|KIRKCALDY 50 MORGAN RUGBY 17
Dayle Turner celebrates his second try with Jamie Moffat
After dominating territory and possession in a forgettable first half the Blues turned round with a fortunate 8-3 lead. They had failed to capitalise on a 6th minute Mark Thomson try. Attacking movements came to nothing with a loss of control at vital points. Morgan defended doggedly and had their moments in attack and were well worth a Graeme Kiddie penalty. They had chances to go ahead and must have regretted spurning several scoring chances. In added time in a lengthy first half Craig Letham eased the Blues into a flimsy five point lead.
It was a transformed Kirkcaldy team which re-started the second half and collecting their own kick-off ball almost scored right away. However a second try was not long delayed as Morgan messed up a drop out, presenting the ball to the home side whose captain Willie Gray made a clean break from 35 metres to score a fine individualistic try at the posts and ease supporters' nerves.
This was the tonic Kirkcaldy needed and proved to be the first of six second half tries. Letham at stand off for Kirkcaldy had a fine kicking game and from one of his penalties to touch provided platform for a third try in 52 minutes from No 8 Liam Neilson.
Morgan resistance seemed to crumble and all action flanker Dayle Turner made the most of defensive slacking, side stepping his way to the line after good work by hooker Greg Wallace. This gave Kirkcaldy the four try bonus point, only their second of the season, and they were now playing with a freedom rarely seen in this campaign. They were completely dominant in the set pieces with Shaun Orr and Matt Harvey bossing the line-outs and the scrummage in total control.
Early in the fourth quarter referee Henry Stuart (Howe of Fife) ruled that there be uncontested scrummages as a result of wear and tear in the Morgan front row. This gave the visitors an unexpected source of possession but it appeared they could little with it. After Turner added a fifth Kirkcaldy try the home pack swooped on a Morgan heel dispossessing scrum half Jamie Hughan and releasing to Gavin McKenzie who had an easy task in scoring at the posts. Letham potted this conversion, as he did with all the second half tries and by the 65th minute the Blues led 43-3.
Willie Gray breaks through the Morgan defence
The Dundee side showed commendable spirit in resisting this torrent of scoring and flanker Noeli Nakavulevu, defending well back in his 22 seized a Kirkcaldy kick which easily could have bounced to any one of three Kirkcaldy players following up. He raced through several tackles before off loading and taking a return pass to score and Kiddie converted.
This reverse should not have bothered Kirkcaldy too much but five minutes later their defence opened up to give Morgan stand off Andy Clark another try, again converted by Kiddie.However normal service was resumed before the referee ended the game, apparently two minutes early with Turner completing his hat trick. Letham’s conversion took the Kirkcaldy tally to fifty.
This sparkling Kirkcaldy second half showing more than compensated for the dreary fare of the first forty minutes but coach Quintan Sanft was certainly aware of the weaknesses of this Morgan side which has only one win to their credit this season.. Nevertheless he will be pleased that his side, now three games into the second half of the season, has still to taste defeat in this second phase of fixtures,
Gavin McKenzie runs in for the sixth try of the match
K Littlejohn, C Mann, M Wallace, J Moffat, G Welsh, C Letham, G McKenzie, M Thomson, G Wallace, W Gray, S Orr, M Harvey. D Turner, R van Rensberg, L Neilson
Replacements:- G Brooksbanks, A Raeside, C Wood, C Littlejohn
C Knox, L Campbell, F Thomson, G Kiddie, J Gorman, A Clark, J Hughan, J Brady, K Lamont, R Middleton, K Falconer, J Hicks, J Rowntree, J Nakavulevu, R Imrie,
Replacements:- T Johnston, R Campbell, A Whittick
H Stuart (Howe of Fife)
3 Dayle Turner
2 Willie Gray
1 Mark Thomson
11 M Wallace
3 Mann, Littlejohn, G Wallace, Gray
2 Letham, Fisher, Girdler, Orr, Thomson
1 Oliver, Harper, Wilson, McKenzie, . Mangalo