time but was yellow carded for a dangerous tackle as Heriot’s restarted well. A couple of minutes after his departure, the home side extended their lead when another penalty was booted into touch and from the ensuing drive, McLean dived over for a second time.
Bonus point finally secured
The next Heriot’s objective was the four try bonus and Callum Marshall secured it when he powered over from a scrum, shortly after a high tackle that saw Cole Imrie become the second Accies man to visit the sin-bin. He was joined on the sidelines by Heriot’s prop Josh Scott who was sent to the cooler for 10 minutes following an unnecessary tiff with Gray after the ball had gone dead.
The defensive effort was now taking its toll on Accies and when a huge gap opened up in front of Craig Robertson, the winger – scorer of six tries in the reverse fixture earlier in the campaign – darted over. Jones stroked over the conversion to complete the scoring.
Heriot’s: R McMichael; C Lineen, R Jones©, D Steele, C Robertson; S Edwards, A Simmers; M Bouab, M Liness, S Cessford, C Jupp, A Sinclair, M Hughes, J McLean, R Leishman. Subs: A Johnstone, J Scott, C Marshall, S Dewar, S King.
Edinburgh Accies: P Flood; C Gray, R Chalmers, W Stephen, R Kent; V Hart, M Sinclair; M McGinley, C Black, C Imrie, R Seydak, R Lovett, M Badenhorst, N Stephen, J Sole. Subs: R Jackson, C Taylor, A Inwood, J Loomes, R Cameron.
Referee: R Campbell
Heriot’s: Tries; McLean 2, Simmers. Marshall, Robertson; Cons; Jones (3)
Edinburgh Accies: Try; Gray
Scoring sequence (Heriot’s first): 5-0; 7-0; 12-0; 14-0; 14-5 (h-t) 19-5; 24-5; 29-5; 31-5.
Yellow cards –
Accies: Inwood, Imrie
Man-of-the-Match: Youngster Charlie Jupp made a big contribution for Heriot’s – he was dominant in the line-out, showed up well in the loose and even delivered a looping pass off his left hand that was Finn Russellesque.
Talking point: Accies don’t play like a side marooned at the foot of the table but that is the reality and with confusion persisting over whether there will be relegation this season, their future looks uncertain.