Plockton struggle to cope with impressive Nairn pack

SCHOOL RUGBY

  • Plockton 17 Nairn 25
  • (H.T. 10-10)

Nairn Academy progressed to the latter stages of the North Schools’ Cup with a hard-earned but deserved victory over Plockton last Wednesday.

In recent years the Ross-shire boys had come out on top in this fixture and, with home advantage, were hoping their unbeaten five-year run was to continue. However, from the kick-off Nairn Academy dominated much of the set-piece play through their impressive and large pack.

The horrendous weather conditions made handling rugby difficult, but where Plockton may have been better served by kicking for territory and stretching the larger Nairn forwards across the pitch they chose to run the ball time after time into a defence unlikely to give much ground.

It was against the run of play that Plockton took the lead with an Ali Nixon penalty and a converted Duncan Wood try, but Nairn came storming back before the interval and levelled the game with two well-worked tries.

PLOCKTON-V-NAIRN---3With the heavy rain continuing to fall, the teams battled the conditions throughout the second half. The energy-sapping surface suited the heavier Nairn forwards and they quickly reasserted  their earlier dominance, allowing their backs a platform to score an unconverted try from close in.

The game descended into a forward-driven, attritional battle with the backs seeing little of the ball. Just as it looked as if Nairn would see out the victory, a mistake in their 22 allowed Plockton to capitalise and with five minutes to go Daniel Murray scored and Nixon added the extras for an unlikely lead.

However, Nairn rallied and in the closing minutes their forwards again showed what they were about, rumbling down the field to within five metres and driving home from close range for another score. In the dying minutes, and with Plockton’s fate now sealed, Nairn put a gloss on proceedings with another try.