A fantastic day for Rugby saw the Saints maintain their encouraging start to the season with a hard fought win at home to East Kilbride. East Kilbride had registered an excellent home win against Murrayfield Wanderers on the opening day of the season so arrived in confident mood. Saints set off at a great pace with the work on the training ground being transferred to the match day situation. The pack was making ground with every carry and there was real width on their game. Michael Yates got through the East Kilbride defensive line and 5m out off-loaded perfectly to Ross Henderson, on his shoulder, to go over for the first score. John Carlisle converted. Saints continued to play a high tempo game entirely in the East Kilbride half and their increasing dominance in the scrum was awarded with a penalty which John Carlisle converted. 10-0.
On East Kilbride’s first visit to the Saints 22m Saints were caught off-side at the scrum and Callum Blackwood converted the penalty. 10-3. East Kilbride then enjoyed a period of good possession and Saints indiscipline resulted in a further 2 penalties at the breakdown which the excellent Blackwood converted. The penalty counted continued to rise and Craig Goldie took a 10 min yellow card break for the Saints who continued to infringe. Blackwood again converted which left the saints with a 10-12 half time score and 5 mins remaining on the sin bin!
Saints added Paddy Coupar and Michael Scott at half time and took the game to East Kilbride right from the kick off. Saints pressure resulted in a penalty which just slipped wide but once restored to 15 the excellent play of the first 20 mins of the game returned and eventually a break by Paddy Coupar resulted in an excellent off load to Craig Goldie who went over to score. John Carlisle converted and Saints had restored their lead. 17-12. However Saints indiscipline returned and again Blackwood converted. 17 – 15. Galvanised by the closeness of a game they were controlling Saints upped their game. After some excellent forward driving, Andrew Wilson with little room and, what seemed too many defenders in his path, went over in the corner for an excellent score. 22-15. The Saints bench was emptied and what followed was an excellent passage of play from Saints with an East Kilbride team visibly tiring from the tempo of the game. John Carlisle’s penalty put the Saints 2 scores up at 25- 15 but again they allowed East Kilbride back to within 7 when the faultless Blackwood scored another East Kilbride penalty. 25-18. Saints re-started and again went through their phases and eventually Andrew Wilson made the game safe, and secured the bonus point, with another excellent score as he glided passed the East Kilbride defence. John Carlisle converted for a final score of 32-18.
Another bonus point win for the Saints with many positive not least, a man of the match performance from Lee Scott in his first senior season. Saints need to address their indiscipline and why they went “walk about” in the last 10 minutes of the first half which, in tighter games may be the difference between winning or losing.
Daniel Henderson gets 1st try
Andy Wilson gets a well worked try
Craig Goldie powers over