Peebles prove too strong for West of Scotland

West captain Jamie McAulay bursts through supported by fellow back-rower Craig McCall (pic by John Cameron).

West of Scotland suffered another away day disappointment when they were beaten by Peebles in their BT National Division 2 clash on Saturday.

So far West have won three and lost three of their six league games - with all three wins coming at Burnbrae and all three defeats on the road.

Players from both teams have their eyes on the ball after a kick ahead. (pic by John Cameron)

They made another bad start at the Gytes in Peebles, sending the kick-off long and giving Peebles a scrum at the centre.

It soon became apparent that the set scrum was going to be a major problem for West as they were driven back a good five metres, eventually conceding the penalty.

However it was West who put the first points on the board after a kick and chase by Jamie McAulay was illegally halted in front of the posts and Peter Burns slotted the penalty.

Peebles replied with a concerted attack of their own, defended well initially.

West's Mark Sim is sent flying after an ankle tap tackle and the try is lost (pic by John Cameron).

But some poor decisions by West repeatedly gave the ball back to the home side.

Peebles were retaining the ball well and it was a smoothly executed move which saw them score under the posts, converted by stand-off Greg Raeburn

West were really being beasted in the set scrum, which meant that Peebles had a lot of possession from penalties and the West backs, when the ball did come back, receiving it on the back foot.

Despite this West were making good use of the driving maul and just before half-time Mark Davis finally found a gap to score under the posts, Burns again converting to take the half-time score to 12-10.

But the second half was a good example of the fact that if you don’t have the ball you can’t score points. Peebles’ ball retention was efficient and their superiority in the scrum meant that West saw little possession.

For a while Peebles were parked on the West line and eventually, Raeburn converting. Another two Peebles tries before full time gave the home side a well-deserved victory.

This Saturday West have a home game against Lasswade and will be hoping to maintain their run of home victories. Kick-off is 3pm.

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