Falkirk over moon after 57-0 win against Whitecraigs in rugby's Tennent's National League Division 2

Falkirk director of rugby Kenny Grieve was pleased to see his youthful side bounce back with a whitewash 57-0 victory over bottom club Whitecraigs in Tennent’s National League Division 2 at the weekend.

Graham Gilliland goes in for a crunching tackle (Pictures by Gordon Honeyman)
Graham Gilliland goes in for a crunching tackle (Pictures by Gordon Honeyman)

That result keeps them within touching distance of the top four, five points behind Preston Lodge who lost at Newton Stewart.

"We were delighted with the result and the score, but as a coaching team, we always have discussions about what we can do even better,” Grieve told the Herald.

"Collectively I think there were a few things we weren’t happy with, so we will address them now we have some time again before our next match.

Stefan Yarrow is brought down whilst driving with ball

“Overall, when you score 57 points in tricky conditions, you have to be happy.”

Falkirk controlled the match and the rugby director praised the team for how they handled the poor weather conditions.

“Despite the wind, our lineout was excellent, and on that sort of day, you would have expected it to have been a wee bit of a lottery, but the players were organised,” he said.

“Our hooker Andy Gillespie was brilliant in that department and he deserves a lot of praise.

Euan Cassells evades the opposition to score

“It made up for a couple of silly penalties he had given away throughout the game.”

Despite the Newton Mearns outfit being adrift at the bottom, he believed it was an impressive win for a side full of inexperienced players, saying: “It is the learnings of a young team and there will be ups and downs.

“Before the game, I had mentioned ensuring we stayed focused and didn’t go into the match with the wrong attitude and we did that.

"You will always hit hurdles and it is about learning from that and the group are doing that really well.”

Ewan Rooney in action for Falkirk against Whitecraigs (Photo: Gordon Honeyman)

Grieve was also pleased to see his squad nearly back to full strength after Covid-19 and injuries troubling them over the season, forcing the coaching team to dip into their 2nd XV to fill the bench and the starting team.

He said: “Connor Faulds and Blair Gillchrist were our only two notable absentees and they won’t be out long term.

“Graham Gilliland returned after a few months out with a knee injury and he made an impact off the bench.

“His chat around the youngsters is so valuable and he’s got that know-how.

“It was great to have Harry Russell back too, and our experienced campaigners are crucial to our vision of bringing through young talent.

“We’re nearly back to full strength, which is great.”

Falkirk’s 2nd XV also picked a win at the weekend, beating second-placed Kinross in their league.

“Older heads have been able to play in the 2nd XV as well with more bodies available and that is helping them learn the game,” Grieve explained.

"It was an excellent result for them and we have even more young players close to being ready to make the step up.

"We want to bring them in at the right time, however, and not rush them.”

He added: “Our Kelpies coach Paul Morgan is doing a superb job too.”

The 1st XV are back in action in two weeks’ time when they travel to Peebles.