Maroons look to move forward from Leeds loss

YORK , Scotland, UK. 20 Oct 2013.'British & Irish Cup Rugby'Leeds Carnegie v Gala RFC at Clifton Park, York.''(Photo Credit: Rob Gray)
YORK , Scotland, UK. 20 Oct 2013.'British & Irish Cup Rugby'Leeds Carnegie v Gala RFC at Clifton Park, York.''(Photo Credit: Rob Gray)

As far as taking individual plus points out of a game is concerned, Gala came away from Leeds last week with a big fat zero, according to George Graham Snr.

However, the Gala coach expects his team to benefit from the British & Irish Cup experience and use their ill-gained knowledge to boost their Premiership campaign.

“At the end of the day we got a bit of a trouncing and it was a bit of a shock, but I have spoken to the boys this week and we have agreed to put it behind us, although not forget it all together,” said Graham of the biggest defeat in Gala’s history.

“We have to look at it as a level we want to aspire to, however difficult that may be.”

That aspiration is likely to come into play this weekend when Gala return to league duties against Currie at Malleny Park. And although the opposition are currently propping up the table, Graham wants to make sure his team don’t trip up.

“We need to bounce back,” he added.

“If we can play to the level of intensity we experienced last week then we won’t go far wrong.”

Gala’s grief amid the pro ranks was felt right across the region, with Melrose president Mike Bleasdale commenting: “It does not make great reading to see our fellow clubs having such a hard time in the B&I Cup.

“We like to think our Scottish club rugby is improving, but when faced with professional sides the gulf is there for all to see and epitomised by some of the severe reverses our teams suffered last weekend.”

Bleasdale’s sympathies, however, are confined to the cup matches as this weekend he will be backing his table-topping team to keep the gulf between them and the chasing Premiership pack as wide as possible. He added: “Let’s enjoy the moment, but remember that it is only half-time as far as the league is concerned and the hard work has to continue, starting with Heriot’s at Goldenacre this weekend.”

Hawick are also enjoying a purple patch and will be looking to continue that when travelling to play Aberdeen.

In the National League, Selkirk and Kelso clash at Philiphaugh, while Peebles welcome Watsonians to the Gytes.