Morale-boosting win as Greens move off bottom of table
CAITHNESS got their first victory of the season with a well-earned win against Strathmore at the weekend.
The home team secured a valuable three points with their 22-14 triumph at Millbank on Saturday – a result that moved them off the bottom of the National League Division Three table.
It was a morale booster for the Greens and their coach George Sutherland, who has been struggling to get a team on the park at times due to injuries and players' work commitments.
"It was good to get off the mark," Sutherland said. "It was not a pretty win but the boys got stuck in and did what was asked of them.
"It was a blustery day and the conditions were difficult. It was not a day for running rugby. Our attack was narrow and we had to get in behind them but it was definitely a positive result."
Captain Grant Anderson and Gordy Macleod scored the tries and Cameron Ryder scored the rest of the points with his boot. Ryder was the sponsors' man of the match in what was his first game for the Greens this season.
"He was excellent with the boot and in defence," the coach said. "I was delighted with his performance.
"Dougie Webster was also a stand-out in defence and attack. Jack Macleod performed well, while Grant Anderson leads by example on and off the field and makes a massive difference with his leadership and organisation. It was a morale-boosting result for us."
Sutherland added: "Results come from good performances. We have the team to finish in the top three but we just can't get that team onto the field due to injuries and work commitments.
"That's the frustrating part, but it should get a bit better over the winter months."
The unavailability of some key players creates opportunities and means others in the squad get a chance to gain experience. However, the problems the Greens face are underlined by just how threadbare the squad is.
"To go through a season you would need up to 50 players. At the moment we have between 25 and 30 available," Sutherland said.
"It has been difficult at times and we look like we could be struggling for a front row this weekend and may have to bring in a couple of new faces."
This Saturday the Greens face a daunting prospect as they travel to take on table-topping Greenock Wanderers, who are undefeated so far.
Sutherland is not expecting to cause an upset. He said: "If we manage to keep the score down that would be a success."