Saints on a Run!
Dumfries Saints 36 Musselburgh 11
Saints started this league tie on the attack playing into a slight wind but in otherwise perfect conditions. It was a good start with plenty of possession but too often penalties were conceded at the break down allowing the visitors to clear. Rory Steel settled into his stand off role well, deputising for the sick Tom Hiddleston.
After 15 minutes Saints got their reward when a chip and chase from Rory Steele launched several phases, Villimony Satala drove the ball deep into Musselburgh and when it was recycled Jamie Farquhar and Murray Richardson combined to put Alex Bryden away for a try.
Saints tried to keep up the pace but conceded a penalty and allowed Musselburgh to get on the scoreboard against the run of play. A Sam Hiddleston kick and chase return of a long ball almost broke through but a penalty was conceded. All was not lost though as the kick didn’t make touch and Saints attacked again, some excellent rugby with good play and backup from Sam Hiddleston, Johnnie Sloan, Malcolm Fairweather and Rory Steele culminated in Jamie Little diving over under the posts, Rory Steele converted for 12-3.
Soon after Saints lost a man yellow carded for not releasing on the ground. They paid the price when Musselburgh pressure ended with the extra man, Declan Slaven, getting over in the corner. At this stage Saints supporters were hoping they would hang on until half time and the return of the 15th man, the tem had other ideas! They attacked but seemed to have lost it when a scrappy turnover occurred, the visitors hadn’t really secured the ball however and when it popped up in midfield Michael Scott snaffled it to burst in for a score from 30 yards out. Again Rory Steel converted for a 19-8 half time lead.
The second half started with the same high pace as the first. On Saints first attack the last Musselburgh defender was penalised and yellow carded for deliberately punching the ball out of play. Saints were pressurising but not making the breakthrough. They then lost another man to a yellow card after Michael Scott was penalised in a bout of handbags. The referee seemed to have got the wrong man here.
Musselburgh made their first trip of the half into Saints territory and came back with a three point reward from a penalty. This fired Saints to greater efforts and they went for a catch and drive from a 5 yard line out. Musselburgh came in the side and received another yellow card. At the second attempt Saints got their reward, the blindside winger and poacher supreme Jamie Farquhar snapping up the try.
Saints dominated the rest of the game and despite needing to work on ensuring they take all their chances looked good. Villimony Satala picked up ball in his own half and jinked his way through for a 60 yard score under the posts, converted by Sam Hiddleston and the last Saints score came from a Kenny Henderson break which put Farquhar in for another try. Final score 36-11.
This was an encouraging display from Saints given the changes in personnel forced on them by injury and illness. The performance certainly demonstrated the strength in depth within the squad. There are still some areas to work on but plenty of threat in attack.
Team; K Geddes, R Henderson, S Cockburn, D Henderson, J Little (Capt.), D Satala, M Scott, S Clanachan, A Watson, R Steele, J Farquhar, A Bryden, M Richardson, J Sloan, S Hiddleston. Subs; E Sloan, R Dunlop, M Fairweather, K Henderson.
Michael Scott breaks away to score
Stuart Clanachan drives on with Michael Scott and Aaron Watson in support
Villimony Satala breaks through
Captain Jamie Little dives over to score
Malcolm Fairweather takes the ball forward
Daniel Henderson on the charge
Eck Bryden clears his line
Rory Steele goes for the gap
Sean Cockburn about to pack down with Vili Sitala lending a hand
Kenny Henderson breaks through supported by Jamie Farquhar