Ian Morrison, the Waysider's coach, must be wondering if the Gulf Stream and its effects on Western Europe’s coastal climate are still being taught in Lanarkshire schools. With most of the Scottish rugby fixture card cancelled it was mainly the balmy coastal strip from Greenock to Maybole where the fixtures survived.
A fifteen minute delayed start still did not help Morrison men achieve his full squad. Maybe the Lanarkshire men had difficulty in finding their way to Maybole but they had no difficulty in finding the way to the try line. Within three minutes they were five points up. Fly half, McKenzie, cleverly kicked to his right corner and from the ensuing lineout their forwards drove infield and after two successive rucks he switched the play back to the right for the winger to score.
The Rick responded but the visitor’s aggressive tackling and rucking was making it difficult for the home side’s backs to get clean ball. Eventually in the twelfth minute Connor Wyllie opened the scoring when a Waysider's forward was penalised for side entry at a ruck.
Willie Wyllie gathered the deep kick off, slipped a pass to Pollock who charged up field and when he was stopped the Carrick forwards won quick ball and five passes later Dewar on the opposite wing stepped outside his winger and inside the full back to score. It was a truly magnificent team try. Even though shorthanded the visitor’s forwards and midfield backs were still causing problems as they penetrated a pretty static Carrick defence. McKenzie levelled the score when a Carrick tackler was penalised for not rolling away from the tackle.
Again the Rick responded immediately and a McGregor kick deep into the twenty two produced a five metre scrum. When the push over attempt was thwarted on the right, Ward released his backs and again left winger Dewar finished the move in the opposite corner.
Thirteen to eight up and playing against fourteen men the Rick support had a frustrating next twenty minutes as little happened to excite them but, in the last play of the half a McGregor drift from scrummage ball and a switch pass to Alexander put him in space and he scored under the posts. Connor Wyllie added the extra points to give a score line of 20 against 8.
Having followed the setting sun the last two explorers from North Lanarkshire arrived for the second half allowing Coach Morrison to make appropriate substitutions.
Within two minutes Carrick had their fourth bonus point try. McGregor kicked cross field behind the Waysider’s back line. The Carrick kick chase was good and the ball bounced kindly for McKnight who sprinted the thirty metres to the line. Wyllie added the extra points as well as converting a penalty five minutes later to give Carrick a comfortable twenty two point lead.
Whatever the visitor’s shortcomings were, effort, rucking and play off and around the ruck was not one of them and in the nineteenth minute of the half a midfield penetration on the halfway line followed by two quick recycled balls produced a well worked try in Carrick’s left corner.
It was a cold last twenty minutes for the Carrick faithful as the home side, after good lead up work, botched three good scoring opportunities. In the last five minutes the Rick did put a little icing, no pun intended, on the cake with tries from Alexander and Pollock.
Coach Brown had set a target, which has been achieved, of three wins from the last three league games. He will be extremely happy at gaining fourteen of the fifteen points which were available but he will be looking for a little more control of the game shape and certainly more clinical finishing on all of the chances created.