West of Scotland defeat Murrayfield in season opener

Pete Rhodes and Mark Zoma lead the West of Scotland advance (pic by John Cameron).
Pete Rhodes and Mark Zoma lead the West of Scotland advance (pic by John Cameron).

West of Scotland started the new rugby season on a winning note by beating Murrayfield Wanderers at Burnbrae on Saturday.

In some ways Wanderers are the Edinburgh equivalent to West, having been an open club when the other clubs were tied to various schools.

But it was West who handed out the lessons with a 36-12 win in the sides’ National League Cup first round tie.

There were a lot of new faces for West with players moving up from the 18s and a new coach in Gavin Blackburn.

Murrayfield started best and opened the scoring when a break through the middle resulted in a two on one and captain Livio scored under the posts, Lee converting.

West weren’t long in hitting back. A series of passes saw a smart flip from new out-half Nicholson find winger Matthews who scored under the posts. Nicholson converted to even the scores.

Then West stole a Murrayfield scrum and the ball reached Matthews who forced his way over for his second score.

Remarkably the dose was repeated when a fine passing move found Matthews again who stormed over the line for debut hat-trick. He looks a terrific prospect, as does Nicholson who converted to make it 17-7.

Yet another good West passing move released flying winger Ossi who scored under the posts. Nicholson could hardly miss and duly made it 24-7.

The visitors clawed a try back just before half-time when they found an overlap and winger Golding scored in the corner unconverted.

The second half was far more even but Nicholson converted a penalty to make it 29-12 and keep Wanderers out of two-try range.

West scored their final try when a good passing move found Sutcliffe who scored in the corner, Nicholson converting to complete the scoring.

Having gone through to the next round of the cup, for the first time in a few years, West’s attention now turns to the long away trip to Orkney for Saturday’s league opener.