Royal High 23-6 Linlithgow Rugby Club: Reds Royally beaten but still second in table

As usual, Linlithgow Rugby Club’s trip to Barnton on Saturday was a hard-fought encounter, with home side Royal High gaining a 23-6 win against a visiting team that failed to hit the heights of the previous two weeks.

Thursday, 30th September 2021, 2:47 pm
Updated Thursday, 30th September 2021, 2:48 pm
Linlithgow ace Ross Plenderleith is about to be tackled by the Royal High defenders (Pic by Graham Black)

However, after early Reds pressure in this Tennent’s East Division 1 clash, a Ross Martin penalty gave the away side a three-point lead on seven minutes.

Royal High hit back and struck the post with a penalty before scoring following a scrum when their centre crashed through for a try which was converted to put them 7-3 up after 20 minutes’ play.

Despite High then having their try-scorer yellow-carded, one successful penalty per side was all that was added in the remainder of the first half with the half-time score standing at 10-6.

As the second half wore on, High stuck to their simple game-plan using their strong pack and direct running centres to good effect.

After adding a penalty, the home team scored their second try which resulted from a speculative kick from their own half ending up just short of the Reds line and after a few forward drives, the ball was moved right to allow their outside centre to score a try which was converted to give the home side a 20-6 lead.

The Linlithgow coaches then emptied the subs’ bench by bring on Mark Caddle, Fraser Mochrie, Liam Park and Stevie Grant but despite some valiant late runs, in particular from Ross Martin and Ruaridh Stewart, a try continued to elude the Reds.

A penalty from the Royal High full-back saw the match ending in a 23-6 home win.

Both packs put in a huge amount of tackles but Royal High just had the edge in making ground with the ball in hand.

The back three of Linlithgow had few opportunities in open play and were unable to continue their fine recent try scoring form.

It is likely that the coaches will have much to ponder as there were a number of good periods of play but whereas the passing and offloading had worked well in recent games, it failed to do so at Royal High.

Linlithgow, second in the table with 10 points from four games, have a free Saturday this weekend.