Musselburgh 25 Aberdeen Rugby 37
Aberdeen got back to winning ways after a bonus point 25–37 victory over Musselburgh at Stoneyhill.
The visitors continued to display their wide open running style of play which, coupled with the flair and quick thinking of scrumhalf Jake Gray, allowed Aberdeen to stay comfortably ahead for the majority of the game.
Musselburgh have previously won their last 3 encounters with the men in red. Aberdeen had different plans this time around however, using their attacking speed and impressive handling to comfortably beat the Burgh.
Both teams started scrappily with 4 scrums and as many lineouts in the first 10 minutes. Aberdeen were first to find their feet, with Bryn Perrott taking an easy 3 points and Nathan Clough crossing the whitewash 3 minutes later from a fortuitous bounce of a charged down Aberdeen clearance. This took the Aberdonians 8 points clear after 15 minutes.
The Rubislaw men really came alive in the second quarter, imposing their game well and regularly taking the ball from inside their own half into the Musselburgh 22. Their consistency was rewarded when Jake Gray scored a great solo try, beating 4 players in the process.
The men in blue and white eventually found their footing in the final minutes of the first half. After consistent attack and an Aberdeen penalty, the hosts caught and drove a lineout 5 meters to score and finish the half only 7 points adrift.
Half-time: Musselburgh RFC 8 – 15 Aberdeen Rugby
After the interval, both teams came out looking to build on their first-half achievements. Musselburgh were the first to pounce. Having peppered the Aberdeen try line for multiple phases, prop Owenson dove over to bring the hosts within just 2 points of the visitors.
Aberdeen replied almost immediately, a beautiful looping miss pass from Knudson sent winger Matt Arnold over. This pulled Aberdeen back to a 2 score advantage. Salt was added to the wound as Musselburgh’s winger Vela was sent to the bin after been deemed to have tackled Arnold high as he scored.
The next 20 minutes saw Aberdeen continue their strong running game. Jake Gray picked and went from inside the Aberdeen half to score another beautiful solo try. 10 minutes later, off the back of a scrum, number 8 Greig Ryan linked up with the backs to unleash Knudson over for a third unanswered try. This brought the visitors 24 points clear.
The final 12 minutes saw Aberdeen begin to tire. Three yellow cards were shown to Reddish, Wallen, and Stewart leaving the visitors outnumbered for the remainder of the game.
The hosts capitalised well with two tries of their own, both starting from lineouts on the Aberdeen 5 metre line. In the final few minutes, Aberdeen’s defence held strong and prevented the hosts from walking away with more than 1 point from the encounter.
Full-time: Musselburgh 25 – 37 Aberdeen Rugby
Aberdeen Rugby: Knudson, Arnold, Clough, Mitchell, Ruxton, Perrott, Gray, Ellinson (c), Reddish, Schosser, Whitehead, Robertson, Dravitski, Alton, Ryan
Replacements: Neilson, Stewart, Murray, Wallen, Shepherd
Musselburgh: Doig, Vela, Coutts, Watt, Cook, Martin, Owenson, Owenson, Salven, McNairn, Fleming, McKinstry, Graham, Crain, Hutson
Replacements: Gregor, Arthur, Pryde, Kennedy, Young
P&J report can be found here: https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/sport/rugby/1345894/grammar-seize-victory-despite-flurry-yellow/