Cam­bus end 2014 on top

Rugby club end year with vic­tory

Rutherglen Reformer - - Drivetime -

Kenny Smith Cam­bus­lang Rugby Club ended 2014 where they hope to fin­ish the sea­son - in top spot.

Satur­day’s win over Waysiders/ Drumpel­lier, in the only BT West League Two fix­ture to go ahead, saw Cam­bus ex­tend their lead over sec­ond-placed Stra­then­drick to 12 points.

Peter Cal­laghan scored four tries,while Gaz Sal­ton­stall and Rob­bie Japp got one apiece. Euan Jones got one con­ver­sion.

How­ever, the side made it dif­fi­cult for them­selves once again, by giv­ing the op­po­si­tion an early lead - a trait which has be­come a reg­u­lar fea­ture for Cam­bus­lang this sea­son.

But there wasn’t much com­plain­ing on Satur­day night, with the side sit­ting in pos­ses­sion of the sole pro­mo­tion spot this sea­son.

Coach Rob­bie Ste­wart said: “I spoke last week about us giv­ing away early points, and how we need to cut it out, but we were 12-0 down on Satur­day. We gave away a try after 90 seconds, then lost a sec­ond try with 10 min­utes gone, so we made it dif­fi­cult.

“But Pete Cal­laghan, in his last game for us, kept us in it by sheer will as he scored a cou­ple of tries in the first half, and we turned round 15-12 down.

“The sec­ond half was a com­plete change for us, as our for­wards played far more to­gether, and went back to the old fash­ioped idea of throw­ing a blan­ket over them. That was what was re­quired, rather than so­phis­ti­cated set­ups with for­wards wide and as ex­tra runers. It wasn’t a day for that, and once we worked that out, it made a big dif­fer­ence.

“When the for­wards play as a pack, we get de­cent ball.

“They couldn’t stop Pete Cal­laghan as he scored another cou­ple of tries, so he earned the bonus point him­self, while Gaz Sal­ston­hall got his first try for the club, and Rob­bie Jaap scored for the sec­ond week in a row.”

With Cam­bus hav­ing taken vic­tory, Rob­bie knows that his side will need to work on elim­i­nat­ing the er­rors from their game that have con­tin­u­ally al­lowed the op­po­si­tion to score first in each game.

He ex­plained: “We’re get­ting closer to sort­ing it - I can iden­tify the right things.

“On Satur­day, for ex­am­ple, we were in pos­ses­sion from the kick off, but lost it quite eas­ily in terms of con­tact, then teams play off that and we need to work on that - it’s up to the guys to sort it out, but it’s dif­fi­cult to get that across.

“It’s easy for coaches to see three or four phases of play from the side­lines, but the guys are more im­me­di­ate about it.

“We were on the line and missed the tackle, and we shouldn’t have been there in the first place.”

Although de­lighted that Cam­bus are the cur­rent top dogs in the di­vi­sion, Rob­bie con­cedes that the ta­ble has an slightly false look to it, due to the fact other clubs haven’t been able to ful­fil as many fix­ture as the Coats Park club.

And with Cam­bus due to take on Oban Lorne - who have three games in hand on them - in their next sched­ule fix­ture on Jan­uary 10, it’s shap­ing up to be a tremen­dous end of the cam­paign.

Rob­bie said: “The next game cer­tainly could be seen as a ti­tle de­cider, and it’s one of those sit­u­a­tions where we can knock them out of it, so we’ve got ev­ery­thing to gain.

“What we re­ally need to do is keep an eye on the other teams around us, to see what they’re do­ing.

“I’m just happy to have played the fix­tures we have done, and got the points that we have, so the Oban game is go­ing to be very im­por­tant.

“But when you look at the teams who are still up there - Stra­then­drick, Ste­wartry and Oban, they all still have to play each other, which will help us, and beat­ing Oban would also be a big help for us as it would put more space be­tween them and our­selves.”

With Cam­bus now en­joy­ing a fes­tive break, the side can fo­cus on the Oban fix­ture.

The coach added: “We’ve got three or four weeks be­fore our next game, so the good thing is we’re not go­ing to get any more in­juries. We’ve got seven-and-ahalf hours of train­ing, be­fore then, so we should be well pre­pared.”

Con­ver­sion

Euan Jones, watched by Greg Mor­ri­son, added a cou­ple of points with his boot on Satur­day

Sign­ing off Pete Cal­laghan scored an out­stand­ing four tries on Satur­day, in his fi­nal game as a first XV reg­u­lar for Cam­bus­lang

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