Defensive disasters cost Blues dear

A hands on head moment for Kirkcaldy player-coach Quintan Sanft as Cartha QP score another try. Photo: Michael Booth
A hands on head moment for Kirkcaldy player-coach Quintan Sanft as Cartha QP score another try. Photo: Michael Booth
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Kirkcaldy 29 Cartha QP 54

Former Kirkcaldy coach and current SRU president Ian Rankin witnessed his old side put in a catastrophic defensive display at Beveridge Park.

There was no denying that Cartha QP deserved their bonus point win. Overall they ran much more purposefully, making the most of their possession.

While Kirkcaldy had a certain shape to their play, highlighted in scoring two early tries through Mark Wallace and Quintan Sanft, they made it well nigh impossible for themselves with a lack of defensive diligence.

Wallace’s third minute counter converted by Finlay Smith should have given them the impetus to surge further ahead. However, no sooner had Cartha recovered their poise and stormed down field, the Blues conceded a penalty in front of the posts.

Expecting a kick at goal they turned only to find scrum half Jonny Campion scurrying under the bar for a try converted by Wayne Burrows.

The Blues hit back and some powerful running brought a try from coach Sanft, operating at centre. This scoring move had started in Kirkcaldy’s 22 with flanker Steve Milne involved three times and showed the team’s attacking potential.

Again the destruct button was pressed within three minutes with a charged down clearance mopped up by Declan Goldie whose try gave Burrows an easy conversion. Cartha were now ahead and from that 13th minute score were never behind.

With another five minutes gone the Beveridge Park crowd were shocked to see the loss of a third try of the simplest kind. Deep defence had no answer to a powerful mid field run and winger Graeme Docherty raced away.

The Blues tightened up in the second quarter but all they had to show by the break was a Smith penalty, leaving a 15-19 score line.

Cartha centre Tony Nyangwesa punished further Kirkcaldy sloppiness a minute into the second period. Even with this reverse Kirkcaldy chances hadn’t been completely extinguished and some strong running from winger Chris Mann had forced a 5m attacking line-out.

The throw-in sadly missed target and bagged by the opposition who then moved quickly away from danger to set up an attack of their own with galloping lock Ross Gillies touching down at the other end. Burrows’s conversion extended his side’s lead to 33-15 and the contest was effectively ended.

However Kirkcaldy woes were far from over and three quick scores, two from blunders, took the visitors’ tally to 54. Mark Wallace after the first of these three Cartha scores, had a third Kirkcaldy try converted by Smith and then, just before no-side, Gavin Neilson forced his way over in the corner, earning his team a four try bonus point.

This Kirkcaldy defence is simply not working, losing five tries at Haddington last week and eight in this game. If this profligacy continues it is hard to see from where future league wins will come.

Kirkcaldy: F Smith. G Neilson, Q Sanft, M Wallace, C Mann, J Moffat, G McKenzie, M Thomson J Pow, G Wallace, C Woods, R Bonner, S Milne, D Turner, L Neilson. Replacements: M Henderson, R van Rensberg, S Porter, A Brooks

Cartha QP: J Hartmann, T Bellis. T Nyangwesa, D Goldie, G Docherty, W Burrows, J Campion, M Barrowman, F Paul, D Irvine, N Smyllie, R Gillies, C Wicks, P Hollier, M Robertson. Replacements: M Archer, C O’Connor, A Crozier, G Davidson

Referee: J Shaw (WSRRS).

Star Check: 3 Chris Mann, 2 Mark Thomson, 1 Mark Wallace.

Current standings: 7 Turner, L Neilson; 5 Pow; 4 Milne; 3 Woods, Mann; 2 Thomson; 1 G Wallace, Smith.