Dunfermline Press

Search for ‘killer instinct’

- By Ross Hart Reporter rhart@dunfermlin­epress.co.uk

DUNFERMLIN­E head coach Gavin Emerson has urged his team to find more of a “killer instinct” after they fell to a nine-point loss at Whitecraig­s on Saturday.

The McKane Park outfit travelled west on the back of a 26-22 success at Murrayfiel­d Wanderers in their previous match, but lost 46-37 in Glasgow, despite securing a tryscoring bonus point.

In addition, the West Fifers, who conceded a pivotal score on the stroke of half-time, couldn’t take advantage of their opponents having a player sin-binned during the second half, and Emerson admitted that it was a frustratin­g afternoon.

“We started really well. We scored some really good scores, just from going through our planned moves we’d been working on the past few weeks, and they actually came off,” he told Press Sport.

“I think, with 30 seconds to go in the first half, we were nine points up, and then there was just a miscommuni­cation. Some of the players didn’t know that there was 30 seconds to play, and we just needed to get the ball out.

“Out of the ordinary, a ball passed in our 22, which should never happened, but it happened and is a learning curve, was caught by one of their players, and then went over and scored.

“We only went into the break two points up, which gave Whitecraig­s a bit of momentum going into halftime that it was still in their reach. That was quite disappoint­ing.

“We got into the second half and we started not too bad. We got another score back, which gave us the four-score bonus point, which was brilliant, so we knew we were guaranteed something from the game, but we never then really got a hold in the second half.

“They got a guy yellow carded and, same story as last week, they upped their game, upped their intensity, and we just couldn’t match that. We had a couple of lapses in concentrat­ion and they got a couple of easy scores, and we never looked like we would then have taken it from the back end of the game.

“It’s the same story as the past few weeks. We were the better team and should have been able to put them away, so it’s a little bit disappoint­ing at that end.

“It was tough. Thursday there, we didn’t have all of our starting team in training, and I’m trying to say to the guys that we need that to go into the game as best prepared we can.

“It was disappoint­ing. I could use the excuse that we had a few changes in the squad but, for me, it’s not an excuse.

“We still had a capable team, and a strong team, able to do the job.

“If we just looked at the scores we had, you’d think we’re going to romp this team, but it just wasn’t the case.

“The key things from that is we played some really good rugby in certain elements of the game, but then in other elements, we let ourselves down, like with maybe soft tackles, not staying connected in defence, and we just gave away a couple of silly penalties for not rolling away. That’s stuff we cover during the week.

“It’s something we’re really lacking, that bit of killer instinct where, right, we’re getting up here, let’s build, build, build, build, and let’s really put a team to the sword and close them out in the first half.

“We kept letting them back in the game, which then puts more pressure on us, and the more pressure that builds up, we make those silly mistakes, or try that extra thing where we’re going to get penalised for it and give them possession.

“It was a frustratin­g one and I think the guys felt it at the end of the game as well.”

 ?? ?? Dunfermlin­e Rugby Club lost out to Whitecraig­s. Image: David Wardle.
Dunfermlin­e Rugby Club lost out to Whitecraig­s. Image: David Wardle.

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