Rugby

Marr 61 Aberdeen Grammar 7

Aberdeen Grammar suffered a third successive defeat in the Premiership with a 61-7 reverse at Marr.

The only consolation for the Rubislaw men was that they afterwards they had come up against the unbeaten league leaders on a day when they were at the top of their form.

Grammar head coach Ali O’Connor said: “Full credit to Marr, they played very well and their execution was electric.

“It was difficult to stay with them but we really stuck in after half-time.

“We wanted to chase a try bonus point, which we didn’t get, although I am proud of our effort.

“We’ll probably be all the better for this because Marr played the game at such high speed, it will give us the chance to learn from that.”

O’Connor refused to use the injury crisis and non-availability of players as an excuse.

He added: “The guys who came down are a pretty competitive team but we are probably struggling for balance, while getting used to playing with each other.

“They stuck in well and, by and large, came away with the credit of never giving up.”

But despite O’Connor’s brave defence of his charges, it was clear it was going to be almost impossible for Grammar to compete against the by far and away the best team in the league without the services of players of the quality of Chris Jollands, who is now in New Zealand, Robin Cessford and Nathan Brown, who were both injured, as well as their key organiser in the pack Greig Ryan, who was getting married at the weekend.

There was, however, one moment of light relief for the Grammar bench when after conceding three early tries, centre Tom Aplin scored one of the best tries of the afternoon, rumbling all of 70 yards to score a fine individual try which he converted himself on what was an otherwise first half of one-way traffic to the Aberdeen line.

Trailing 40-7 at the break, Grammar turned round set on closing the gap, only to find the Troon side equally determined to make their own case for more points, which they did through three more tries, all converted by their excellent stand-off Colin Sturgeon, who kicked eight of his none attempts at goal while successfully keeping his back division in the game and making life difficult for the Grammar line.

Grammar will be on the road again on Saturday when they start the second half of the season with a game in Edinburgh whom they have already beaten 30-17 at Rubislaw in the first game of the season. The defeat means Grammar have dropped from second to fourth, only a point above a vastly improved Hawick team.

Edinburgh Accies will go into the match with Grammar also looking to make amends after going down to a 35-17 defeat at Glasgow Hawks.

© Jack Nixon

Marr: Greg Montgomery; Scott Bickerstaff, Gregor Paxton, Conor Bickerstaff, Jack Scott; Colin Sturgeon, Jack Preston; William Farquhar, Oliver Rossi, Calvin Henderson; Ewan Hamilton-Bulger, Alexander Fraser; Mackenzie Pearce, Robert brown, Benedict Grant.

Replacements: Andrew Muir, Brandon Sweet, Cody Cunningham, Gregor Ness, Kenneth Diffental.

Aberdeen Grammar: Andrew Ovenstone; Calum Ruxton, Sean Mills, Tom Aplin, Doug Russell; Sam Knudson, Patrick Ritchie; Calum Reddish, Matthias Schosser, Ross Anderson; Nat Coe, Aaron Robertson; Dom Wallen, Jonny Spence, Will Alton.

Replacements: Thomas Ryan, Valentine Ojogwu, Cameron Robertson, Luke Murphy, Mungo Somerville.