West Rugby hold off tough Lasswade squad

West faced a tough clash at Burnbrae against Lasswade but overcame their larger physical size to clinch victory 18-15.

The visitors were full of confidence after ending Preston Lodge’s unbeaten run in the league and showed more power, but not fluency in the early stages attacking the West line with little success until they found a hole in West’s defence to score an unconverted try to take the lead.

The hosts responded immediately but were unable to scorer when a good passing move ended after a speculative chip forward was touched back by the Lasswade defence. West were however on top in the scrums, winning a series of reset scrums.

A sustained period of West pressure then succeeded after several pick and drive phases resulted in Lasswade giving away a penalty just under the posts. Blair Smith converted to peg the score back to 3-5.

West were now passing the ball well, and Lasswade’s breaks were being bundled into touch by the West defence. Smith missed a long range penalty near the half way line, then a fluent passing move found Mark Sim on the wing who beat four Lasswade defenders to score in the corner unconverted to put West 8-5 in the lead. West then scored again when after a driving maul and a series of pick and drives Alex Fisken found Ross Carnegie on the wing who scored uncoverted to make it 13-5.

Lasswade did not take matters lying down and a wave of attacks were desperately defended by West who initially kept out a try but had both James Harley and Ross Carmichael sent to the bin for technical offences. Lasswade then scored from a driving maul and missed the conversion to make the half time score 13-10.

Both sides tried to make inroads in the second half, but their defences were on top - West’s with speed and skill, Lasswade’s with power and strength. West then put together several good phases ending up with Alex Fisken squirming his way past two tacklers to make it 18-10. The conversion was missed.

Tempers then frayed when Lasswade took a tap free kick after a West crooked scrum feed found a hole in the West defence and scored to make it 18-15 which was the final score after yet another kick failed to find its mark.

West: Stuart MacDonald, Scott Carmichael, Andy Love, Luke McLaren, Mark Jenkinson, Jamie McAulay(c), James Harley, Angus Thomson, Alexander Fisken, Richie Tran, Mark Sim, Stuart Malone, Blair Smith, Ross Carnegie, Leask Carnegie. Replacements: Allan, Fullerton, Graeme Carmichael, Scott Hunter.