Fife Southern 3, Carnoustie 22
CARNOUSTIE High School FP continued their quest for league points against bottom placed Fife Southern at Rosyth on Saturday.
The pitch was exceedingly soft with pools of standing water but there was no wind and overhead conditions were good.
The visitors got the game under way with a deep chip just beyond the 10-metre line which they recovered and drove hard into centre field. Southern were penalised for pulling the drive down and CHRIS RANKIN found the posts to open the scoring.
The Fifers restarted with the kick not clearing the 10-metre line, but redeemed themselves by taking the scrum against the head and driving to gain a penalty.
The kick failed to find touch, but the follow up was good and Carnoustie were caught in possession and failed to release the ball. The penalty found the posts, levelling the score.
FPs restarted with the homesters fielding and going through the hands, but Carnoustie turned the ball over and kicked. Although Southern gathered, they were caught and failed to release. Touch was found, but the Fifers secured the line-out ball, gained a penalty and also found touch.
The visitors gained the line-out ball and kicked to touch, but the home side didn’t throw the ball in straight. FPs won the scrum, went through the hands, recycled and kicked with Southern knocking on. From the scrum, Carnoustie set up a series of drives, but were held up over the line.
From the resulting scrum, the home team was penalised and Chris Rankin took a quick tap and passed to Tom Hall who, when checked, snuggled the ball to DANIE VAN NIEKERK who crashed through the defence to touch down with CHRIS RANKIN converting.
The restart again was short, but Southern secured loose ball at the scrum and broke strongly into the 22. However, they dropped the ball, allowing Carnoustie to clear.
The homesters came back strongly, kicking long and following up to charge down the FPs’ clearance with the ball bobbling into touch. They took the line-out, were stopped, the ball recycled and sent through the hands, but a good move came to nothing with a loose pass only finding the touch line.
FPs could not clear their 22 and were again caught in possession with the homesters opting for a scrum rather than a kick. The members of the Carnoustie pack asserted themselves and took the scrum against the head to clear. Southern were then pressured into kicking out on the full which gave Carnoustie some field position and they played out the half under less pressure.
Half time: Fife Southern 3, Carnoustie HSFP 10.
The homesters restarted the game with FPs fielding and running the ball before kicking. The home defence knocked on. Carnoustie ran the ball from the scrum, but were forced into touch.
The Fifers cleared from the line-out and again kicked from a scrum, but the visitors fielded and kicked back. When Southern allowed the ball to run loose, FPs recovered it, gained a penalty which they tapped and sent through the hands to create a scoring position. Unfortunately, poor handling nullified the move.
Carnoustie maintained good attacking field position which ultimately paid off with CRAIG DAWSON forcing his way over the line to touch down with the conversion added.
The home team secured the restart ball and kicked, but FPs ran the ball back, gaining field position before knocking on. The visitors then changed their approach to driving through the forwards, but the Fifers turned the ball over and cleared.
Carnoustie again surged forward on the left side, but again poor handling nullified their efforts. Southern were also wasteful of the little ball they gained, also dropping passes.
FPs again asserted themselves, driving forward strongly before making a good cross kick which again was not taken in, but they continued their driving play and eventually DANIE VAN NIEKERK found his way to the line and touched down. There was no conversion and this was the last movement of the game. Carnoustie were well worth their win, although the playing surface did not lend itself to running play.
Team: D. Nicholson, M. Strakey, K. Burwood, G. Hay, J. Donnachie, R. Winger, C. Rankin, C. Addison, N. Bowles, T. Hall, R. Coates, S. Millar, I. Reid, D. Van Niekerk, J. Paxton, O. Hughes, K. Franco, E. Fraser, C. Dawson, B. Langlands, L. Thoms and A. Shepherd.
Tomorow (Saturday), Carnoustie 1st XV are away to Glenrothes and Carnoustie 2nd XV are at home to Bannockburn 2nd XV, with both games kicking-off at 3 p.m.
The former players and Friends of Carnoustie Rugby pre-match lunch is on March 23 which is the last home game of the season. Details are on the website or at the clubhouse.