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Greens must learn quickly from errors

By Matt Leslie

CUT out the mistakes is Caithness boss Tom McGee’s message to his troops ahead of tomorrow’s clash against Ardrossan Academicals at Millbank.

The Greens began life in the Scottish National League Division Three last week away to Newton Stewart.

While there was great excitement surrounding their inaugural fixture in the main league set-up, all hopes were brought crashing down to Earth as Newton Stewart beat them 25-0.

There were mitigating circumstances such as 18 players being unavailable for a host of reasons – the key ones being Marc Anderson (injured), Tommy Sutherland, Grant Anderson (both offshore) and John Miller being unable to get away from the oil rig he was working on in time for the match.

Not to mention the long journey down to the south of Scotland and being greeted with a bucketload of rain once they stepped off the bus.

While the squad being down to its bare bones gave the Greens an uphill struggle before kick-off, they did not help themselves with a number of errors.

McGee said: “What we take out of this game is the same as we always take from any defeat.

“We need to nail down the fundamentals to ensure we are where we expect to be.

“Our set-piece wasn’t where we wanted it to be. We kept making too many unforced errors instead of winning good, clean ball.

“We were losing the collisions at the breakdown and there were a number of knock-ons that gave away possession too cheaply.

“In saying all of that, Newton Stewart are the best defensive side I’ve seen. I’ve told the guys that we need to be much better when playing a side like that.

“Yes there were mitigating circumstances with so many players missing – we didn’t even have a recognised half-back pairing. Stewart Kirk of the under-18s, a scrum-half, had to step up and play at number 10.

“It’s tough to have low numbers and try to put out a team but it’s even tougher to then watch that teammake mistakes.”

Attention now turns to Ardrossan and the Greens’ first home fixture at this level.

McGee said: “Ardrossan are coming up on the back of a good win (45-3 against Perthshire).

“However, we will want to make it hard for them and make Millbank a tough place to come for all the other teams.

“We need to tidy our game up for this one. We must absorb the information we took from last week and learn our lessons quickly.

“We have to recognise what went wrong at Newton Stewart, adapt to any different scenarios that we’re faced with and put what we have learned into place.”

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