Stewartry visited for first time by Australian tourists Townsville under-19s

The Stewartry and Townsville captains exchange gifts
The Stewartry and Townsville captains exchange gifts

Stewartry Rugby Club have hosted a friendly match against Townsvile, an under-19 team from Australia currently touring the UK.

Although Townsville have been touring the UK for the past 20 years, this was their first visit to Stewartry.

The match started well for Stewartry, who made several good drives towards the Townsville line. But they were thwarted by a strong-tackling defence which soon set up a ruck, from which they fed their backs to score out wide.

The visitors’ swift handling and speed were to be a cause for concern to the Stewartry backs all game and, from a scrum, they used their speedy backs to score out wide again.

Stewartry backs Archie Nicholson and Lochie Spence had half-breaks thwarted by excellent defending, before a try saving tackle by Nichoslon stopped the visitors just short. But, from the ruck, Townsville spun the ball wide to score in the corner.

Stewartry continued to make good runs but good defence stopped any scoring opportunities and Townsville’s swift backs added two more scores to lead 31-0 at half-time.

After a number of Townsville half-time changes, the second half was a far more even contest.

After about 15 minutes, great rucking by Stewartry’s Aidan Dunbar, Connor McGuire and Rory Sinclair allowed Patrick Kelly to pass wide to Lochie Spence and he fed Gregor Todd. He passed to Rory Donnan, who cut in on the angle to score near the posts.

Stewartry kept pressing but were unable to breach the Townsville defence again.Near the end, Townsville, after many drives, finally breached the line to scored near the posts and tie the second half at seven points each, with Townsville winning 38-7 overall.

The Stewartry team was made up of four different clubs and thanks went to all of them in making this a fantastic game of rugby.