Jolly Boys Enjoy Rare Win Over Aberdeen University
By Ciaran Marshall
The 2nd XV run in 8 tries in excellent away win.
On a cold but dry and bright autumn morning, the 2nd XV made the short trip to Kings College for a midday kickoff to face Aberdeen University in what was anticipated to be a tough fixture given the Jolly Boys poor record over Aberdeen University in recent seasons.
A largely unchanged 2nd XV from the 12-73 away victory to Dyce took to the field along with three players working their way back to match fitness. Daryl Neill made his comeback having not appeared since pre-season, while fullback Stewart MacMillan and loose man loose forward Andrew McInnes continued their comebacks from injury ahead of a critical three games for the 1st XV in December by starting for the Jolly Boys.
The first half display was one of the 2nd XVs best in recent seasons, with Seb Davies breaking through in the centre and sprinting in to score an early try. Tom Keddari started as he meant to go on by sending the conversion wide.
In defence, the Jolly Boys completely shut down Aberdeen University who were looking to play their usual fast and wide game but struggled to make many gains as the 2nd XV spread the field. The Jolly Boys pack dominated the set piece pushing back the opposing pack 5-10 metres at every scrum and winning several opposition lineouts, giving Aberdeen University no attacking platform.
Stewart MacMillan was next to score, getting on the end of a sweeping right to left move after the forwards got close from a driving maul. Through forward dominance the JBs were once again camped in the AU 22 and extended their lead after Andrew McInnes took a quick tap from a penalty 5 metres out. Simon Orr secured the bonus point as the Jolly Boys went into half time leading 20-0.
The 2nd half saw AU take a more direct approach by bringing on some of their bigger carriers, while their strong running 13 featured prominently as the university side scored two quick tries. However, any hopes of a comeback were quickly extinguished as the Jolly Boys dominant pack and some smart kicking from Tom Keddari resulted in a JBs scrum 5 metres out. As they marched forward, Craig McEwan broke from number 8 to score. Once again, AU were pinned back to their own tryline and in a moment of indecision from the AU 9, debutant Lucas Alabeurthe pick-pocketed his opposite number and dotted down. Tom Keddari scored the difficult conversion from wide on the right.
As players tired and the play became more disjointed, Callum Inglis (fresh from scoring 4 tries away to Dyce) took advantage. Having been released down the left wing and been brought down just short he popped to Lucas for his second try of the half. Inglis was not to be denied though, scoring a try of his own before AU scored a late consolation try in the corner.
In a strong all-round perfromance from everyone involed, Stewart MacMillan was awarded Aberdeen Standard Investments Man of the Match.