Falkirk Rugby Club will get it tough at Hamilton Bulls this weekend says director of rugby Kenny Grieve

Falkirk Rugby Club will likely face a considerable test of their credentials this Saturday when they visit lowly Hamilton Bulls in their latest fixture in Tennent’s National Division 2.

By Craig Goldthorp
Wednesday, 22nd September 2021, 12:35 pm
Ewan Rooney tries to evade Gordonians opponents
Ewan Rooney tries to evade Gordonians opponents

So says Falkirk RC director of rugby Kenny Grieve, who doesn’t think fourth placed Falkirk – who have 12 points from their opening three league games – will get it easy against a Hamilton side who are currently sitting bottom of the table with a single point from their first three fixtures.

"Hamilton Bulls have had a kind of poor start to their season,” Grieve told the Falkirk Herald.

"But traditionally, Hamilton-Falkirk is always a tough game.

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Falkirk launch into the tackle during Saturday's high scoring success over Gordonians (Pics by Gordon Honeyman)

"They play an expansive style of rugby where they want to go wide all the time.

"We’ve got to really win the race to the breakdown and make sure we hit and stick with our tackles and we nullify that threat.

"We are just looking to continue building on our performances week on week.

"It’s important that now we’re sitting in fourth place, we have to beat the teams below us.

Falkirk's Stef Yarrow is on the charge

"That’s just a given if we want to challenge for promotion or challenge to be in that top three."

Falkirk will be boosted by the return of the experienced Harry Russell, who scored five tries in the first two league games of Falkirk’s 2021-22 campaign.

Russell was absent for Falkirk’s last league game last Saturday, which saw the team recover from a nightmare first half to bounce back in the second and record a 40-26 home win over Gordonians.

Grieve said: “In the first half against Gordonians our tackles weren’t as effective as they’ve been in previous weeks.

"We were kind of hitting and bouncing off players and we gave them a bit of momentum and they worked their way up the field and did very well.

"We were indisciplined in the first half as well in that we gave away over 10 penalties for various offences, being offside at the breakdown, handling in the ruck or a few daft things.”

Saturday’s clash saw Gordonians score an early try which was converted before Falkirk levelled at 7-7 with a converted try of their own.

Poor decision making and tackling continued to haunt Falkirk as Gordonians scored three more unanswered tries in the first half to get the bonus point and lead 26-7 at half-time.

But the second half was totally different with Falkirk hitting back to win convincingly with five unanswered tries of their own.

Falkirk’s try scorers were Ewan Rooney (2), Connor Faulds (2) and Tom Main (2). Duncan Tomkins kicked five conversions.

"At half-time we just said to the boys that our tackling was unacceptable,” Grieve said. "We were just bouncing off tackles and we were second to the breakdown so we had to increase the tempo of the game and start sticking our tackles which the boys duly did.

"I don’t know if we thought this week that because Gordonians hadn’t had the best of starts, we were just going to roll them over.

"But that doesn’t happen in this league. Everybody is capable of beating everybody on their day.”