1. Aberdeen Grammar 22 Currie 23

    28 September 2013

    Aberdeen Grammar 22 Currie 23

    Aberdeen Grammar’s prospects of surviving in the top flight of the Scottish club game looked to be slim after an appallingly poor second-half performance by the home side handed Currie a first league win and a lifeline at the bottom of the Premiership.

    While Currie coach Ally Donaldson was able to hail his side’s qualities, opposite number Kevin Wyness admitted to being embarrassed by the performance after watching his lacklustre charges fade out of the game.

    Yet Aberdeen had put in a sound three-try opening half-hour based on solid scrimmaging and back-row play boosted by the effervescent Tony McGinness and the ball-carrying skills of Tom Preece.

    An angry Wyness tried to fathom what had gone wrong with a side which had looked full of promise, only to disappear as an attacking force, enabling a determined, gutsy Edinburgh outfit to not only come into the game but to go on and win it.

    “I have never been so angry with a group of players,” said Wyness

    “We had steamrollered them up front and were set to pick up a fourth try when it all went wrong.

    “Our front row had been dominant, while McGinness and Preece were running the show from the back. Our decision-making then let us down, and what followed was embarrassing.

    “Players and coaches must take collective responsibility before we take on Heriot’s. It’s not going to be an easy week in training.”

    A lone Mark Ryan penalty accounted for all of Grammar’s second half scoring.

    Yet Aberdeen seemed to have scored a match-clinching try in 70 minutes when replacement scrum-half Luke Earle-Wright Went over in the corner under a pile of Currie players.

    Referee James Matthew’s decision not to award a try was difficult to understand, though it would have been hard on the enterprising Edinburgh side which ended the match in control.

    The early forays had given no indication of the final outcome as Grammar surged into the lead after the temporary setback of conceding a fourth-minute penalty, kicked by Currie stand off George Horne.

    Grammar scored tries through winger Angus Rennie, centre Harry Duthie and flanker Rob Cessford, two of which were converted by Ryan.

    Currie had, however, showed their intent with a try of their own when centre Joe Reynolds cut through a non-existent home defence for a converted try.

    Currie took over in the second half, boosted by an early converted try by flanker Mark Cairns, setting the stage for teenager George Horne to cap a fine day with two late match-winning penalties, to the disbelief of a shocked Rubislaw crowd.

    © 2013 Jack Nixon

    Aberdeen Grammar: Will Wardlaw; Angus Rennie, Harry Duthie (captain), Peceli Nacamavatu, Erland Oag; Mark Ryan, Morgan Ward; Matt Schosser, Sean O’Connor, Struan Cessford, Callum Harvey, Jamie Metcalfe, Rob Cessford, Tony McGuiness, Tom Preece.

    Replacements: Sam Bingham, Matt Dixon, Cameron Turner, Steve Aitken, Luke Earle-Wright.

    Currie: Ruaridh Smith; Harvey Elms, Ethan Pollock, Jack Broadley, Calum Kerr; George Horne, Joe Stachan; John Cox, Joe Roe, Alastair Hamilton, Gary Temple, Elliot Mitchell, Chris Dumont, Mark Cairns (captain), Ross Weston.

    Replacements: Reece Patterson, Graeme Carson, Michael Clements, Ian Vance, Joe Reynolds.


  2. Aberdeen Grammar 19 Ayr 25

    21 September 2013

    Aberdeen Grammar 19 Ayr 25

    Aberdeen Grammar squandered a great opportunity to topple Premiership champions Ayr as they let slip a 16-5 lead.

    Coach Kevin Wyness was frustrated by his side’s inability to control the game in the second half.

    He said: ”It was a hugely disappointing outcome for us after dictating the play for most of the first half.

    “Losing a soft try on the stroke of half time was a turning point. Had we gone in 16-5 up,it would have been different.

    “We then lost another silly try, making it a bad day for us. Although we played well enough to win and had some fine individual performances, including a great show from open side flanker Tony McGinness.”

    Wyness who had to be consoled by a losing bonus point for the display against an Ayr side relieved to have stopped a run of defeats.

    “I am pleased to have won after two defeats. This is a hard place to come and win. We’renow back in the title race,” said Ayr head coach Peter Laverie.

    Ayr had made the best of starts, scoring in four minutes when Robbie Fergusson got on the end of a slick handling move for an unconverted try.

    Grammar hit back in eight minutes when stand-off Mark Ryan kicked the first of his three first-half penalties, confirming his value to the Rubislaw side.

    Thanks to the effective work of the home pack, admirably led by number eight Tom Preece, Grammar were able to score the try their play merited when openside flanker McGinness nipped over to give his side the lead. Ryan converted.

    The former Ellon player then kicked two vital penalties just before the break.

    However, Grammar’s slackness gave away a try on the stroke of half-time, scored by Andrew Dunlop and converted by winger Kerr Gossman to make it 16-12.

    Ayr built on the unexpected reprieve, upping the play in the second half. However, it was Ryan who pushed Grammar further ahead with a penalty.

    The Milbrae side then enjoyed the bounce of the ball in 62 minutes. Three of their pack looked to be offside, but the incident was not spotted by referee Lloyd Linton, enabling Murray McConnell to score the easiest of tries. The score was converted by Ross Curle which levelled the match at 19-19.

    Ayr finished the stronger, pressurising the harassed home defence into conceding two late penalties which were kicked by Curle for a victory they just about merited for an improved second-half showing.

    Scotland international Moray Low was impressive on his return to the Grammar ranks from Glasgow and said: “I enjoyed being back and thought we were a bit unlucky not to win.”

    Aberdeen Grammar: Angus Rennie; Calum Gordon, Will Wardlaw, Harry Duthie, Erland Oag; Mark Ryan, Luke Earle-Wright; Moray Low, Sean O’Connor, Struan Cessford, Ed Nimmons, Jamie Metcalfe, Greig Ryan (captain), Tony McGuiness and Tom Preece. Replacements: Fraser Brown, Matt Schosser, Callum Harvey, Sam Ryan and Morgan Ward.

    Ayr: Grant Anderson; Craig Gossman, Robbie Fergusson, Dean Kelbrick, Kerr Gossman; Finn Russell, Peter Jericevich; Denford Mutamangira, Fergus Scott, Nick Cox, Scott Sutherland, Callum Templeton, Graham Fisken, Andrew Dunlop and Calum Forrester (captain). Replacements: Stuart Fenwick, George Hunter, Peter McCallum, Murray McConnell and Ross Curle.

    Referee: Lloyd Linton

    © Jack Nixon

  3. Aberdeen Grammar 18 Stirling County 11

    14 September 2013

    Aberdeen Grammar 18 Stirling County 11

    Aberdeen Grammar shrugged side the absence of five first-team players to see off the limited challenge of Stirling County and give head coach Kevin Wyness his first win at home since taking charge at Rubislaw.

    Despite missing the services of winger Erlend Oag, centres Graeme Clow and Peceli Nacamavuto, stand-off Rob Aloe and hooker Sean O’Connor, Grammar rose to the challenge.

    “I am delighted for the players, especially those who stepped up to the mark this week. We also got the second-half demons off our back, turning in a good performance to clinch the game-although I thought we were equally impressive in the first half when playing into the wind,” said Wyness.

    The first half was in fact a featureless one, marked only by a penalty apiece for home stand-off Mark Ryan, matched by County’s centre Brian Archibald.

    The main talking point was Grammar having the three Ryan brothers in their starting line up, a first for the club although centre Sam, stand-off Mark and captain Greig have al appeared for Ellon before.

    The situation was made all the more special as Wyness is also the uncle of the trio of brothers.

    “We celebrated in the best possible way by winning,” said Greigwho, like his brother Sam, was sin-binned in the second half in an otherwise good day for the home side.

    Grammar started the second half with a bang when the speed and guile of winger Calum Gordon proved too much for the Bridgehaugh side. Mark Ryan missed the conversion.

    County hit back in less than a minute when stand-off Stuart Edwards dropped a goal to make it 8-6 with less than minutes on the second half clock.

    Grammar then enjoyed their best spell of the game, inspired by an all-action back rowin which number eight Tom Preece was an outstanding ball carrier, but ably supported by the irrepressible Tony McGinness and Glasgow professional Fraser Brown.

    Ryan kicked another penalty and then lock Ed Nimmons took charge in the second row, especially when in 65 minutes he popped up for his first try for the club thanks to fine support work from the eager Sam Bingham.

    Ryan kicked the conversion to give the home side an apparently unassailable lead at 18-6. Although a late, unconverted try from Craig Deacons made for an anxious last five minutes for the Rubislaw faithful.

    © Jack Nixon

    Reproduced with the permission of the Press & Journal


  4. Gala 33 Aberdeen Grammar 21

    Gala 33 Aberdeen Grammar 21

    Aberdeen Grammar allowed a fine opening 40 minutes, where they led 16-12, to slide as they disappeared as an attacking force in the second half – losing four tries in the process – while relying on a late try to give the scoreline more respectability.

    After losing 18-17 to Edinburgh Accies last weekend Grammar were looking for a win on the road but coach Kevin Wyness was frustrated by the display and said: “This is the second time in as many weeks we have failed to show in the second half.

    “It’s most frustrating, especially as we played so well in the first. It is an issue we will need to address. But there were lots of positives, including the first class performance of Graeme Clow at stand off. He was superb, scoring all our first half points. Flanker Tony McGinness and centre Will Wardlaw were also impressive.”

    Both sides arrived at the game eager for wins to compensate for defeats after poor second-half performances last week.

    Gala were beaten 28-27 by Heriot’s last Saturday and Grammar dominated the early play only to fall behind to a try from former Harlequins player Opeta Palepoi.

    The Aberdeen side rallied with three quick penalties from Clow who then neatly side-stepped the Gala defence for a try which he converted to make it 16-5 for the visitors.

    Grammar then conceded a soft converted try just before the break when Alan Edmund caught the visiting defence napping, and despite the introduction of Glasgow Warriors player Josh Strauss in the second half they proceeded to lose control of the game.

    Strauss failed to make his presence felt in the Grammar back row, enabling home number eight Tom Weir to rumble over for a converted try.

    Worse was to come when Clow was sin-binned for a deliberate knock-on when attempting to intercept a try scoring pass.

    In his absence the Borderers made their numerical advantage count when winger Graham Spiers romped in with the extras added.

    Scrum half George Graham sealed Grammar’s fate with a converted try 15 minutes from time.

    The irrepressible McGinness had the last word when his hard work was rewarded with an enterprising but unconverted touchdown. However, by then the game was up leaving Wyness to solve the problem of getting his charges to play not only as a unit but also for the full 80 minutes.

    Centre Harry Duthie picked up a bad shoulder knock and may miss the home game against Stirling County on Saturday.

    “Harry might have a broken shoulder,” said Wyness who will have the bonus of three consecutive home games before the end of the month.



  5. Aberdeen Grammar 17 Edinburgh Accies 18

    Aberdeen Grammar 17 Edinburgh Accies 18

    Aberdeen Grammar will play worse and win in the long season ahead.

    But they may live to regret turning in a second half performance in which they were posted missing as an attacking force, enabling an organised Edinburgh Accies side to claim victory.

    Grammar coach Kevin Wyness said: “It was very disappointing after a fine away win last week. But we seemed to go to sleep in the second half – although we had to use our entire replacement bench, which tells its own tale.

    “There are some nasty knocks in there, but we’ll get over it. I thought we had some fine individual performers, including winger Calum Gordon and flanker Tony McGinness, while our new centre pairing of Naka and Harry Duthie worked well.”

    Grammar had made the most perfect of starts when in two minutes they swept the ball wide. From the resultant lineout and ruck, new boy and number 8 Tom Preece crashed over.

    When stand off Rob Aloe kicked the conversion from wide out it looked like a good day was in prospect for Aberdeen.

    Accies had other ideas, clawing its way back into the game and kicking a 12th minute penalty after a home hand had appeared in a ruck. Centre Ruaridh Bonner had no bother in making good his attempt for three points.

    The Rubislaw side dictated the rest of the half, but had to rely on hesitancy in the Raeburn Place ranks to score a second try after a poor clearance.

    Aloe nipped over to make it 12-3 before adding the conversion and a half time lead of 11 points which given they had a strong wind in their backs was a small enough margin.

    Sure enough Accies took an immediate advantage after the interval – helped by poor home tackling, enabling winger Nyle Godsmark To stroll in unopposed. Bonner kicked the conversion before going on to kick a second penalty.

    Worse was to come as Grammar wilted, making it easy for replacement lock Andrew Findlater to score for Accies to go into the lead for the first time.

    Grammar rallied, pressing the Accies line. But in the end they only had a Mark Ryan penalty to show for their efforts.

    That left them agonisingly one point short when referee Andrew McMenemy blew for full-time.

    Former Dundee High player Harry Duthie enjoyed his first home outing, but said: “We inexplicably eased off in a game we really should have won.”

    Aberdeen Grammar Rugby: Will Wardlaw; Angus Rennie, Harry Duthie, Peceli Navamavuto, Calum Gordon; Rob Aloe, Morgan Ward; Matt Dixon, Sam Bingham, Struan Cessford; Ed Nimmons, Jamie Metcalfe; Geig Ryan ©, Tiny McGinness, Tom Preece.

    Replacements: Sean O’CXonnor, Matt Schosser, Rob Cessford, Mark Ryan, Luke Earle-Wright.

    Edinburgh Accies: Jamie Sole; Jamie Farndale, Ewen Campbell, Ruaridh Bonner,Nyle Godsmark; Alex Blair, Alex Black; Duncan Morrison, Michael Liness, Phil Cringle; Greg Campbell ©, Jamie McCarthy; Neil Atkin, Tom Drennan, Robin Snape.

    Replacements: David Bates, Fraser Rawlinson, Andrew Findlater, Mike Campbell, Sam Pecquer.

    © Jack Nixon

  6. Hawick 16 Aberdeen Grammar 23

    Hawick 16 Aberdeen Grammar Rugby 23

    Aberdeen Grammar coach Kevin Wyness was delighted to have launched his first game in charge with a Scottish Premiership win against Hawick but admitted that his side had been the “luckier” of the two on a greasy, difficult Mansfield Park pitch.

    Fortune may have favoured his side but there was no hiding the delight on the new coach’s face.

    He said: “I’m delighted to come away with four points. We were just a bit luckier.

    “Both sides tried to play rugby, but there were lots of mistakes out there. It could have gone either way, though we got the breaks.

    “It’s a great start to our season, winning away from home, especially in the Borders.”

    Having had most of the play in an entertaining first half, the Greens looked to be in control. But two tries either side of half-time from hooker Sam Bingham turned the game the way of the Rubislaw side.

    An efficient Grammar pack was well supported by the back three of Will Wardlaw, Angus Rennie and Erlend Oag.

    Full back Wardlaw, who normally plays in the centre, turned in an outstanding performance – attacking and defending in equal good measure, while in the centre the new pairing of Harry Duthie and Peceli Nacamavuto were highly effective against the home team who were boosted by the presence of Edinburgh professional Gregor Hunter at sstand off.

    Hunter and his Grammar counterpart Rob Aloe exchanged early penalties before Hawick momentum enabled Gary Johnstone to overlap for the first try of the day. With Hunter adding the conversion it was 10-3 for the home side.

    Grammar then enjoyed a good spell during which Rennie, Nacamavuto and former Dundee favourite Duthie all went close. But it was left to Aloe to add a second penalty to reduce the gap. However, Hunter cancelled it out with a monster effort of his own from the half way mark.

    Bingham then stepped up with his two touchdowns neither of which was converted, as Grammar led by the irrepressible Fraser started to bully the home pack.

    With the wind in their sails, scrum half Morgan Ward nipped over for a third try, this time converted by Aloe.

    Hawick had the last word to come within a converted score of the visitors total when Hunter kicked his third penalty, though captain Greig Ryan should have made it safe, electing to chip ahead inside the 22 when he had numbers left and right.

    It mattered little as shortly after referee David Changleng blew for time to give Grammar a fine start to the new campaign and a third win this century at Mansfield Park.

    Hawick: Ali Weir; Neill McColm, Lee Armstrong, Gary Johnstone, Greg Anderson; Gregor Hunter, Bruce Campbell; Shawn Muir, Lindsey Gibson, Liam Launders; Rob McAlpine, Kieran Williston; Stuart Graham, Keith Davies, Bruce McNeil.

    Replacements: Matt Landels, Wullie Blacklock, Craig Smith, Scott McLeod, James Parker.

    Aberdeen: Will Wardlw; Angus Rennie, Harry Duthie, Peceli Nacamavuto, Erlend Oag; Rob Aloe, Morgan Ward; Matt Dixon, Sam Bingham, Struan Cessford; Ed Nimmons, Jamie Metcalfe; Rob Cessford, Greig Ryan (c), Tom Preece

    Replacements: Mike Cox, Nicki Fraser, Tont McGinness, Mark Ryan, Luke Earle-Wright.