Sat 18
1st XV
McLaren RFC
Second half slump sinks Cumbernauld

Second half slump sinks Cumbernauld

By Iain Calder
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Cumbernauld RFC 12 McLaren HS RFC 21

As a result of a number of call-offs a much-depleted Cumbernauld outfit failed to finish the season with a flourish, going down by 21-12 to local Stirlingshire rivals, McLaren High in their penultimate BT West Division 2 match at Auchenkilns on Saturday.
A patchwork pack, with rookie Nial Morrison pitched in at hooker, found it difficult to win their own scrum ball, and after winning 3 against the head, McLaren took full advantage of this possession to score 2 quick tries, one of which was converted, to give them an early 12-0 lead. Indeed their second score demonstrated their ability to move the ball in an adventurous fashion when following a penalty for a high Cumbernauld tackle, the visitors intelligently switched play from one wing to the other then back again for a try in the corner.
At this point things looked ominous for the Badgers but they responded in true Cumbernauld fashion when JJ McNair took a quick tap penalty and the ball was fed via Grant Cowie, Ian Hepburn and Ruaridh Clark for Brodie Clark to score in the corner, with Andrew Reid completing the conversion in his usual efficient manner.
Cumbernauld were now coming onto a game and quickly added a second try when good rucking allowed Ian Hepburn and Ross Cowie to ship the ball to Alex Stokes for another try in the corner, with Andrew Reid unlucky not to add the conversion, closing out the first half at 12 points apiece. Despite McLaren dominating the scrum, Cumbernauld had managed to take the game to their opponents and were well worthy of their points tally in the first half. There was a general consensus on the touchline, however, that Cumbernauld need to slow down the game to nullify their opponents’ advantage, principally in the scrum.
Whether tiredness became more of a problem for the home team in the second half was difficult to decide but the Auchenkilns outfit shipped 3 penalties in a lacklustre second-half display to give full points to the visiting team. At one point in the second half this reporter got a bit carried away and vocally criticised decisions to run short penalties, carelessly forgetting that Cumbernauld’s best lineout jumper, Grant Cowie, had been yellow-carded making a kick for lineout totally superfluous. Needless to say, vocal retribution from some of the home team players was inevitable and a strict, post-match dressing-down from skipper Ruaridh Clark ensued.
Cumbernauld, having ensured Division 2 survival, play Paisley on Tuesday 28 April in a re-arranged fixture with a 6.30 pm kick-off and players are reminded that the season does not end until then and that they are expected to attend training at Auchenkilns on Tuesday and Thursday at 7 pm.
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Match details

Match date

Sat 18, Apr 2015




Division 2