1st XV v GHK 02.12.17

Dumfries Saints 40   GHK 22

Back to league action after a few weeks lay off for the Autumn Tests and 3rd placed Saints took on 6th place GHK.

The game started at a fast and furious pace with both teams a bit rusty in their ball handling, timing of runs and passes. These led to a number of scrums which GHK dominated for the first few but Saints soon found their form. The timing of releasing tackled players and releasing the ball at breakdowns was also heavily penalised and where appropriate both teams went for the posts kicking penalty goals and the score was soon 6 : 3 to Saints.

The GHK scrum half was yellow carded for a deliberate knock offering the Saints another opportunity to kick 3 points. This was closely followed by a yellow card for Saints’ Rory Steele for giving the referee unwanted advice; Deemed to be a sin bin offence but only worth a scrum to GHK in their own half. In an attempt to shift play quickly down the line the ball was spilled and Jack Steele kicked ahead and chased for the first try. John Carlisle kicked the conversion taking the score to 16 : 3.

GHK quickly followed with a catch and drive from a line out but the conversion was missed making the half time score 16 : 8.

The fast pace continued in the second half with both teams finding their handling skills and timing. Some slick running and handling gave GHK an overlap out wide to score and convert their second try, 16 : 15.

Saints claimed the restart and after sustained pressure and great ball retention through a number of phases were awarded a penalty 5 metres out which was tapped and moved across the field for Keagan Jones to score and John Carlisle to convert, 23 : 15.

Injuries to the GHK front row resulted in uncontested scrums. Dumfries were starting to look the more assured of these two very good teams and were putting together phases. After some prolonged possession, great driving runs by Zeke Dyson, Finlay Miller and Sam Hiddleston the ball was carried over by Tom Martin for Saints 3rd try, converted by John Carlisle, 30 : 15.

GHK conceded a penalty in front of the posts for going off their feet at a ruck which John Carlisle kicked for another 3 points. From fast ball out of a ruck in front of the GHK posts Jack Steele darted over for the bonus point try which John Carlisle converted, 40 : 15.

GHK dominated the final minutes of injury time finishing the game with a penalty try.

Squad: Tom Martin, Zeke Dyson, Scott Goodwin, James Clyde, Mark McClatchey, Finlay Miller, Gavin Wilson , Paddy Coupar, Jack Johnstone, Jordan Kerr, Jack Steele (captain), Keagan Jones, John Carlisle, Rory Steele, Sam Hiddleston, Douglas Boyd, Michael Scott, Ryan Cruikshank and Andrew Whiteford.

At the half way stage Saints are sitting second in the league having won 7 and lost 3, next Saturday they welcome Whitecraigs to Park Farm who they beat 38 : 27 away in the first game of the season.

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