Glenrothes Rugby Club bounced back from the disappointment of last week’s Caley Shield exit in the best possible way with both teams recording handsome victories in their opening league fixtures.
The 2nd XV travelled to Tillicoultry and stormed to a 12-42 bonus point win with Callum Kennedy turning in a man of the match performance ably supported by all of his team mates.
At Carleton Park, the firsts entertained Aberdeen Wanderers who started the game with 14 players and suffered a number of injuries during the contest. The home team started brightly and a line out won on the right of the pitch led to the ball being zipped along the line to Shaun Gray who raced in to score to the left of the uprights before converting his own try.
This lead was doubled with the forwards winning a scrum against the head. The ball was moved to Ross Anderson on the right wing and he came close before being dragged down. His offload was gleefully accepted by scrum half Russell Grieve who took full advantage of his excellent support play and finished off the attack with his first try for the Glens. Gray converted.
Anderson was involved in the third try being tackled rather further from the line on this occasion. Cammy Goodall was on hand to scoop up the loose ball and advance further up the right wing before slipping an inside pass to the ever willing Gray to score and then convert.
By half time Gray had completed his hat trick and the Glens had secured a try scoring bonus point. The full back darted up the right wing and just managed to squeeze the ball down in the corner before being bundled into touch.
Aberdeen Wanderers stuck to the task and despite ending the half with only twelve players on the park, managed to put points on the scoreboard. Ryan Venters was penalised for a high tackle and Fraser Christie bisected the posts with his kick to make it 26-3 at the interval.
The second half opened with Wanderers on the front foot and despite being short handed they kept possession long enough to threaten the Glens line. Grieve put in a strong tackle and was unfortunate enough to take his man beyond the horizontal. The player and crowd expected referee Brian Heaney to issue a card for the tackle but were disappointed that it was red rather than yellow. Christie was unable to add to Wanderers tally from the penalty.
Play was soon back in the visitors half of the park and from a scrum 22m from the line on the right side of the park, the ball was picked up by Gavin Emerson moved quickly to Gray, now operating at scrum half, and out to Anderson on the wing to finish off the move. Again Gray converted.
The Reds were soon back on attack and the ball was moved across the width of the pitch from right to left and Callum May scuttled for the corner. He was closed down but the ball broke backwards to Goodall who touched down near the corner. Gray showed that he can kick goals from either side of the pitch by converting this try.
Wanderers unsurprisingly were slowing the game down at every opportunity. The award of a penalty for tackling a player without the ball just outside the Glens 22m line was followed by a lengthy injury timeout and a team talk from the visiting coach before Christie took his kick and doubled the Wanderers’ score.
A clearance from the Aberdeen team was fielded by Rhys Bryce inside his own 22m area. He set off on an electrifying run which took him through the opposition to their 22m line. Bryce held on until he had committed the last defender then off loaded to Gray to score the try and follow this with a successful conversion.
Kain Duguid knocked on in trying to gather a Wanderers’ kick and following the scrum, the visitors lively scrum half, Damien Genocchio darted in to touch down under the posts. Christie converted.
A line out in the visitors’ half led to try number eight when the Glens’ maul drove down field. Wanderers halted the drive but the ball moved infield through Gray and Duguid to Goodall who scythed through the defence. Gray converted.
Christie slotted another penalty for Wanderers but the Glens had the last word when good handling moved the ball along the line to May who scored the try his all round display merited. This completed the scoring as Gray’s conversion attempt was unsuccessful giving a final result of 59-16.
The Glens coaching staff were delighted with the 2nd XV result at Hillfoots where Callum Kennedy bagged man of the match for the three tries he scored, and satisfied with the win at Carleton. The game was played for most of its duration with uncontested scrums which took away one of the Glens strong points however against a short handed team they should probably have scored more points and conceded fewer. Rhys Bryce’s pitch-length run earned him the man of the match accolade and it was refreshing to see a Glens team where all of the points came from the backs. Confidence should be high for next weekend’s games with the 2nd XV entertaining Bannockburn St Modans and the 1st XV back at Dunfermline, hoping to be more successful in the league than they were in the Shield.
Team L Fowlis, S Morrison, K Dewar, C Calderwood, R Hutchison(C), D Wight, D Warrender, G Emerson, R Grieve, R Venters, R Bryce, C May, C Goodall, R Anderson, S Gray Replacements A Bowes, A Thompson, M Simpson, K Duguid
Updated 09:52 - 12 Sep 2018 by Sheila Beare