Stornoway Rugby Club were given a lesson on just how hard life can be in Caledonia Division Two North when they were hammered 53-3 at home by a strong, if unspectacular, Aberdeenshire outfit.
The islanders simply had no answer to a big and functional pack which dominated proceedings in the second half, constantly pushing Stornoway off their own ball at scrum time.
In mitigation, the home side were missing several regulars- including Angus “Og” MacArthur, Calum Tom Moody and Roddy Graham - and were forced to play a host of fringe players in the pack. Their lack of game time and inexperience showed.
The Stornoway backs looked to be a match for their opponents, but they just had virtually no ball with which to work, as the visitors sensibly kept it in the forwards where they clearly enjoyed superiority.
The half-time score was 21-0 to the visitors and then two quick tries after the interval killed the game off as a meaningful contest, even if the home side did look dangerous with whatever possession they were gifted.
The players that did don the Stornoway shirt certainly gave their all, but a team thrown together at the last minute were never going to be a match for an organised and capable side like Aberdeenshire.
Credit must go to Darren MacKay for his outstanding tackling and young scrum-half David MacKay battled away bravely behind a retreating pack, while Alan MacIver did his best to stem the tide in the forwards.
The only points for Stornoway came via the boot of Peter Hobson, but it was mere consolation in a day that the islanders will want to forget.
Following last week’s 58-13 loss at the hands of Garioch RFC it has not been the best of times for the islanders, though the two east coast outfits are amongst the best in the league and boast powerful unfits in their squad.
This week sees Stornoway being given a free week and coach Angus “Bubble” MacKay will be looking to re-group before taking on RAF Lossiemouth a week on Saturday.