Last Saturday saw the Mackie Mammoths veteran rugby side entertain a team of old blokes from Brechin for a joint training session, finishing off with a game. Brechin arrived with a good travelling support for what was their first outing as a team. It was to prove useful for both teams as a warm up for the Golden Oldies Festival in Perth at the end of April – and would hopefully give everyone enough time to recover from what was a fairly rigorous workout.
The teams were put through a good hour of full on training looking at both defence and offence before they took to the pitch for a game.
The Mammoths won the toss and from the kick off took control and ran in a quick well worked try using the speedy(!) back division which must have totalled well over 200 in accumulative years.
Brechin seemed a bit taken aback by the blistering pace the Mammoths showed and lost their way slightly allowing the Mammoths to score another couple of times. However, they managed to re-group and started to use their sizeable forwards to full effect and pushed and rumbled their way up the pitch to camp out on the Mackie try line and it was only some resolute defence and dubious refereeing decisions that prevented Brechin scoring what would have been a well deserved try.
The second half started as the first half had ended with Brechin pushing the Mammoths back but somehow they won the ball back and fed it along the back line to get themselves out of trouble.
Poor handling and the occasional knock on were all that prevented the Mammoths from scoring again but Brechin capitalised on these errors to put the Mammoths back under pressure once more and scored a try.
From the restart, however, the Mammoths got the ball back and sent Willie Stevenson thundering down the wing from his own 22, very much in the way pin-up Pete did at Hillfoots, only to be caught on the line by a great cover tackle from Brechin. The play then ebbed and flowed and with bodies failing and lying across the field of play it was decided enough was enough and the referee blew the final whistle to cheers from the crowd and groans from the pitch as the Mammoths racked up their first win – though nobody was really keeping score! A great day was had by all and we are all looking forward to the return leg in Brechin – just not next week!