Aberdeen Grammar 17 Edinburgh Accies 18
Aberdeen Grammar will play worse and win in the long season ahead.
But they may live to regret turning in a second half performance in which they were posted missing as an attacking force, enabling an organised Edinburgh Accies side to claim victory.
Grammar coach Kevin Wyness said: “It was very disappointing after a fine away win last week. But we seemed to go to sleep in the second half – although we had to use our entire replacement bench, which tells its own tale.
“There are some nasty knocks in there, but we’ll get over it. I thought we had some fine individual performers, including winger Calum Gordon and flanker Tony McGinness, while our new centre pairing of Naka and Harry Duthie worked well.”
Grammar had made the most perfect of starts when in two minutes they swept the ball wide. From the resultant lineout and ruck, new boy and number 8 Tom Preece crashed over.
When stand off Rob Aloe kicked the conversion from wide out it looked like a good day was in prospect for Aberdeen.
Accies had other ideas, clawing its way back into the game and kicking a 12th minute penalty after a home hand had appeared in a ruck. Centre Ruaridh Bonner had no bother in making good his attempt for three points.
The Rubislaw side dictated the rest of the half, but had to rely on hesitancy in the Raeburn Place ranks to score a second try after a poor clearance.
Aloe nipped over to make it 12-3 before adding the conversion and a half time lead of 11 points which given they had a strong wind in their backs was a small enough margin.
Sure enough Accies took an immediate advantage after the interval – helped by poor home tackling, enabling winger Nyle Godsmark To stroll in unopposed. Bonner kicked the conversion before going on to kick a second penalty.
Worse was to come as Grammar wilted, making it easy for replacement lock Andrew Findlater to score for Accies to go into the lead for the first time.
Grammar rallied, pressing the Accies line. But in the end they only had a Mark Ryan penalty to show for their efforts.
That left them agonisingly one point short when referee Andrew McMenemy blew for full-time.
Former Dundee High player Harry Duthie enjoyed his first home outing, but said: “We inexplicably eased off in a game we really should have won.”
Aberdeen Grammar Rugby: Will Wardlaw; Angus Rennie, Harry Duthie, Peceli Navamavuto, Calum Gordon; Rob Aloe, Morgan Ward; Matt Dixon, Sam Bingham, Struan Cessford; Ed Nimmons, Jamie Metcalfe; Geig Ryan ©, Tiny McGinness, Tom Preece.
Replacements: Sean O’CXonnor, Matt Schosser, Rob Cessford, Mark Ryan, Luke Earle-Wright.
Edinburgh Accies: Jamie Sole; Jamie Farndale, Ewen Campbell, Ruaridh Bonner,Nyle Godsmark; Alex Blair, Alex Black; Duncan Morrison, Michael Liness, Phil Cringle; Greg Campbell ©, Jamie McCarthy; Neil Atkin, Tom Drennan, Robin Snape.
Replacements: David Bates, Fraser Rawlinson, Andrew Findlater, Mike Campbell, Sam Pecquer.
© Jack Nixon