A tremendous bonus point away win against close contenders.

BY RICHARD PAYNE

A tremendous bonus point away win against close contenders.


In the latter stages of a very tight promotion race with five teams still in contention, all matches are important. With Lasswade in second place and Ardrossan in fourth, this tie was all the more crucial for Lasswade. Win it and they increase their grip on second place. Lose it and they drop two or three places.

Lasswade fielded a close to first choice team for this encounter with no novices or debutants.

As forecast the rain started just before kick-off and continued steadily at least until no side and ensuring the pitch was soft and somewhat treacherous. With the wind blowing straight across the park it was unlikely to be of much assistance to either side.

Ardrossan kicked off and the first scrum inside the Lasswade 22 they showed a dominance that was to continue throughout the half and forced a penalty which their standoff duly slotted.

Lasswade’s response from the restart was to camp in the home 22 for the next ten minutes until Robertson forced his way over beside the posts making for an easy Matt Smith conversion and 3-7.

The next 10 minutes was between the 22’s until Ardrossan earned a 5m scrum and used their heavier pack to drive over for Lamont to touch down for a seven pointer and 10-7.

The set scrum may have been struggling but everywhere else Lasswade had the edge but had to settle on a Smith penalty conversion to level up the scores at 10-10 for half time.

The second period restart set Lasswade up in the home 22 and a series of controlled rucks and recycling set Robertson up for his second try of the game under the posts for an almost guaranteed Smith conversion with barely 3 minutes gone.

The exchanges remained pretty even for the next 20 minutes so when a deliberate knock-on penalty opportunity arrived just into the final quarter Smith duly obliged to extend the lead to 10-20.

With the Accies visibly tiring and losing heart, Lasswade stepped up the pressure in the last 15 minutes. Their third try was a rather bizarre affair when there was a major melee in the right corner close to the home line from which the ball squirted out across the park and Burns had the relatively simple and unopposed task of scooping it up and dotting it down under the posts for Smith to make it 10-27.

With 5 minutes remaining the hunt was on for the bonus point try and the icing on the cake. Sure enough, as the clock clicked into overtime, Matt Smith took a tight side pass from a 5 metre scrum to drive over in the corner and take his personal tally to 17 points and the final score of 10-32.

This was another powerful display by all of the Lasswade squad but not for the first time their player of the match award went to Matt Hart whose elusiveness and mobility make up for the fact that he is not the biggest of wing forwards.

This win increases Lasswade’s grip on second place with Berwick 8 points ahead and Greenock Wanderers 3 points behind but with both teams having played an extra game.

The Six Nations takes control this weekend and the League contest returns with a full fixture card on March 21, Lasswade welcome Carrick to Hawthornden. Kick-off 3pm.

CORONAVIRUS (CONVID-19)- UPDATE

Clubhouse and Gym closed from 21.03.2020 until further notice


A further message from SRU has been issued which states that the Domestic Rugby Season has finished. Decisions will be made during the coming weeks in how the final standings will be made. We may or may not be promoted, hopefully the former. SEE SRU website for further information.

Also, and more importantly, the Clubhouse and Gym have been closed until further notice.
This is line with the directive issued by the Government, and in the case of the Gym, for the safety of our players.

29 FEB 20 – ALL SENIOR MATCHES POSTPONED DUE TO WEATHER/PITCH CONDITIONS!

Unfortunately due to adverse weather, travel and pitch conditions both senior matches have been called off today!

Lasswade 1st XV v Caithness 1st XV – OFF

Peebles 2nd XV v Lasswade 2nd XV – OFF

WEST OF SCOTLAND 16 v LASSWADE 41

Try bonus in the bag by half time!

BY RICHARD PAYNE

With Storm Dennis wiping out fixtures elsewhere West’s all-weather pitch saved the day albeit that the wind, the cold and the rain made for a slightly error-strewn game for both sides. West are hovering just above the relegation trio while Lasswade are at the other end of the table as well as having a pretty solid record of wins from previous visits to Burnbrae. The odds very much favoured the visitors.

Against those odds West kicked off with the wind at their backs and kept their visitors pinned in their 22 for the opening five minutes then settled for a penalty off Nicholson’s boot as the Lasswade defence held solid.

Their lead lasted barely three minutes before Hunter broke from a scrum on halfway, finessed three would-be tacklers and, when the fourth stopped him, had Gladstone on hand to finish off the last 20 metres. Matt Smith had no trouble with the conversion.

Answering a penalty with a converted try was to become a bit of a pattern for the next 20 minutes.

With 18 minutes gone Nicholson slotted his second penalty and just two minutes later Blair Smith took the perfect angle for a pop pass to take him through the opposition line to the posts and another Smith conversion.

Fast forward another ten minutes and Nicholson punished a failure to release to make it 9-14 and Lasswade used a penalty a few minutes later to set up a line out 10 metres out. When the catch and drive stalled a couple of ruck recycles set Hunter up to drive over and Smith’s almost ever reliable boot added the two points.

In the closing minutes of the half Lasswade entered previously less well-charted territory by chalking up the fourth and bonus point try. A penalty in the shadow of the posts was too tempting for Robertson as he tapped and barged his way past three defenders. Smith made it four out of four shots at goal.

The 9-28 half time score soon looked slightly less secure when, just four minutes into the second period, the ball slipped out of hands in a Lasswade attack and Cochrane kicked through and won the chase to touch down. Nicholson’s conversion narrowed the gap to 12 points.

As Lasswade tightened up their game they reduced any risk of further losses and with just 7 minutes left made the game safe. Having been held up over the line it took two resets of the 5 metre scrum to release the ball to debutant Orsi on the right wing to force his way down the tight side for the ideal start to his senior playing career.

Another penalty for Smith in the final minute finalised the score at 16-41.

In a solid squad performance Matt Hart secured the player of the match for seemingly managing to be everywhere and being an expert pickpocket and stealing the ball back from some unlikely situations.

Lasswade move up to second place after this win, 8 points behind Berwick and 3 points ahead of Greenock Wanderers both of whom have played an extra game. Ardrossan in fourth place are still well in the mix just four points behind Lasswade with a game in hand.

League Rugby largely gives way to the Six Nations this Saturday and Lasswade’s next fixture is at home to relegation-threatened Caithness at 3.00pm on 29 February.

Ladies Day 2020 – POSTPONED

Sadly, after some consideration we have decided to postpone Ladies Day due to variables out with our control – particularly the ongoing affect of coronavirus on sport and gatherings.

LD will now be held on 25 April, when Lasswade play Caithness on the last day of the season. We felt that this gives enough time to be clear of the manky weather and hopefully the virus situation.

We appreciate this may not suit everyone who has committed already but seems the sensible option at the moment.

Any tickets purchased will be valid on 25 April and hope everyone can join us then.

Thanks, Gayle.

HILLHEAD JORDANHILL 13 LASSWADE 19

A solid if slightly nail-biting win with the bonus try frustratingly close.


By Richard Payne.

With seven wins (including away to Ardrossan) and a home draw (against Berwick) from fourteen, Hillhead were sitting plumb in the middle of the table like a banana skin for any visiting team.

Lasswade needed to dig further into its playing strength this week but none of the call-ups were debutants.

Fair weather overhead and a reasonably firm pitch promised some open rugby and both sides did not disappoint. The “opening exchanges” lasted all of the first quarter as ply swung from end to end gains. With the clock ticking into the second quarter Harte opened Hills’ account by punishing and offside at a ruck.

Just 5 minutes later Lasswade strung together a series of rucks before swing the ball wide out left and Hall found a gap to break down the wing and when about to be stopped, Gladstone was on his shoulder to take the offload and run in the last 20 metres to the posts for a straightforward Smith conversion.

Lasswade stayed slightly on top in the territorial and tactical departments and a few minutes past the half hour earned a short range penalty. A quick tap and go to Robertson, whom Hills had already found difficult to stop, who barrelled through the defence line to set up a converted try.

Hillhead replied with an assault on the visitors 22 but gave away an interception and Morris took the offload to win the 60 metre race to the corner and for once Smith’s conversion drifted wide.

3-19 looked like being the half-time score but another series of recycling rucks put Hills’ within striking distance and Scott picked a good angle to cross over but too far out for their kicker leaving the score at 8-19

Hills made the livelier start to the second period and within 5 minutes Harte touched down to narrow the gap to a perilously close 6 points.

With the twin incentives off making the game safe and earning a try bonus, Lasswade turned up the heat and twice looked to have scored in the corner only for it to be chalked off because of brush with the touchline on the way in.

Hills’ had their own chances but the Lasswade defence stayed solid.

It was some relief to all from Midlothian when the final whistle blew mixed with disappointment about the elusive bonus try.

Lasswade stay in third place but now just one point behind Ardrossan and eight points behind Berwick who have played one more game.

The Six Nations fills this weekend and Lasswade’s next fixture is a trip to West of Scotland on 15 February. Kick-off now back to 3pm.

National League Cup Quarter Final – Sat 3pm

This Saturday we host Peebles 1st XV in the National League Cup Quarter Final with a 3pm kick off.

We will be hosting our pre match lunch. £20 a ticket with 3 courses and entry to the game. 1pm meet for a 1:30pm seat.

Message the page or speak to Billy Knowles if you fancy a ticket.

LASSWADE 64 PERTHSHIRE 0

A five pointer and a big boost to our points difference


Although Lasswade has won as many games as the other league leaders they have fallen short on try bonus points and need to rectify this. On paper Perthshire were a prime opportunity being second from bottom with only one win from eleven and Lasswade won the away leg 43-13.

A bonus point try in the first half seemed unlikely when the hosts kicked off towards Rosewell against a stiff, icy wind on a pitch close to saturated. Undeterred, though, they immediately put pressure on the Perthshire line until penalised and kicked back into their own half.

They were soon back on the offensive. From a scrum in their own 22, forwards and backs combined to get the ball back up the pitch and Matt Smith jinked and swerved round three defenders to cover the last 20 metres to the corner with just 8 minutes elapsed. Not surprisingly the headwind deflected his conversion attempt.

On the quarter-hour Wichary opened his ultimately successful claim to player of the match when he capitalised on a scrum turnover on the Perthshire 22 and Smith added the two.

Lasswade dominated territory and possession for the next 20 minutes but Perthshire spoiled and defended well enough to staunch the flow of points. They eventually creaked again as a largely forward drive up the centre was finished off by Robertson under the posts for an easy two points by Smith.

The restart went dead and from the scrum on halfway Blair Smith broke through some weak tackling and set up Gladstone to cover the last 20 metres to the post for 26-0.

Into first half stoppage time Blair Smith added his own name to the score sheet after Wichary made the initial break. Smith’s boot made up the 33-0 half-time score.

With the wind at their backs and totally on top in just about every aspect of the game, Lasswade used the second forty to add five more tries through Nisbet, a second for Wichary, Mackenzie, Graham and Scott Sinclair plus 3 Smith conversions.

Matt Hart’s efforts and contribution earned him a share of the player of the match award.

This five pointer and the considerable addition to their points difference, moves Lasswade up to third place, just five points behind Berwick and Ardrossan, the latter having played an extra game. It’s still at least a five horse race though with just 9 points between first and fifth.

Seasonal festivities mean that Laswade’s next fixture is on 11 January away to sixth placed Hillhead/Jordanhill. Kick-off 2pm.

A whole team performance sends Wanderers home empty-handed


To kick off the second half of the League programme, this was a proverbial eight-pointer game. Wanderers travelled to Hawthornden as League leaders and nine points clear of Lasswade albeit partly due to having played one more game. A simple win would stretch that to 13 points while a home win would keep Greenock, and promotion, well within reach.

This was the third East-West confrontation this season, Wanderers having taken the away League leg 26-17 in September but Lasswade evened this up with 12-33 victory in the Cup the following month. One certain outcome from the day was a hard-fought and close but not necessarily pretty contest. The weather did not co-operate with a strong chill breeze down the pitch and steady icy rain that started minutes before kick-off and only eased off as no-side approached.

Starting with the wind and weather at their backs, Lasswade got off to flying start when the kick-off found touch on the Greenock 5 metre line. A Greenock infringement at the lineout gave Robertson the opportunity of a quick tap and drive over the line and Matt Smith judged the wind perfectly to make it 7-0 with less than 2 minutes elapsed.

Lasswade pressed home their opening advantage and on the quarter hour Matt Smith added 3 points when most of the Greenock side were offside after a failed clearance to touch by their full-back.

From this point Greenock pulled themselves together and several times drove up the park against the elements but each time fell short of the line. On the half hour they got close enough for Keiran Smith to take back three points.

Lasswade came close to the Greenock line a couple of times in the reminder of the half and Matt Smith was given two long range shots at the goal but one hit the post and the other fell just short and wide.

The home support would have wanted a bigger margin than 10-3 as their side turned to face the elements particularly given the threats posed by Wanderers in the first forty.

Whatever was said in the half time dressing room, the hosts came out with all guns blazing and upped their game to not just keep Greenock at bay to pose the greater threat of scoring.

Six minutes into the half they were close enough for Matt Smith to add another 3 points when a Greenock player failed to release the ball in a tackle.

Just ten minutes later a penalty set up a close range lineout and Greig emerged from the driving maul to crash over the line.

Using the wind for initial territory, Greenock piled on the pressure for much of the last 25 minutes but the home fifteen defended doggedly led by the example of their captain and man of the match Stephen Hunter.

When Keiran Smith finally crashed over under the Lasswade crossbar it was too late even with a quickly taken drop goal conversion which proved to be the last play of the match.

After a disastrous previous season, Lasswade have clearly learned again how to win matches and in what is still at least a five horse race for the two promotion spots, sending Greenock home completely empty-handed may well prove significant later.

For the last game before the Christmas break, Lasswade host Perthshire who have just one win from eleven games and are one from the bottom of the Division. Kick-off 2pm.

Another good win keeps us well in the hunt


Murrayfield have been hovering around the middle of the table for much of the season with four wins from nine but all against clubs in the bottom half of the table. Lasswade travelled in third spot and needed at least a win to stay there.

Conditions couldn’t have been much worse for rugby with a cold breeze, continuous steady rain on an already drenched and muddy pitch and in little better than twilight from start to finish.

Lasswade got the early territory and possession and in a no-nonsense approach used an early penalty to take a three point lead from Matt Smith’s boot.

With the ball being kept mostly in the forwards It needed prop, Liam Greig to make a break up the middle and when stopped short of the line to set up a series of rucks. From the third such melee Gladston saw a gap and slid through to touch down wide out and for once Smith missed the conversion.

Murrayfield struck a purple patch in the next ten minutes and Godsmark closed the gap to 8-6 with two penalties, the second of which was almost immediately negated when Smith slotted one for his side.

Godsmark set up the 11-9 half time score when a Lasswade player failed to roll away.

The visitors started strongly in the second period and Robertson barrelled over with just five minutes gone and Smith’s almost inevitable conversion widened the gap to 18-9.

This spurred the Wanderers to mount their most sustained attack the Lasswade line. For fully fifteen minutes they stayed in the Lasswade half and were several times within inches of a score. Lasswade’s defence held though and on the hour Murrayfield settled for a Godsmark drop goal.

The six point gap increased the tension for both home and visiting players and support. Lasswade reclaimed the game in this final quarter but the issue was only put beyond doubt when Wichary crashed over with just three minutes of normal time left and Smith’s conversion extended the lead to 13 points and provided the final scoreline of 25-12 in favour of the visitors.

Berwick and Greenock both won with a try bonus and so stay joint top on 44 points with Lasswade 4 points with Ardrossan and Howe close behind on 39 point.

Laswade start the second half of the fixture list this Saturday with a visit to Forfar to take on Strathmmore. Kick-off 2pm.