Dumfries Saints 12 Glasgow Hawks 34
A home cup game again National 2 side Glasgow Hawks was a welcome break from West Championship League action for Dumfries. It also gave coach Mickey Hunt an opportunity to try out players in different positions.
Weather and ground conditions were wet but despite giving away a bit of weight the young Saints had the better of their city opposition in the scrum. But the backs were up against a well drilled unit with some crafty moves to break down defences.
By putting runners in front of the ball carrier they made the Saints defence hesitate just long enough to leave gaps but subtle enough not to attract the referees attention for obstruction.
That led to their first try from winger Wright, there second was an individual effort from their other winger Heron running from the half way line, full back Gormley got a conversion and a penalty so with 15 minutes played saints were down 15 points.
Despite winning some good possession in the forwards the slippery ground and ball conditions was not helping Saints backs do anything meaningful with it.
Hawks were in control their lineout was secure, they kicked to touch well and did not try to move the slippery ball through hands. Kenny Henderson was sin binned for pulling back a player during a chase for the line, from the resulting penalty centre Harper scored. A well executed set play form a lineout put back row Kirkland over for a try and a rebound penalty off the posts bounced well for Hawks give number 8 Maxwell a try, along with 2 conversions it was 0 to 34 at half time.
The playing surface was chewed up, the ball was like a bar of soap but with Saints back up to 15 men the half time talk brought out different tactics and a renewed confidence. The Saints forwards took control of the rucks and the scrums, the powerful ball carrying centres Sam Hiddleston and Michael Yates smashed it up the middle and with the wind stand off Tom Hiddleston controlled field positions with his boot.
Hawks were rattled and lost a player to the sin bin, despite the slippery ball Saints put together a move through Michael Yates, Tom Hiddleston, Sam Hiddleston and eventually Kenny Henderson finished it off with try out wide. Tom Hiddleston missed the conversion. Saints dominated the breakdown by committing 2 and 3 men more than Hawks who used the spares well in defence and from a line out on their 5 metre they caught and drove 35 yards up the field with great body position and teamwork.
After a period of sustained possession with rucking and running interplay between backs and forwards Vili Satala scored a great try that the showed the potential for league recovery in the second half of the season. Tom Hiddleston converted and the game ended with Saints on the ascendency and Hawks on the rack. The return leg at Anniesland on 8th December should be a good one.
Team; S Graham, F Paul, A Prentice, B Hunt, S Renwick, V Satala, M McClatchie, R Henderson, A Ainslie, T Hiddleston, M Smith, S Hiddleston, M Yates, K Henderson, G Gemmell, J Campion, G Duffy and S Kennedy
Sam on a run
Hawks secure lineout
Michael on a run
Committing to ruck
Sam offloads in contact
Hawks player does headstand
The president enjoyed the Samba Sisters