Dumfries Saints 2nd XV 63 – Creighton RFC 0
Last weekend the Seconds has some respite from league duty and they entertained long time friends and rivals Creighton from Carlisle. The visitors arrived with a full team, obviously forward orientated and complemented by a couple of Dumfries replacements giving two of our most recent recruits, valuable game time. With a howling south westerly gale driving rain across a bitterly cold Park Farm this was never going to be a feast of rugby and the wind chill factor and possible hypothermia were undoubtedly going to be the biggest problems to overcome. Indeed one member had to leave the field just after half time because of the cold but thankfully he made a full recovery after getting a cuddle from his mumâ€¼
In the front row Captain Simon Robertson and Blair Milligan propped up Ross Haggerty whose accurate throwing in, despite the weather, ensured valuable line out ball. In the boiler house the usual mixture of the youth of Stewart Kennedy and the experience of Eck Sloan gave a solid base to the scrum. The abrasive back row of Justin Little, Dougie Crichton and Bruce Haggerty completed the big, mobile and very impressive forward pack.
Behind the scrum Will Duncan, playing his last game for Saints, was the link alongside Stuart Burgess. In the centre Richie Davidson teamed up with Rory Steele. In a rearranged back three Smith and Torrance took up their usual wing berths and Tom Hiddleston was at full back.
A healthy replacements bench comprised Gavin Mack, James Cox, Ian Kerr, Ross Strawbridge and former captain Andy Clanachan making a welcome return after a long absence through injury. All replacements played their part in a comprehensive victory.
The game itself was a rather one sided affair after Saints overcame the initial Creighton onslaught and the home side ran in eleven tries. In fairness to the visitors they came with a game plan hoping to contain the Saints and it worked for about 20 minutes. When the home forwards took control and starved them of any meaningful possession the backs began to dominate and stretch the visiting defence, particularly out wide. Despite the atrocious conditions some good handling rugby was on display.
For the record Saints points came from tries by Hiddleston, Steele, Mack, Burgess, Sloan, Kennedy, Duncan and Bruce Haggerty with Burgess and Mack adding conversions
This was good experience against a stuffy abrasive side offering the Saints much needed game time if they are to maintain momentum in their league title challenge. The team will have benefited from the day and the coaching staff took time to experiment with some positional changes. Only down side was the recurrence of Tom Hiddleston’s shoulder injury which hopefully is not too serious.The Seconds have no game next weekend.