A FINE display in front of home support saw Moray take full points with a comprehensive 62-0 victory over RAF Lossiemouth in their RBS Caledonia League Division 2 North fixture.
The home side took the early initiative and after only five minutes they went into the lead. Centre Joe Macari broke from inside his own half only to be halted close to the opposition 22. Quick ball was recycled and the ball reached No 8 Joe Vickery, who broke through three tackles and made the line for the score. Full back Andrew McBean added the conversion points for a 7-0 lead.
Even though Macari was sin-binned for a tackle which the referee inexplicably adjudged a tip tackle, the Elgin side stretched their lead when McBean landed a penalty for 10-0.
Three minutes later, with the yellow card still in place, the forwards rumbled up the middle of the pitch to a ruck. Scrum-half Callum Watson moved ball quickly and wing Ewan Stuart rounded the full back and made it under the posts for the try. The conversion was added by McBean for 17-0.
The Moray pack had the upper hand and were putting their counterparts under great pressure every time a scrum was called.
In the 25th minute, a third try was added when stand-off Marc Higgins dummied, checked and then put winger Aled Herbert into space to score out wide. McBean could not add the difficult conversion.
Three minutes before half-time, Moray scored their fourth and the bonus point-winning try. Another strong scrum from the home eight, 10 metres out, forced the Lossie scrum-half to try and clear the ball to his stand-off. His pass was misdirected, however, and Watson was quickest to react and dab the ball down over the line for an unconverted try and a half-time lead of 27-0.
The RAF started the second half well and for the first 10 minutes or so, applied a lot of pressure in the Moray half. Moray worked hard and regained the upper hand.
In the 60th minute, they reached the opposition 22 and were handed a penalty 10 metres from the line. A quick tap was taken and the ball moved wide. Herbert took the pass on a scissors move and drifted through a hole in the defence to score under the posts. McBean added the conversion points for 34-0.
Nine minutes later, Moray found themselves with an attacking scrum, five metres out. A mistake saw them lose the ball against the head but the ball squirted out of the scrum. Watson was quickest to react, picking up the ball and slipping it to Marc Higgins to run in a try which McBean converted for 41-0.
From the restart, wing-forward Neil Wiseman gathered the ball and ran straight through the oncoming opposition players. He was eventually tackled but fellow flanker Laurie McCutcheon was on hand to receive the offload and run the score in under the posts. McBean kicked the extras for 48-0.
In the final two minutes, the Elgin side rounded off the afternoon with two more tries.
Herbert scored his third after a crunching tackle by Macari turned over the ball and replacement wing Stuart Cluness scored after the ball was moved through hands following a quick tap penalty in midfield. McBean added both conversions.
It had been a very good all round team display by the Moray side. Up front, the scrum had been strong, the line-out was solid and all eight forwards put in a good shift in the loose.
Behind the scrum, the backs were always threatening with ball in hand, composed and executed well when opportunities arose. In addition, the whole team defended well when the Lossie side had their spell of pressure early in the second half.
On Saturday (Feb 1) Moray are at home on league business when they play Lochaber in a rearranged fixture. Kick-off 2pm.
For more pictures from the game see 'The Northern Scot' print version.