Cambus end 2014 on top
Rugby club end year with victory
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.”
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