1st XV v Lasswade 6.1.18

Dumfries Saints 33   Lasswade 0

After successfully defending the MacPherson Cup against Annan on 30th November Saints were eager to get back into league action having not played a league game in 5 weeks.  Lasswade had not played in 9 weeks and when the two teams played back in September Saints had a narrow 10 : 17 win. Saints kicked off and kept Lasswade in their own half for 15 minutes with some excellent ball retention and fast recycling. Lasswade’s defence was robust but not always to the liking of the referee and after kicking several penalties to touch Saints opted to put one between the posts to go 3 nil up.

The restart put the ball briefly into the Saints half but not for long the pressure in the Lasswade 22 continued and Paddy Coupar got the first try with a pick and go from a ruck. The conversion was missed and the score was 8 : 0.

From a lineout on the Lasswade 22 Saints took the ball across the pitch and back again with some excellent ball retention and had Andrew Whiteford in space on the wing to score a great team try. John Carlisle converted taking the score to 15 nil.

Lasswade got themselves back into the game for spell of the second quarter and managed to sustain some possession in the Saints half but the Saints defence was on excellent form and were never in danger of conceding points. At the other end of the field Saints kept being awarded penalties and John Carlisle kicked another to take the score to 18 nil.

The referee’s frustration at infringements at the breakdown led to a yellow card for the Lasswade centre just before half time and with the possessions and territory Saints had enjoyed in the first half it was testimony to Lasswade defence that the score line was not double.

Lasswade kicked the restart for the second half, Saints standoff Jordan Kerr returned it, Lasswade spilled the ball just inside their own half which was pounced on by Ben Johnstone quickly recycled by his brother Jack out to Gavin Wilson taking up a wide channel and sprinting over in the corner. The conversion was missed and the score was 23 nil.

A few minutes later a clearance from Jordan Kerr was chased by Jack Currie pressurising the defending winger to lose the ball into touch Kenny Henderson was following up very quickly and took a quick throw-in to Jack Steele who sprinted in for the bonus point try.  The conversion was missed, 28 nil.

Restored to 15 men Lasswade retained some decent possession and gained some time in the saints 22 this time it was Saints defence turn to be robust but not always pleasing the referee and when he had enough it Ali Jackson who took the 10 minutes in the bin. Saints spent the duration of the binning defending in their own 22 but never looked in danger of conceding points.

Restored to 15 men Saints ran the ball out of defence with a great line break from Kenny Henderson just inside his own half and feeding the ball to John Carlisle to sprint to the corner, the missed conversion was the last kick of the game and the 5 points keep Saints second in the league one point behind Kirkcaldy who have a game in hand and five points ahead of third placed Biggar.

The next two weeks sees Saints playing both these teams, away to Kirkcaldy next Saturday then at home to Biggar on the 20th of January followed by another crunch game against Hamilton away on the 27th.

Coach Rudi Urbach says “I believe this side has the character needed to keep well in contention until the end of the season.”

Squad: Tom Martin, Zeke Dyson, Scott Goodwin, James Clyde, Ali Jackson, Michael Scott, Gavin Wilson, Paddy Coupar, Jack Johnstone, Jordan Kerr, Andrew Whiteford, John Carlisle, Jack Steele (Captain), Kenny Henderson, Sam Hiddleston, Dougie Boyd, Mark McClatchey, Ben Johnstone and Jack Currie.

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