STIRLING County will face a far stiffer test than Dundee HSFP could offer in next week’s Premiership opening fixture against champions Ayr, a point acknowledged by head coach Graeme Young after this romp.
Scorers: Stirling County – Tries: Edwards (2), Swindall (2), Leishman, Addison, Gilmour, Lindsay, Hutton; Cons: Archibald (9). Dundee HSFP – Try: Gray.
“This game gave us just what we needed with a good run-out but Ayr will be a completely different kettle of fish,” said Young.
“They will be physical, they will be strong and they won’t break down as quickly as Dundee did. But this was really good and I’m happy. Physically we were good, though we still have work to do around the set piece.”
In truth, this was a canter for Stirling against a Dundee team in a state of transition. The scoreline does not lie and County’s nine tries were evidence of their complete domination in all areas against a side who traditionally have provided far sterner resistance.
Stand-off Stuart Edwards grabbed two tries, as did replacement back-row forward Steve Swindall, with other scores coming from Ruaridh Leishman, Ben Addison, Danny Gilmour, Graham Lindsay and Colin Hutton. Special mention must be made, however, of centre Brian Archibald, who contributed in spades with a perfect kicking display as he nudged over all nine conversions.
Dundee’s sole response was a score for Gordon Gray after five minutes, after which they capitulated. The relegated Taysiders have much to do if they are to make an impact in the second tier and new head coach Colin Robertson said: “That was tough. We were well second best. Stirling are a powerful side who have recruited really well and are very strong up front. We really struggled to cope with that.
“I’m really disappointed because we didn’t have any moments in the game. We were not at the races at all.”
Stirling County: B Addison; G Lindsay, D Gilmour, B Archibald, A Russell, S Edwards; C Turnbull, J Bhatti; A Moffat, C Hutton, M Larson, R Leishman, S Robertson, S McDonald, J Swanson. Subs: C Burnie, R Kennedy, C Deacons, B Barsanti, S Swindall, A de St Croix, C Robertson.
Dundee HSFP: M Brown; R Taylor, C Bowie, C Strachan, G Gray; S Walker, A Dymock; G Robertson, D Russell, A Brown, R Milne, C Cumming, P Islam, D Levison, R McIver. Subs: S Barlow, I Aitken, C Morrison, A Kent, D Currie, M Stubbs.
Referee: N Paterson.