Marr 40 – Dumfries Saints 5
The game was played on the shortest day of the year in gloomy, cold, windy conditions at Fullarton. Saints had the wind in their backs in the 1st half and contested every ball giving the fast Marr backs no space to run. The rucks and scrums were even, Saints took the bulk of the lineout ball as Marr couldn’t cope with wind, they kept Marr pinned back with good tactical kicking.
The speedy centre Conor Bickerstaff found a good running angle and got behind the Saints defence and despite scrambling back to make the tackles the Marr scrum half Grant Baird wriggled over from a ruck, full back Rory McGee converted.
Saints replied with some great pressure on the Marr line and flanker Finlay Miller dived over, the conversion was missed. Half time 7 to 5 and the wind was picking up.
The second half was a nightmare for the Saints, unable to clear their line into the wind the Marr back line with the wind in their backs were too fast for them. Marr scored 5 tries in the second half, 3 of them when Saints had players in the sin bin. One bin was for breaking fractionally early from a 5 metre scrum which was then awarded as a penalty try. This was quickly followed by another for being the first offence following a talking to by the referee about a fracas involving 23 of the 30 players on the pitch, leaving Saints with 12 men for about 5 minutes.
As we have seen before the forwards having to step up their already high work rate late in the game to cover the sin bins takes it out of them and this allowed Marr to dominate the scrums toward the end. But the young Saints never gave up and received a lot of praise from the Marr support.
Squad: G Gemmell, B Johnstone, K Henderson, S Hiddleston, J Carlisle, M Rennie, D Kennedy, S Graham, J Jackson, C Goldie, K Lowrie, A Mather, C Bryson, D Henderson, F Miller, R Henderson, M McClatchey, A Ainslie and D Boyd.