Dumfries Saints Back Into Action!
Dumfries Saints 5 Gala 25
Dumfries Saints and Premier 2 side Gala were both due to play in frozen Dundee last weekend, due the keenness of both sides to get back into action early Saturday morning phones calls resulted in this tough ‘friendly’ for Saints! Gala are on a roll and favourites to win promotion back into Premier 1 this season.
Saints won the toss and were grateful to take the benefit of the elements as a howling gale blew straight down the park. Gala started the livelier side, showing the benefit of at least managing some games over the last two months due to the benefit of under soil heating!
Saints stood up well in defence but didn’t seem to be able to use what little ball they won to get down the field with the help of the wind. They paid the price after tem minutes when Gala caught and drove from a line out using the larger well drilled forwards to power over for the score. Saints remained under the cosh in the first quarter and the visitors dominance of the scrum resulted in a push over try after twenty minutes. Line outs were a lottery in the wind and Saints were struggling to get their hands on the ball.
The second quarter saw Saints shaking off their rustiness and starting to take shape, it was almost like watching a side in it’s opening pre season game against one a month ahead! Amongst the forwards Paddy Coupar and Bootsie MacMillan started to take the ball on and at last Saints got into the Gala 22 and exerted some pressure. They got their reward when scrum half Sylvain Diez pounced on ball spilled in the tackle to score his usual one yard try!
Gala were stung back into action and once they were in the Saints 22 used their power to drive over for another forwards try. Half time came with Saints 15-5 down and the elements to face in the second half.
Despite playing into the elements in the second half Saints continued to improve. After losing another early try they got onto the front foot, a Rory Steele break taking them deep into the Gala 22. There were several phases of good play with forwards and backs showing their potential but just unable to get across the line for a score. Captain Kenny Brown was prominent and scrum half Sylvain Diez was everywhere in attack and defence. The scrum settled and improved and as a result Saints were more in the game and enjoyed some possession.
The game ended with Gala registering a fifth try in the corner. This game was an excellent friendly for Saints as they try and get back in the groove for important league fixtures. The club is grateful to Gala for coming across at short notice and the favour will be returned in the next pre season.
There were lots of positives with players getting their first real action for 8 week, the whole squad benefited and showed an excellent commitment in poor conditions.
Team; S Graham, R MacMillan, J Sa, D Henderson, J Currie, A Munro, P Coupar, K Brown, S Diez, G Gemmell, J Sloan, F Shaw, C Auld, K Henderson, R Steele. Subs both used; S Kennedy, T Hiddleston.
Adam Munro gets his man
Saints attack the Gala line
Saints defence on alert
Saints pile on the pressure