Rugby ace buys the drinks after heroic hat-trick

Kirkcaldy RFC vs Perthshire RFC,'Match 16, RBS Championship League B,'16th February 2013.'Photo: Michael Booth
Kirkcaldy RFC vs Perthshire RFC,'Match 16, RBS Championship League B,'16th February 2013.'Photo: Michael Booth
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HAT-trick hero George Mangalo played down his part in Kirkcaldy’s dramatic victory on Saturday.

The long-serving prop contributed 15 points towards the Blues 32-30 win over Perthshire in a relegation crunch match.

Mangalo (32), told the Press: “It was an eight-man effort with the forwards.

“I just sat in at the back, guided the ball over the line and fell on it.

“The boys done well. It was great throwing from the line-out, great catching, then a great drive.

“They were textbook tries, straight from training ground onto the pitch.

“It was a good day for the forwards - we really showed them who was boss out there.”

It was also his first hat-trick in senior rugby, although that proved a costly milestone in the bar afterwards.

“It was sore in the pocket because whoever scores a hat-trick has to buy the drinks after the game,” he revealed.

“There’s always the temptation to knock the ball on, but Saturday wasn’t one of the days to do it!”.

Mangalo’s efforts appeared to have been in vain when Perthshire touched down in injury time to take a 30-29 lead.

However, straight from the re-start, the Blues won a penalty, which Craig Letham kicked between the posts to secure a vital win.

“It just came down to hard effort from everyone and a never say die attitude,” Mangalo said.

“I came off just as they scored their last try due to cramp in my calves. I couldn’t watch the last couple of minutes, especially when we got the penalty.

“I was looking away, then I heard the roar, and that was good enough for me.

“It was up there as one of the best games to play in.

“To have it snatched away from us, then comeback and win was just phenomenal.”

Mangalo stressed the importance of the “crucial” victory.

“We’re trying to stay up and there’s a possibility the bottom two could go down, so to get that win was good,” he said.

“We need to win against Haddington this Saturday then we should be secure for Championship B next season.”

Mangalo is in his 14th season at Kirkcaldy and hopes to hit his 200th appearance next season.

“It’s my local club and I’ve always been a Kirkcaldy player,” said the former Balwearie pupil.

“I came up through the age groups and played with my mates, that’s what keeps you around.

“The current team is a good team but we’ve got a lot of younger boys nowadays.

“Some of the older guys have retired and we’re building back up again with the younger guys coming through.

“Hopefully we can get back up to Premier 2 in a few seasons when the boys have matured.”

Kirkcaldy player-coach Quintan Sanft missed Saturday’s win as he was in hospital undergoing an operation to have a floating piece of bone removed from his foot.

He said: “It was a massive win for the boys. We still need another win this weekend to guarantee our safety, but this should give them confidence they can do it.”

MATTHEW ELDER

Twitter: @mattelder_ffp