Greenock too strong for visiting West Rugby

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West travelled to take on Greenock Wanderers and were left licking their wounds 36-7 in a tough encounter.

West were competitive for large parts of this RBS Championship A match but defensive lapses saw Greenock also pick up a try bonus.

A strong north-east wind coming off the scenic backdrop of the Clyde had a strong bearing on the match, with West having the wind behind them in the first half.

Greenock dominated the early part of the game but West held out well until a missed tackle allowed the Greenock centre in to score. The try was converted to make it 7-0. Worse was to follow for West when poor handling forced a turnover in midfield, Greenock’s strong centres finding a hole in the West defence to make it another converted try and 14-0.

West then came back into it and had several chances to score. A 5m lineout came to nothing, and perhaps a pivotal moment came when West elected to kick a penalty in front of the Greenock posts to touch. That came to nothing and Greenock cleared.

The visitors were playing some inventive stuff, but a short lineout was too short, not going the required 5m. Then West managed to get on the scoreboard when Blair Smith forced an interception and ran in to score despite determined Greenock defence. He converted his own try to make it 14-7. At this point, West were in the game but Greenock increased their lead with a penalty before half time to make it 17-7 at the break.

The wind was behind Greenock in the second half, the first stages of which were firmly in the West half. West held out, however, and then managed to keep play inside the Greenock half for long periods. The conditions told when three penalties which would have been kickable on a calm day had to be kicked to touch - there being no realistic option to kick to goal.

The West wheels came off sadly near the end when defensive lapses saw Greenock score three quick tries. A missed tackle saw them score in front of the posts, unsurprisingly converted to make it 24-7.

Then the Greenock scrum half ran through the West defence, again converted to make it 31-7 and give Greenock the try bonus.

Greenock finished the scoring when some fluent passing moves saw them pound the West line and finally get the ball over for an unconverted try.