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Greens run out of gas in capital defeat

By Matt Leslie

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Hamish Coghill (with ball) was one of the Caithness try-scorers against Murrayfield Wanderers last weekend. Picture: James Gunn
Hamish Coghill (with ball) was one of the Caithness try-scorers against Murrayfield Wanderers last weekend. Picture: James Gunn

A LACK of fitness proved to be pivotal for Caithness as the Greens slumped to a 41-10 defeat at Murrayfield Wanderers.

Despite a competitive first half that saw both Sean Campbell and Hamish Coghill cross over the try line, their Edinburgh hosts moved up a gear or two and pulled away in the last quarter of the game.

Playing numbers where once again a factor with the Greens able to have only two replacements on the bench – one being the coach himself, George Sutherland.

The defeat means Caithness are still rooted at the bottom of the National League Division Three on minus two points.

Sutherland said: "On the surface, the result does give the impression that it was a long afternoon for us. However, I felt that the scoreline flattered Wanderers a wee bit.

"The first 40 minutes we were all over them and had led when Sean scored his try. However, Murrayfield are a very fit team and, given the disjointed pre-season that we had, this was always going to be a factor.

"Their wingers especially were very quick with one in particular doing a lot of damage – that prompted me to come off the bench and make a rare appearance.

"But once again we were struggling to get a full squad down for this one. Most teams have seven replacements on the bench.

Unfortunately few of his team-mates were able to keep up with him.

"Given how physically demanding rugby is, you really do need a full complement on the bench in order to keep the team out there on the pitch fresh.

"When you have just two replacements – and one of them being myself who has not played for a while prior to this season – then it's going to be tough.

"Sure enough, faced with all that and Murrayfield's higher fitness levels, we simply ran out of gas and they were able to pull away from us to finish with that scoreline.

"To give an example, Kris Hamilton is one of our fittest players and he would make a break into Murrayfield's half. Unfortunately few of his team-mates were able to keep up with him and, with no support, Murrayfield were able to catch him and turn the ball over."

Tomorrow Caithness host newly promoted Strathmore who have made a decent start with two wins out of four and currently sit mid-table in sixth place.

Sutherland added: "From what little I know of them, they are better on their own patch than they are on the road.

"Hopefully that will prove to be the case when they come up to Millbank but we'll know full well they'll be wanting to show that they can perform away from home.

"Regarding ourselves, there are signs that it's slowly but surely coming together but we do need to get a win on the board."

Greenock Wanderers kept up their 100 per cent start as they defeated Berwick 27-19 to go top of the National League Division Three.

Ardrossan Academicals dropped to second in the table after their surprise 26-20 loss at Howe of Fife.

Lasswade move to fourth following their 31-10 win against Hillhead/Jordanhill, while Strathmore warmed up for their trip to Caithness by thumping West of Scotland 49-18.

Second from bottom Carrick suffered yet another defeat as they fell 43-31 at home to Perthshire.

National League Division Three Fixtures

Saturday, October 5, 2019 (All kick-offs 3pm)

Ardrossan Academicals v Murrayfield Wanderers

Berwick v Lasswade

Caithness v Strathmore

Carrick v Howe of Fife

Perthshire v Hillhead/Jordanhill

West of Scotland v Greenock Wanderers

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