Dundee High Rugby 19 Aberdeen Rugby 12
Aberdeen Grammar’s inability to take their chances came home to haunt them again on Saturday when they lost 19-12 away to Dundee High despite dominating their derby rivals.
The strong wind was a major factor, leading to all the points coming from the side playing downwind.
The home side turned round 19-0 to the good, although Grammar had a couple of opportunities to open their account early in the half.
Ali O’Connor, the Grammar head coach, said: “Had we scored then, it would have given us a huge boost and almost certainly led to a different outcome. We also missed a couple of tackles which led to two tries but overall we played quite well, including some good performances from our youngsters.”
Dundee scored two tries in the first 20 minutes and looking like being out of sight by half-time.. Centre Colin Strachan scored the first in 12 minutes and then former Grammar player Ali Mackie bulldozed over the visitors line. Both were converted by centre Fraser McKay.
Worse was to come in 26 minutes when Mackie plunged over for his second try.
Grammar then displayed some steel, taking the play to the home side and did not concede any further points before half-time, giving the Rubislaw side every chance after the break.
A mazy, determined run from winger Calum Ruxton early in the second period deserved better but, despite constant pressure, it took Grammar until the 70th minute to open their account when Doug Russell raced over after a neat kick ahead from the excellent Sam Knudson, though the stand off missed the conversion.
A stream of second half penalties should have led to more Grammar points as Dundee tried to slow down the game.
There was time for the Aberdeen side to grab a losing bonus when captain and centre took advantage of hesitancy in the home defence to score under the posts, giving Knudson the easiest of kicks, making it 19-12, but leaving veteran winger Grant Walker frustrated and disappointed.
“We did enough to win but lacked the necessary composure – the story of our season. We will just have to take it out on Jed-Forest in our last game of the season,” he said.
© Jack Nixon
Aberdeen Rugby: Doug Russell; Grant Walker, Alex Ratcliffe (c), Tom Aplin, Calum Ruxton; Sam Knudson, Jake Gray; Rob Ellinson, Fergus McKenzie, Colin Neilson: Aaron Robertson, Shane Clark: Ethan Murray, Robin Cessford, Dom Wallen.
Replacements: Alex McLeod, Calum Sangster, Ewan Grindlay, Craig Shepherd, Duncan Ruxton, Tommy Morrison.