Stewartry RFC .................. 20
Cumbernauld ...................... 6
“We gave away too many penalties around the ruck and maul ...” was Vice Pesident John Donald’s summary of this RBS West Division 2 fixture on Saturday afternoon in Castle Douglas.
John, who was an eminent second row player for the club in the 1970s and 80s,estimated the territorial advantage Cumbernauld enjoyed in the first half to be in the region of 70 per cent but the Blacks were unable to convert this advantage into points.
As John explained: “there’s no point in spending the vast majority of time in your opponent’s half if you repeatedly lose possession through penalties conceded.”
Stewartry took an early led with a penalty and a converted try but Cumbernauld countered with two penalties from the boot of full-back, Andrew Reid, making the half time score 10-6 for the home team. Cumbernauld had restored last season’s highly successful centre combination of Jordan Reid and Grant Cowie with JJ McNair getting his first full run-out of the season at scrum half.
However, early forwards domination was brought to a premature end when Gavin Calder had to retire with an ankle injury, leading to a re-jigging of the pack with Alan Durson moving to second row and Nick Richardson coming on at prop.
Stewartry took advantage of a tiring Cumbernauld outfit and underlined their superiority in the second half by running in two further unconverted tries to make the final score 20-6.
Overall the Cumbernauld coaching staff had to concede that Stewartry had the stronger scrum and were worthy winners as Cumbernauld forwards are not doing well enough in the set piece. Grant Cowie was nominated by Stewartry as Cumbernauld’s man-of-the-match but plaudits have to go to Craig Gough who filled in valiantly at wing forward and had a very good game.
Cumbernauld’s next game is against Loch Lomond away on Saturday and all players are expected to attend training at Croy on Tuesday and Thursday at 6.45 for a 7 p.m. sharp start.