West rugby’s top four league position following win

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Irvine 8

West 24

This badly needed victory away from home keeps West in the running for a top four position in the league following an assured performance from the Burnbrae squad’s forwards.

Initial exchanges were cagey but West defended well against the flurry of attacks from the home side.

They gained possession of the ball from a stolen line out and went through phase after phase with good ball retention in the Irvine half.

Eventually after 10 minutes of play a well driven scrum gave West a penalty just short of the line.

A quick tap by West No 8 Fraser Smeaton caught the home side napping and he touched down for the first try. The conversion was missed.

The West scrum was dominant throughout the game and they were able to take advantage of this to gain territory with much of the rest of the first half being played in the Irvine half. Several opportunities arose for West but they were unable to convert these into points on the board. Indeed it was the home side in one foray into the West half that gained them a penalty in front of the posts, duly converted to make the half time score a tight 3 – 5.

With the wind behind them West continued to keep the game in the opposition half. A scrum just short of the line gave the stronger West forwards a well-deserved drive-over try. Again the conversion was missed but the score was more comfortable at 3 – 10.

The wind prevented the home side from getting reasonable distance with their clearance kicks and it was from one of these that saw an excellent run from West 2nd row Tam Grey with the entire home side seemingly parting like the red sea to allow him to score under the posts. This was converted by Blair Smith to take the score to 3 – 17.

The final and bonus point try for West was scored when captain Jamie McAulay popped through a gap in the home defence to score under the posts. Again converted by Blair Smith.

West had a number of further opportunities to increase the score but it was the home side that finally got across the West line with an unconverted try.

On Saturday West is at home for their twice postponed game against Murrayfield Wanderers. Kick-off is 3pm.

Subs: Stuart MacDonald, Andy Ritchie, Alex Fisken, Scott Hunter