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Marr 33 Aberdeen Rugby 7

Published - 21 January 2019

Aberdeen Grammar’s hopes of a high finish in National League 1 were badly dented in Ayrshire where Marr took full advantage of the visitors having a player sin binned midway through the first half leaving the Rubislaw side struggling to get back into the game after conceding three quick tries.

When Grammar winger Nat Coe was adjudged to have deliberately knocked on, it signalled 10 minutes of misery for the Aberdeen side who did not help themselves with some poor defending, leading to the home side going into the half time break 26 - 7 to the good, and well on their way to victory.

Head coach Ali O’Connor conceded his side had lost control of the game during the absence of Coe, but said: ”Up until that point we had been competing well, and then again for a 15 minute spell after half time we did everything but score. If we had managed two tries then we would have been right back in the game. Out defending let us down in the first half which is so disappointing after last week’s excellent all-round show against Selkirk. We will just have to get back on track at home to GHA next week.”

But while Grammar competed well after shipping four tries to trail 26 - 0 on the half hour mark, scoring a fine try through their first-class flanker Chris Jollands, they badly missed the leadership of No 8 Greig Ryan and the ball carrying skills of Ewan Stewart in the second row. With these two missing the normally on fire Grammar pack, lacked the drive required to topple a team of the calibre of league leaders Marr.

The home touchdowns were generally soft and avoidable, while the lone Grammar try was well worked and was converted by centre Tom Aplin.

It was generally honours even in the second half with the Rubislaw creating numerous try scoring opportunities but unable to find the composure to breach the home line.

The Ayrshire side managed one of their own when Liam McLauglin touched down to put the seal on the game, leaving the Grammar coaching team to reflect on wasted chances.

 © Jack Nixon

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