Corstorphine Cougars 34 : 16 Dunbar RFC
With a shadow of a squad due to holidays, work
commitments etc. With only 15 players Coach Mark Coull was forced to take up the only space on
the bench. With 12 forwards it was going to be a difficult decision as to how the backline would
line up. The Patrizio brothers were asked to step into the centre roles with Chris Bryce on the
wing. The pack had several players who were either playing their first ever senior match or just
had very little rugby in the last couple of years.
Dunbar actually started pretty well all things considered and took the game to their hosts for the
first fifteen minutes. A penalty to the hosts was despatched to the corner and the bigger pack
drove over for the opening score. Greig Patrizio then made a great break for Dunbar but RHC
cleared down field where Dunbar were forced into an error, giving away a scrum five metres out.
The bigger home pack drove over for their second score on 22 minutes. Dunbar again came back
strongly and after a break by the Patrizio brothers, Gary Peebles crashed through to score with
Charlton converting. RHC then scored again after some poor defence allowed the right winger
Miller to break through to score at the posts. Muru converted to give his side a less than
deserved 17-10 lead on 33 minutes. Dunbar were awarded a penalty and Ross Charlton converted
on the half time whistle.
Dunbar now had a slight slope advantage and started brightly again with Greig Patrizio driving to
half way before setting Stuart Higginbottom on his way. The forwards were a bit slow to react but
a knock on by RHC gave the visitors the scrum. Dunbar forced another penalty and again
Charlton converted. Coach Mark Coull replaced David Brunton who had run out of gas as he had
played little rugby in three years.
Going into the final quarter Dunbar were awarded another penalty which Charlton converted to
bring Dunbar to within a single point. The visitors were guilty of not clearing their lines and were
forced to give away a penalty which Muru converted. Dunbar then had prop Ross Blair yellow
carded for an alleged spear tackle which was harsh to say the least. RHC missed the kick and
Dunbar went back down the field looking to claw their way back. The situation was helped when a
RHC player went into the bin after several penalties conceded. Gary Peebles then made a great
break and sent Bryce on his way but the referee deemed it was a forward pass which was
extremely harsh. Heading into the last 10 minutes Dunbar lost another poor try through some
shoddy tackling which allowed winger Miller to score his second try which was converted from
the touchline. Another try followed as Dunbar tired with second row Crighton going over. Dunbar
did pose a threat at the end but a poor set of decisions allowed the home side to clear and the
referee blew for time.
With two players calling off less than an hour before the team were due to leave could have
resulted in Dunbar having to call off but for the effort of coach Mark Coull to eventually get a
couple of players at the last minute just to fill the spaces. Dunbar have a week free which should
allow for players to become available and there is no doubt the earlier start to the campaign did
not help the situation.