1st XV v Perthshire 05.11.16

Perthshire had not enjoyed a good start to their season and Saints had to use the opportunity to gain a win bonus point at home. Saints in their change red and black strips started with the intensity Haddington had hit them with the previous week and it only took a few minutes before and inside pass following a line out on the visitors 22 from stand-off Jordan Kerr to winger Kenny Henderson running a perfect inside angle led to the first try converted by Jack Steele.


Saints next venture into the Perthshire 22 was stopped illegally by their centre who sent to the sin bin. From the resulting penalty Saints opted for a scrum, Michael Scott picked up at number 8 and went down the short side popped the ball to scrum half Jack Johnstone who inject some pace to put the Perthshire defence on the backfoot before feeding the ball to a sprinting Kenny Henderson who crashed over taking several Perthshire players with him.


Saints piled on the pressure with the extra man and a crashing run through heavy traffic by Sam Hiddleston lead to a couple of fast rucks and the ball popped out to the touchline where Sam popped up to finish it off in the corner. The conversion was missed and the score was 17 nil with 20 minutes played.

Perthshire were struggling to get out of their 22 and a clearance was fielded by full back Jack Steele who carried the ball forward to Kenny Henderson and then it went quickly out to Andrew Whiteford who sprinted the ball back into the Perthshire 22 gave Kenny Henderson the return pass who then fed John Carlisle for a brilliant team try. John Carlisle converted.

Saints had other chance but Perthshire defence held out, holding them up over the line and turning over a 5 metre scrum. They were growing in confidence and were back attacking the Saints 22 by half time with the score at 24 nil.

From the start of the second half Saints had to defend hard against a resurgent Perthshire. It was fast and furious stuff with most of the possession with Perthshire and the 3rd quarter played mainly in the Saints half. In a rare intrusion into the Perthshire half a s well executed move from good possession at a lineout saw stand-off Jordan Kerr looping round centre John Carlisle, outside centre Sam Hiddleston going on a dummy run, full back Jack Steele entering the line with fast feet and fast hands, Kenny Henderson carrying forward and drawing the last defender before putting Andrew Whiteford into space out wide.

With the bonus point in the bag the Saints lost some focus and gave away a soft try at the posts which Perthshire converted. But a sustained attack left the Perthshire defence spread out and a gap opened up for Kenny Henderson to exploit. Jack Steele converted taking the score to 37 : 7.

Perthshire were back on the attack again and Saints tackling was outstanding to stop the getting close to the line. With 5 minutes left on the clock a great turnover by Sam Hiddleston on his 22 was run to the 10 metre by John Carlisle who popped an inside pass to Harry Houldey who ran from halfway to be stopped 5 metres out. The ball was eventually cleared to the half way but Saints had spent enough time in their own half and were looking for a strong finish and it came from a barging run by prop Craig Goldie before offloading to flyer Andrew Whiteford who scored the final try, converted by Jack Steele.

Perthshire’s second half performance did not look like a team sitting 3rd bottom of the league but Saints defence only leaking one try looked like a team challenging for promotion and thanks to a 15 : 10 defeat at St Boswells for Highland the Dumfries team are back on top of the league. The season takes a 2 week break for the Autumn Tests with their next league game away to 2nd placed Lasswade on 3rd December.

Squad: Craig Goldie, Zeke Dyson, Scott Goodwin, Michael Thompson, Jamie Graham, Ali Jackson, Ryan Cruickshank, Michael Scott, Jack Johnstone, Jordan Kerr, Andrew Whiteford, John Carlisle, Sam Hiddleston, Kenny Henderson, Jack Steele, Blair Milligan, Euan Mack, Craig Bryson and Harry Houldey


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