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August 15, 2005

Useful exercise at Millbrae

Posted by Editor on August 15, 2005 10:52 PM | No comments | Print | E-mail author

Mike Roberts impressed when he came on in the match at Millbrae
Glasgow Warriors made the trip down the M77 to the west coast to play a training match against Ayr at Millbrae this evening.

The pros ran in eight tries to two, but the game was valuable in letting both coaches have a look at the personnel they have available for their respective campaigns.

The game was played in four 20-minute quarters, with both teams making a number of changes after each period. Missing from the action, but watching from the stands were Calvin Howarth, Euan Murray, John Beattie, Graeme Beveridge, Donnie Macfadyen, Scott Forrest, Colin Gregor, Graeme Morrison and Kevin Tkachuk.

A number of new faces were on display. Tim Barker, Craig Hamilton, Gregor Hayter, Graydon Staniforth and Mike Roberts took part, as did apprentices Stuart Corsar and Iain Kennedy, and they all had their moments. Mike Roberts in particular looked exciting with ball in hand. Stirling County and Scotland U21 Ben Addison also made an appearance on Glasgow's left wing and scored a well worked try in the second quarter.

Glasgow trialist Eddie McLaughlin turned out for Ayr and although starved of ball for much of the match, he went over in the corner for a well taken try and looked quick and elusive when he did get ball. Eddie made a big impression on the locals. Ayr followers may see more of Eddie when he isn't required by Glasgow. You can read more on the Ayr perspective here

Ayr never stopped trying although they did tire after taking the first quarter 2 tries to nil. Their forwards in particular gave Glasgow a difficult time in the first half - hardly surprising with familiar and robust characters like Andy Kelly, Scott Lines and Damien Kelly in their pack.

It was also interesting to see Glasgow receiving some coaching input from Gary Mercer, the former Leeds, Warrington, Castleford, Halifax and New Zealand rugby league legend.

So, all in all, it was an interesting evening for coaches, players and spectators.

"We gained a lot from it," Hugh Campbell, Glasgow's head coach, commented. "We appreciated the way the Ayr guys fronted up so well."

One point of concern tonight was a knee injury to Sam Pinder early in the match. Graham Calder, the Currie scrum half, had to take over for the Warriors for the remainder of the game. But Campbell was pleased with the former Dalziel player's contribution. "He fitted in very well considering he had met up with the team only tonight," the coach remarked.

"The next step for us is the Rotherham match on Saturday. But we will need to step up a couple of gears," Campbell observed. That game against the English National League One club will be played at Hughenden with a 2.30pm kick-off.

Craig Redpath, Ayr's coach, was equally enthusiastic about the evening's exercise. "It was great for our guys," he commented. "It showed up the level our players have to get to. We need to have more of these occasions."

Redpath, commenting on the crowd drawn to the match, also saw an awareness benefit in even a practice contest between a professional team and a Premier One club. "It was very good, too, for the public to see the difference," he pointed out.

You can see photos from the game here

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