Saints Take Another Step
Dumfries Saints 57 Cambuslang 19
On a bright sunny day Saints kicked off with the wind behind them knowing a win was essential in their promotion campaign. The visitors were fighting for any points possible in their efforts to avoid relegation.
Saints started brightly and within minutes had gone ahead, a good lineout steal by Ben Stanley was moved quickly into midfield where Jamie Little appeared between the centres to burst through the defence, a simple offload allowed Rory Steele to race in for the try. The Saints then got a bit scrappy as they tried to over elaborate individually and too often lost possession through mistakes. As if to remind them of the job in hand number 8 Stuart Clanachan picked up from a scrum and made big yards, scrum half Kenny Brown got the ball away from the breakdown quickly and Kenny Henderson and Jamie Farquhar combined to open up the last line of defence and allow Henderson to score. Rory Steele converted.
Mid way through the half Saints hit Cambuslang with a couple of quick blows. Kenny Brown tidied up some scrappy ball and made the break which released Jamie Little for a try and then within minutes Stuart Clanachan got his reward going over from a scrum pick up, again Steele converted for 24-0. Saints weren’t finished and before half time a quick tap penalty allowed Stuart Clanachan to burst over for another score again converted by Rory Steele. With half time approaching Saints pressed for more. Second row Ali Mather dived over to score only to discover he was at the five yard line! Fortunately the ball was recycled by his more spatially aware fellow forwards and when it moved out winger Doc Satala crashed through to score, Rory Steele kicked his third conversion for a 38-0 half time lead.
The Coaches wanted Saints to kick on in the second half and build a big victory to secure their points difference advantage in the league table. Things looked good early on as Saints soaked up Cambuslang pressure and then Stuart Clanachan and Jamie Little manufactured a break out that released Rory Steele into space on half way and there was no stopping him as he raced away to score.
Saints however chose to switch off at this point. A slackness crept into their play and for a while it looked like they thought the sevens season had arrived as they threw the ball about, unfortunately it only looks good when it works! Slackness and poor defence allowed the Cambuslang number 10 to make two clean breaks in succession and score two well deserved tries, both of which he converted. Saints showed signs of tightening up and Stuart Clanachan turned over ball that was worked wide to Jamie Farquhar, he made a telling break down the wing before feeding back inside for Sam Hiddleston to finish off the move with a well earned try, Alan Birdsall converted.
Unfortunately the Saints again slackened off and again the Cambuslang number 10 made them pay with another easy break for his third try. At this stage the Saints coaches were tearing their hair out with frustration and fear that they might allow Cambuslang to pick up a soft losing bonus point. Saints however weren’t going to allow that to happen and despite a multitude of substitutions tightened the game up. Another excellent Kenny Brown break led to the final score, Kenny couldn’t make the full distance to score but good support earned Jamie Farquhar a well deserved try for a good afternoons work on the wing.
With the game coming to an end the referee unfortunately decided to issue two straight red cards, one to each side, despite no previous yellows in the match. It was an disappointing end to a match that was never violent and took the gloss off the result. A good result with some excellent rugby played but a disappointing second half, a sloppiness that could prove costly against stronger opposition and indiscipline that will rule out Ben Stanley for the rest of the season.
Team; G McCall, K Geddes, R Dunlop, B Stanley, A Mather, J Little, F Miller, S Clanachan, K Brown, A Bryden, J Farquhar, S Hiddleston, K Henderson, D Satala, R Steele. Subs all used, S MacKinnon, J Currie and A Birdsall.
Jamie Little sets off on a charge
Rory Steele races away for the first try
Alex Bryden dodging defenders
Jamie Little on his way to scoring
Ali Mather fights to retain possession
Stuart Clanachan is away!
Sam Hiddleston in action
Clanachan rounds the defence
Kenny Brown attacks
Roy Dunlop breaks through
Stuart Clanachan sets off