National League 1 Jack Nixon
Ellon 14 Edinburgh University 22
ELLON is unlikely to claim a top four place in National League 1 on Saturday’s form, which in the eyes of those who wish to see top class rugby played in the North - east would be nothing less than a disaster.
Such a placing at the end of the season would ensure the Meadows club were in the top three elite leagues, equivalent to the existing premierships, but not possible should they turn in such lack lustre performances against a team not likely to be in the promotion mix.
Head coach Mike Avis conceded that his side had “not fronted up” and would need a whole new attitude change if they were to be serious contenders to go up.
“After four games we have already lost two, which is scarcely promotion form. I thought we had got it right the previous week, but today we gave away two soft early tries, giving ourselves too much to do for the rest of the game,” said a disappointed Avis who will now bid to instil some much needed self belief in his squad over the week before the trip to Edinburgh where Ellon face another capital challenge in the form of RHC.
In fairness to the disenchanted Avis his key player, recent signing prop Jim Rennick played, but was clearly not fully fit, though he gallantly battled through the pain barrier for his new side.
“A fully fit Jim will be a different matter, which will hopefully help galvanise the rest of the team,’’ said the head coach who was also missing the services of another of his key men who had been called up as cover for Aberdeen Grammar’s front row for its Premier 1 fixture at Hawick.
Mike Cox a former Boroughmuir player travelled to the Borders, but in the event the Ellon vice - president had less than 10 minutes play, coming on as a late substitute for Callum McConnachie.
“I would have preferred a longer period on the field, but I fully understand the position of the coaching team, and in fairness Callum was playing well,” said a realistic Cox.
Working together in the interests of putting the area on the map is all very well, although the cost to associate clubs can be considerable, as was proved on Saturday.
Creating pyramid systems is all very well for the top sides, but just occasionally the needs of the lesser lights much be recognised, as was the case for Ellon last weekend.
Ellon’s only try came before the break from Jack Calvert, and was converted by Mark Ryan who also added three penalties, which proved not to be enough for the home side.
“It will be an interesting week in training, but hopefully we’ll come out of it with all guns firing on Saturday,” said Avis