Rugby: Falkirk got it tactically wrong in second half against Newton Stewart, says Grieve after loss

Falkirk’s incredible winning run in the Tennent’s National League Division 1 came to an end on Saturday in what was the club’s opening fixture in 2023.
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The first XV went into the match with Newton Stewart on the back of eight successive victories, but they eventually lost out in Wigtownshire 13-5.

Falkirk now sit in third spot in the table, two points behind their most recent opponents after just missing out a bonus losing point.

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Kenny Grieve, the club’s director of rugby, told the Falkirk Herald: “There aren’t many days you go down to Newton Stewart and have much fun. You know what you are going to get from them.

Falkirk lost out to Newton Stewart in a low scoring affair on Saturday (Stock picture: Gordon Honeyman)Falkirk lost out to Newton Stewart in a low scoring affair on Saturday (Stock picture: Gordon Honeyman)
Falkirk lost out to Newton Stewart in a low scoring affair on Saturday (Stock picture: Gordon Honeyman)

"We played really well in the first half and coped well with a howling wind and what they threw at us. In the opening 20 minutes they went a score ahead but we rallied well and controlled a lot of the game.

"The lineout was a lottery due to the weather but we did look very much on top in the next 20 minutes. We managed to bring it back from 5-0 down but we missed a couple of opportunities that we shouldn’t have and it came back to cost us.

"In the second half we tactically got it wrong. We kicked early doors and we put too much on it and it went dead. We ended off with a scrum deep in our half and it gave some of our boys a fright I think.

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"We tried to keep playing rugby when it just wasn’t on at all. It was a day to just put your foot through the ball and aim for the corner. We missed out a losing bonus point too when it was there for us, so it was a poor afternoon all round.

"To be fair to Newton Stewart they were excellent and they came at us. They never go away and they are very workmanlike.”

Falkirk now Berwick at home on Saturday and Grieve believes the squad will be fired up for the match after going down 33-17 to the Borderers earlier on in the campaign.

He said: “We are not lacking motivation for this game, I can tell you that. When we went down there last year, we really didn’t play well and it was possibly our worst performance of this campaign so far. We were so far off it and the boys want to put that right.

“We are still in a very good position and we need to put the weekend behind us.”