Dunfermline 26 Glenrothes 15

DUNFERMLINE Rugby Club began their competitive campaign on a winning note by seeing off derby rivals Glenrothes in the Caledonia Regional Shield on Saturday.

Mark Dobson's side, who will open their league campaign against the same opponents on September 8, powered clear in the second half to seal their place in the next round of the competition.

Two converted tries, and the boot of Adam Fraser, proved enough for the Blues to see off a physical Glens side and extend their winning run to nine matches, stretching back to December last year.

Speaking to Press Sport ahead of the game, Australian head coach Dobson spoke of his hope that Dunfermline can win the Caledonia League Division One title, and promotion to National League Division Three, as well as pushing for a cup final place at Murrayfield.

They have started the latter aim on the right foot to Dobson's delight but he believes there's still even more to come from his men.

"I'm really pleased with the outcome, although there's always room for improvement," he commented.

"For our first competitive fixture against one of the other stronger teams in the division, I have to be pleased.

"It keeps the momentum going but we've got Glenrothes again in the first week of the season and I'd expect a bit of retaliation from them and a tougher game. But we probably had three or four guys who would have featured back for that one as well.

"I was pleased with the boys' commitment to the task. It was an 80-minute effort; we defended well and they had some big boys, whereas we've probably got the smallest team in the division.

"We had to stand up to them physically and I thought we did that."

Dobson continued: "We try to play slightly faster and more expansive rugby, which is a bit different from some of the other teams, who play a bit tighter and try and use their size to their advantage. The tries we scored came as a result of our width.

"We didn't come away with as many points having checked into their 22 as I'd have liked but a fair few of the guys stood out.

"Cameron Dunn, in the back row, and Clarke Smith at number eight were outstanding, and Callum White, making his debut at nine and is just 18, did exceptionally well. He was thrown in at the deep end; we had a late call-off but he stepped in and did well.

"Our goal is to get as close as we can to Murrayfield, so Saturday was a step in the right direction."

This Saturday, Dunfermline's seconds begin their league season against Perth, while a friendly for the thirds has also been arranged against Falkirk thirds.

Both matches will take place at McKane Park.