Corstorphine Cougars 34-16 Dunbar

A DEPLETED Dunbar fell to an opening day league defeat at the hands of Corstorphine Cougars on Saturday.

Mark Coull’s side travelled to Union Park with 12 forwards among a 16-man squad that included the head coach as the only replacement.

And the home side opened the scoring when their pack powered over from a maul, a feat they repeated in the 22nd minute.

A try by Gary Peebles brought the visitors back into contention, and Ross Charlton converted, and kicked a penalty.

The home side scored their third try of the half when winger Miller touched down, and they held a 17-10 advantage at the break.

After the interval, another Charlton penalty reduced the deficit further, before Coull replaced David Brunton, who had played his first match in three years.

Going into the final quarter, Charlton kicked another penalty to bring Dunbar to within a point, before the home side – who split from Royal High RFC in the summer – kicked a penalty of their own to grow the lead to four points.

Both sides lost a man to the sin bin, before the home team scored two tries to seal the win.

And the Dunbar head coach told Courier Sport: “I felt Corstorphine played well, in the first half they played us downhill and used that to their advantage.

“We managed to get back to within one point behind, and the guys showed real maturity to do this, we will learn from Saturday and improve where we need to.”

Dunbar have a free weekend on Saturday, and Forrester are the season’s first visitors to Hallhill next Saturday (September 9).

Dunbar: G Peebles, C Bryce, G Patrizio, E Patrizio, J Kelly, R Charlton, T Samuels; R Blair, M Pickles, D Brunton, S Higginbottom, H Darrah, S Rodgers, D Blair, N Spowart