Stornoway RFC ended a gruelling spell of four away games last Saturday, when they went down 54-17 to Aberdeen University.
Recent weeks have seen the islanders covering huge mileage with away trips to Invergorden and three consecutive weekends to Aberdeen, a feat of tremendous commitment by the squad.
Last week’s outing against the students was a game of two halves.
With the powerful, open field runners of the Aberdeen side dominating the first spell, then a dogged and far more aggressive performance saw the visitors have the better of the second period.
It was, to some degree, an Aberdeen Barbarians team on show, with players from the Uni, Gordonians, Grammar and the Medics all playing for the home side.
Perhaps the visitors might have felt a little outgunned but they stuck to their task well, after a poor opening 25 mins.
The handling, pace and power of the Aberdeen backline meant that Stornoway were often chasing shadows in the early encounters.
In fact Stornoway struggled to create any real structure in defence or attack in this early period.
The home side were able to use their dominance and ran in a number of early tries, all but sealing the points before half time.
Although Stornoway came in to the game a bit more, their only reward was an Innes Macuish try just before half time.
The second half was a different story as Stornoway began to dominate things up front. Realising that the students didn’t want to mix things up when it came to the physical, the visitors gained good ground by simply driving through the middle. Valiant defence and the lack of a final pass cost Stornoway on a number of occasions but they did score two more tries, with Darren Mackay and Iain ‘Fish’ Mackinnon dotting down. “We simply didn’t turn up for the first 25 mins and the game was as good as lost by then,” said coach Angus Mackay.
“It took us far too long to figure out where we were getting some joy, by then it was too late.
“I was glad to see us try to expand our game and the boys are beginning to transfer what they have been doing at training on to the pitch.”
This week sees Stornoway take on RAF Lossiemouth at Bayhead, with a 3pm kick off.