Two wins in a row gives hope for home clash with league leaders
Peterhead 15, Shetland 36
Shetland’s rugby squad travelled down to Peterhead at the weekend, hoping for their second victory on the trot after a decent display against West Dyce the week before.
Shetland kicked off and the opening exchanges were very scrappy with neither team really taking control of the ball, but Peterhead gained an obvious territorial advantage with long spells in the Shetland half. Peterhead did cross the Shetland line, only to be well held up with Shetland bodies piling in under the ball.
The first score of the game came from Shetland. The ball was turned over and spun wide which led to Shetland breaking the line from deep in the their own half with some good support play. Joe O’Connor was tackled short of the line, but the ball was recycled quickly and went through the hands to Roy Temple who finished it off in the corner.
This seemed to spur the Peterhead boys on more, again camping Shetland in their own 22. After a good few phases of forward play they eventually got their reward with a try to tie the game at 5-5.
Shetland regained the advantage again before half time, however, with another two tries. The first was a chip through which was chased well by winger Maurice Williamson, and after a mix up in the Peterhead defence he only had to dive on the ball underneath the posts.
The next came from a quick tap which Shane Jamieson carried down the blind side before off-loading to scrum half Jeff Dobson to go over the line. Jamieson converted to make the score at the break 19-5.
The second half started with both teams looking to keep ball in hand and get it wide. As the ball was spun wide it was Williamson who again finished the move off for his second try.
Credit to Peterhead though as their heads never went down and they were again rewarded with another try. Good defence from the hard-working Jimmy Smale manged to hold up the opposition’s big second rowers, but the Peterhead forwards, who battled hard all day with the Shetland pack, got the breakthrough, driving over from yards out.
Shetland replied when, after decent ball retention from the forwards, the ball got spun wide from deep and with good support and dummy runners Jamieson managed to run in the try under the posts, which was also converted.
Peterhead picked themselves up and after a series of penalties given by Shetland at the breakdown, the number 10 took a quick tap and left the Shetland pack standing, stepping past the cover defence to score.
With minutes remaining O’Connor rounded off the scoring, capping his man-of-the-match performance with a good try. He ran the ball from inside his own half and found a hole in the Peterhead defence before playing a nice pivot with second rower Irish Dave to give himself the space to finish off.
The 36-15 victory meant a good bonus point for Shetland, with the players now starting to gain some momentum which they can hopefully take into this weekend as they are due to host league leaders Aberdeen Wanderers. But due to ferries on refit it might not be possible for Shetland to play any more league ties till the beginning of March.
Training continues for everyone on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6.30pm.