Dumfries Saints 83 Whitecraigs 12
Park Farm was in tip top condition for the first home game of the season and the Saints
were wearing their new kit for 2019/20. A really strong wind from the South West would
play a big part in the game.
With Saints playing into the wind they kept the ball in hands with great support running and
within minutes captain Ewan Miller weaved his way over the line to score the opening try
which was converted by Alan Birdsall. Before Whitecraigs could recover Jack Steele opened
up a space out wide for Sean Graham to charge through for Saints second try the conversion
Saints were playing with confidence, showing great handling skills, great running off the ball and great awareness of where their teammates would be. This was display of what the pre-
season and the opening games had promised and Whitecraigs were unfortunate to be on the receiving end of it.
When Whitecraigs got possession their attempts at long passes allowed the wind to take the
ball just too far in front of the receiver and they either gave away scrums from knock-ons or
the loose ball was snapped up by the rampant Saints back row. The Whitecraigs front-row
were out-weighed and out played and it was a long day for them with Saints pushing them
over the top of their own ball. Using the wind to kick for territory did not help them either
as Saints had so much pace in the back three of Johnstone, Neill and Douglas who just ran it
back at them.
The next score was a terrific solo run from Robert Douglas taking a pass on his own 10
metre and running all the way to the line. The conversion was missed and after 15 minutes
Saints were 17 nil up. The bonus point try was an exceptional example of determined
running from Saints captain Ewan Miller bouncing of at least 6 tackles to score, the
conversion into the wind was missed.
Half an hour in and Whitecraigs realised it was better to kick for touch than for territory and
pinned Saints back into their 22 and patiently waited on an infringement giving them
possession. The pressure paid off and they got a score out wide missing the conversion to go
When Saints took possession they had great forward momentum with powerful runs by
their big ball carriers Calum Smith and Craig Goldie and impressive acceleration from Tom
Martin. Running out of defence full back Jack Johnstone took a brilliant outside line and ran round the Whitecraigs line and carried into their 22 before drawing their full back and putting
support runner Robert Douglas over, Alan Bidsall kicked the conversion.
Saints finished the half with some very impressive running handling and team work which
Tom Martin finished off under the posts, Alan Birdsall converted to go into half time 36 : 5.
With the wind in their back Saints brought on their bench and continued the relentless
attack with Rober Neill running the ball from his own half into the Whitecraigs 22 for Tom
Martin to finish his second try this time for Jack Steele to convert.
A scrum on the Whitecraigs 22 provided a platform for Calum Smith to pick up and feed
Robert Douglas for a classy finish. The conversion was missed. With the wind blowing the
ball into the receivers chest Whitecraigs put together some good phases. Saints back row
were giving the a torrid time at the breakdown but they managed to retain possession long
enough to get another try and conversion taking the score to 48 : 12.
From the restart Saints pinned Whitecraigs in their 22 and great work at the breakdown
stole possession for a run in by Jack Johnstone converted by Jack Steele. The restart was run
out of Saints half by Calum Smith taken forward by Lewis Young and finished by Robert
Douglas, Jack Steele converted.
From a 5 metre scrum Saints pushed them back and Calum Smith picked up at number 8 and
scored for Jack Steele to convert. From a scrum on the Whitecraigs 22 the ball went out to
Jordan Kerr to score, the conversion was missed. The game was finished off by another
period of confident handling giving Jack Johnstone his second try and Jack Steele his sixth
conversion taking the final score to 83 :12.
This high scoring game put Saints 2 for 2 top of the league with next weeks opposition
Gordonians sitting bottom with 0 for 2, but it is a long way to Aberdeen. Next weeks Saints
2nd XV are at home to Lenzie with a 2pm kick off. The following week 28th September the 1st
XV are at home against Glasgow Accies who Saints had a comfortable win over in the cup 3
weeks ago and the 2nd XV are at home to Greenock Wanderers both 3pm kick offs.
Squad: Sean Graham, Tom Martin, Craig Goldie, David Andrew, Will Greene, Ian Carlisle,
Ryan Cruikshank, Calum Smith, Lewis Young, Alan Birdsall, Robert Douglas, Ewan Miller
(captain), Jack Steele, Robert Neill, Jack Johnstone, Scott Goodwin, Lee Scott, Jordan Kerr
and Sam Hiddleston