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161113 Weekend Review for Ellon Rugby

By Gareth D Kemp

First XV cancelled but Youth and Juniors get some games.

With the heavy rain mid-week, the pitches were not suitable to play on last Saturday so the First XV Cup game was postponed to this weekend. Although it was bright and sunny Saturday, the damage had been done with saturated grounds. All junior and youth training was moved to Deer park also.

The Youth Section in the Red Conference had fixtures against Mackie in Stonehaven. The U18, U15 and U14 games were postponed to 4th December as there were issues with the Scotland game being on and Remembrance Sunday services. However the U16 and U13 games went ahead.
U16 with on 14 players due to too many away at events, played a great game of rugby against a full Mackie team. Twice taking the lead, they just ran out of steam with less players and no substitutes. The final score was 60 – 19.
The U13 however were buoyant with players and a number of U13 players who usually play at U14 had the opportunity to play their correct age band. Victory was secured by the Ellon U13 squad on a cold wet day. This was the first time this season Ellon have managed to field all their eligible U13 players and it certainly boosted the whole team’s confidence and performance.
The first period started with 15 a side rather than have too many subs standing about in the rain. Ellon kicked to Mackie and advanced fast closing them down and winning a scrum. The Mackie scrum half immediately tackled the Ellon scrum half however Liam Park got the ball away. This resulted in Finlay Hagen receiving the ball and running in the first try of the game in 70 seconds. Buoyed by the early score Sam Douglas was next to score on the 5-minute mark after the forwards rucked hard and moved the ball through the center of the field. Ellon then started using their backs to good effect with Fin Ritchie running in tries at 9 minutes and 12 minutes. Ellon then scored a fifth try at the end of the first period with Ryan Dickie converting 4 of the 5 kicks. Mackie 0 v 19 Ellon.
The second period saw Fin Ritchie, Patrick Bridges and Liam Park come off to allow the subs on including Charlie Skinner and Harris MacLeod. Once again Ellon started strong and pushed Mackie back into their own half with Fin Hagen taking a second try in the 3rd minute. Mackie finally settled and started to push back into Ellon's half. There were a few handling errors creeping in however this was to be expected on a wet day with the ball akin to a bar of soap! Mackie started applying some pressure however Ellon countered with good hard rucking winning the ball and Ryan Dickie sprinted a good 60 metres to score in the 7th minute. Ryan then did the same again in the 9th minute running another good 60 metres down the wing to score his second try. Ryan also converted all three tries in the second period. Mackie 0 v 31 Ellon. Under the SRU rules the game had effectively been won as there was now over 30 points difference in the score.
Mackie wished to continue with the game so the third period opened with Mackie showing some fighting spirit which resulted in Ellon being caught on the hop as Mackie ran in their only try within 30 seconds of the kick off. The match then settled into some steady midfield play with a few scrums going either way for both teams. Ellon then got the upper hand as Dylan Kemp distributed the ball well from his fly half position as Mackie tired and Finlay Hagen ran in tries in the 6th and 9th minute and Fin Ritchie ran in a further two tries in the 11th and 14th minutes of the game. Final score Mackie 4 v 46 Ellon.
All the U13 squad put in an excellent shift today, and the results proved that the whole team worked hard and tirelessly to keep possession of the ball, fighting hard and winning the majority of the rucks and bringing home a well-deserved victory.
Best Forward of the Match: Sam Douglas
Best Back of the Match: Ryan Dickie
Best Rugby Attitude: Patrick Bridges

The Junior Section headed down to Edinburgh for a high level festival at Stewart Melville.
P7 struggled on a day with a few players missing and after a long coach journey and bad weather, they just didn’t get in the swing that they usually do. Lessons were learned, but the boys naturally felt a little disappointed.
P6 played against Stirling, Currie and a mixed Stew Mel/Currie.  First match was against Stirling.  Usually Ellon starts the day slowly but this time the players were fully awake and started with a very strong performance.  A very good match from both sides with very few mistakes.  Stirling had a more direct attacking style whereas Ellon was moving the ball on the outside in the space.  Although Ellon lost the matches against Currie, Stew Mel Gold and the mixed team Stew Mel/Currie, they performed very well in all areas of the game against some fast players with very good defence. Ellon players competed very well at the ruck and their attacking game was very good.  Ellon scored some fantastic individual and team tries and created a lot of scoring opportunities but their opponents had very strong tacklers to stop the actions.  The score was not in Ellon’s favour but a lot of positives came out of this weekend.  The two best moments of the Festival, 1. the first 2/3minutes of the last match (Stew Mel/Currie team) where Ellon players kept the ball in hand showing great handling skills / team work, and 2. when Ellon was asked if they really wanted to play the last match (because weather was wet & cold and the other teams were not keen), Ellon players response: was a big enthusiastic YES.   Overall a very good day of rugby. A pleasure for the coaches and parents to watch Ellon the players - they should be proud of their performance. 

P5 match report.
Game 1 Ellon v Currie
Currie P5 before this game had not lost in 22 games. Ellon on a 10 from 10. The task ahead for Ellon was to be a battle of a level not seen from a P5 match before! The Currie side were big, physical and played with great flair getting the ball out wide in attack and implementing the "jackal" in defence. Conceding the first try, Ellon produced heroic defence to deter the Currie attack producing our own strong ruck which gave way to Ellon bringing the game level. This was a game producing defence upon defence with Currie now holding onto their impressive run of games. The Ellon P5,s battled but with one great break Currie scored at the death making the game Ellon P5 1 Currie 2
Game 2
Ellon V Stew Mel Gold
Yet again Ellon knew they were playing a well drilled side after the first few minutes. A strong Stew Mel side with plenty of bench players going on and off. Stew Mel scoring first then backwards and forwards. With the game tied at 2 try's each and only seconds left, a fantastic try saving tackle by Ellon saw Stew Mel get up with ball in hand and dive over. Ellon 2.  Stew Mel Gold 3
Game 3
Ellon v Boroughmuir
Having 2 physical games to start, Ellon started with all the bench coming on. Having an unbelievable start running in 3 try's the Ellon squad were producing great play. There continuity and putting the ball wide mesmerized the Boroughmuir team. With this they brought on a whole new team but this did not deter the Ellon guys switching on and coming out winners. Ellon 8.  Boroughmuir 2
Game 4
Ellon v Stew Mel Black
With Stew Mel having 3 P5 teams this was again to be another big physical game. Ellon were now warm and ready, enjoying their play. Ellon interlinked, tackled and tackled, communicated, got the ball out wide and basically implemented all their training sessions from the start of the season. With a couple of cut lips and sore bodies the game finished all square.
Ellon 2 Stew Mel Black 2
Game 5
Ellon V Stirling
Now up to speed Ellon took on a Stirling side they had played before. Targeting their big runners with great tackling the Ellon squad played running rugby. Great support lines together with flair saw Ellon prevail.
Ellon 5 Stirling 1
This festival was a great test for Ellon P5 who have a great squad of players. They played against teams who were well drilled as they also play school rugby and given the size of their clubs and squads I commend the Ellon team. The whole of the Ellon squad together with parents should be proud of their performance as the P5 coaches were.

At P4 Ellon played Stewart Melville 3 first game. This was a baptism of fire for the players. SM3 were fierce tacklers and that certainly woke up Ellon. Ellon's tackling was so much better than in previous festivals and their defence was superb with pressure repelling  their attack and keeping them away from our try line. It was a hard fought battle but SM3 edged the game. Ellon managed to steal the ball from counter rucking, however they did not make life easy for themselves when attacking as they went backwards every time they had the ball. Overall it was a superb performance and they should all be proud of their physicality.
Next game Ellon faced SM2. This was another grueling game. Ellon had difficulty with their continuity in possession as most of the tackles made were pretty high with the ball carriers' arms being held in the tackle, making the pass or offload extremely difficult. Again Ellon's tackling was wonderful all of the players finding their confidence.
Ellon's restarts were more organised but they were not getting over the gain line as the second receiver was static, however when the ball was taken at pace they made good ground. This game was played without on field coaching and it was impressive how Ellon managed to organise themselves and communication between them was improving.
Ellon's third game against Stirling County was by far their best. Ellon started really well with some excellent lines of attack, support play and defence. Ellon were challenging for the ball, making good breaks and were the better team. Their dominance would have been greater if they switched on at the restart, this was when Stirling scored quick tries from restarts.
Ellon's last game against SM1 was a game too far. This was their 4th game in a row and they were tired, wet and cold.  Ellon's defence was not as robust as in previous games and the ball was not competed for at the breakdown. Ellon let a few easy tries go Stewart Melville’s way due to loss of concentration.
It was very quiet out there and Ellon needs to further their communication. The restart is still pretty static and Ellon needs to become more competitive for the ball in attack and defense. Ellon can easily remedy these weaknesses.
Brilliant effort from everyone. Best effort so far. Huge improvements are clearly visible and the tackling continues to develop. The whole team stepped up to the challenge at Stewart Melville and it was fantastic to see great individual improvement from all the team.
Well done Ellon!

This weekend is a fairly quiet one. No Red Conference or Juniors games. The U15 Girls are heading down to Scotstoun in Glasgow to play in a 7s event, followed by watching ex Ellon player Emma Wassel play for Scotland Women against Spain in a world cup qualifier.
Then Saturday is the rearranged Cup game of Ellon V Moray with a 13:30 KO.

Updated 22:04 - 21 Nov 2016 by Gareth D Kemp

Where next?

161120 Weekend Review for Ellon Rugby Only the girls play this weekend
U18 have a new Sponsor! Ellon Rugby have a new sponsor for their U18 team.


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