Gala maintained their RBS Premiership title challenge after achieving a bonus-point victory over Edinburgh Accies, who initially impressed, writes Alan Lorimer at Netherdale.
Gala took a worryingly long time to warm to their task. But once the Maroons had reached peak operating temperature late in the first half they produced a package of impressive rugby that had Accies on the back foot for the remainder of the match.
“We never really started playing in the first half but full credit to Accies’ defence. They chopped us down when we tried to run the ball but we didn’t help ourselves by coughing up possession and giving away penalties,” said Gala coach George Graham. He added: “But when we pulled ourselves together in the second half we scored a few good tries.”
Accies looked the more purposeful of the two sides in the opening quarter, being sharper in attack, more accurate in the kicking game and defensively the more determined. The result was a 10-0 lead after 15 minutes from a Ruaridh Bonner penalty kick and his conversion of a try by his brother Euan from strong pressure on the Gala line.
Gala replied decisively with a close-range try from skipper Opeta Palepoi after clever work off the back of a scrum by Euan Dods. Lee Millar kicked the conversion goal and then added the extra points to a first-half injury time try for Gala by Luke Pettie after Dods had split the defence with a sharp burst.
The visitors seemed purposeful at the beginning of the second half and were rewarded with a try by scrum-half Alex Black from a maul and the conversion by Ruaridh Bonner, but from then on it was Gala who monopolised the scoring with a try by substitute Gerald Sibanda, the conversion and then a penalty by Millar. Gavin Young clinched the bonus point with his try converted by Millar who also kicked a second penalty goal for a sumptuous Gala victory.