Gala 17 - 6 Currie: Injuries spoil game and frustrate both sides

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BOTH coaches expressed disappointment after a tense game, which was spoiled when uncontested scrums came into force due to a succession of injuries.

Scorers: Gala: Tries: Somerville, penalty try. Cons: Millar (2). Pen: Millar. Currie: Pens: Forbes (2).

Gala coach George Graham wanted a bonus-point victory to keep the pressure on Ayr at the top of the Premiership, but after scoring twice in the opening 22 minutes, his side failed to add to their tally until injury time at the end of the game.

“I thought that we would come out in the second half and score two or three tries, but we did not execute our moves as well as we did in the first half,” he said. “We made a lot of errors and our decision-making was terrible. The game became very bland and very blank and it [uncontested scrums] changed the whole face of the match.

“It benefitted Currie more than it did us.

“We have lost a bit of form over the past couple of weeks and that’s a lot down to the season being disjointed. It is hard for players to come back to their home club, if you have been away, and switch on all of the time.”

Currie coach Ally Donaldson bemoaned his side’s injuries.

“To come away from Netherdale with nothing is very disappointing. We played a lot of good rugby and we are gutted not to even get a bonus point, but the Gala defence was outstanding,” he said.

“On the injury front, we have a broken jaw, a broken nose and two concussions [John Cox, Fraser Watts, Mike Erskine, and Richard Sneddon]. To be honest, uncontested scrums suited us and these injuries disrupted our play a lot. We lost three front rows, but if there is any suggestion of foul play, that is absolute nonsense. We had our chances and did not take them.”

It looked promising for Gala when Grant Somerville darted in for the opening try on 12 minutes and the referee awarded Gala a penalty try ten minutes later after a series of forwards’ attacks. Lee Millar converted both scores.

Jamie Forbes kept Currie in contention with two penalties before Millar finally sealed the victory with the last kick of the game.

Gala: A McLean; G Somerville, C Auld, B Turner, C Robertson; L Millar, George Graham L Pettie, C Mackintosh, E McQuillin, C Weir, O Palepoi, C Keddie, Gary Graham, E Dods. Replacements: T Weir, R Anderson, S Cairns, G Young, D Owensen.

Currie: J Forbes; A Hinds, S James, J Broadley, M Peacock; G Hunter, R Snedden; A Hamilton, J Cox, F Watts, G Temple, S Marcel, M Cairns, M Entwhistle, R Weston. Replacements: B Elmslie, M Erskine, M Vernal, C Leck, C Van der Westerlo.

Referee: J Van der Merwe.