Peebles 44 Aberdeen Grammar 13
Aberdeen Grammar made a stuttering start to 2015 after a heavy National 1 loss at Peebles on Saturday.
This was Grammar’s sixth defeat in seven away games this season and the club now finds itself back in the relegation area after a six try to one beating at the hands of Borders side Peebles.
Apart from a win at Dundee on November 8 and a draw in Edinburgh against Stewart’s Melville on the opening day of the season, the Rubislaw side has lost five games, conceding 190 points at an average of 38 per game.
The defeat is made all the more alarming by the fact that it was the home side’s first win in National 1 since October 25, taking the Gytes side four points clear of Grammar who are now in seventh place, only six points clear of the drop zone.
Head coach Stuart Corsar acknowledged his side’s away run was unacceptable for a team which aspires to a top-four place by the end of the season but said: “We first need to get a convincing win at home to Marr next Saturday.
“It has now become a must-win game against the third-bottom side in the division after this disappointing performance. We can then apply our minds to our next away game which is back in the Borders against Jed-Forest.
“We played well enough in the first half, even though we conceded two late tries but just didn’t turn up in the second half.” Grammar started brightly enough despite conceding a third-minute penalty to full back Greg Raeburn for being offside, hitting back to take the lead through two long-range penalties of their own from the educated boot of stand-off Alex Hagart.
A breakout by scrum half organ Ward, who enjoyed another fine game, set up centre Peceli Nacamavuto whose mesmerising 60 metre run was only halted short of the home 22, filling the small travelling Grammar support with the hope of things to come. It was not to be as the home side dashed all hope with two tries in the space of two minutes in the last three minutes of the half.
The first touchdown came when centre Devyn Smith dashed through a hesitant Grammar defence, followed almost immediately by a second from winger Nathan Miller, one of which was converted by Raeburn. At 15-6 at the break Peebles were not quite out of sight, but soon were on the way to making the game safe with a penalty from Raeburn in 44 minutes, followed in 51 minutes by a try from the excellent Raeburn who had by this time moved into the stand-off berth. His conversion made it 25-6.
When home hooker Matt Carryer made it 30-6 four minutes later a rout looked on the cards despite Raeburn missing the kick. But Grammar rallied, enabling centre Graeme Clow to score under the posts after sterling work from Nacamavuto. Hagart added the conversion.
Any thoughts of a comeback were dashed by a try from former Grammar favourite centre Callum Anderson. Lock Kenny Clyde rubbed salt in the gaping Grammar wounds with a late touchdown. Both tries were converted.
© Jack Nixon
Peebles: Greg Raeburn; Nathan Mather, Callum Anderson, Devyn Smith, Cameron Pye; Donald Anderson, Scott McCormick; Matty Carryer, Ryan McConnell, Andrew Brown; Kenny Clyde, Ross Brown; Kieran Brown, Richard Harrison, Graham Hogarth.
Replacements: Rhys Wilson, Lynton Brink, Dalton Hall, Neil Hogarth, Jack Harrison.
Aberdeen Grammar: Sam Knudson; Grant Walker, Graeme Clow, Peceli Nacamavuto, Sean Murray; Alex Hagart, Morgan Ward; Peter Gillies, Mike Cox, Colin Neilson, Aaron Robertson, Ed Nimmons; Louis Kinsey, Greig Ryan, Calum Champion.
Replacements: Rob Coates, Fergus McKenzie, Tom Aplin, Andrew Ovenstone, Alex Middleton.