Dunfermline 65 Garioch 13, Tennent’s Caledonia Division One

DUNFERMLINE maintained their perfect start to the Tennent’s Caledonia Division One campaign with a convincing win over Garioch on Saturday.

A clinical nine-try haul saw them claim a third bonus point victory from as many matches to stay in touch with early pacesetters Orkney, who also boast a 100 per cent record having played one game more.

Captain Clarke Smith, who felt that it was “not a complete 80 minute performance” from Stuart Brown’s side, set the McKane Park outfit on their way by powering over for their first score, which was converted by Adam Fraser.

Two Fraser penalties, either side of a Cameron Dunn score, put Dunfermline 20 points up before the newly-promoted visitors from Inverurie hit back with a penalty and an unconverted try of their own before the break.

Seven more tries, which included two from James Nicoll and one from Owen Brown, helped ease the hosts to victory, with Garioch scoring a second score in response.

The club’s first XV now face a three week break until their next match, at Grangemouth Stags, on November 9, after which they will meet again seven days later at McKane in the semi-final of the Caledonia Regional Shield.

That will be followed by a crunch clash with Orkney, and Smith is content with the shape his men are in ahead of what is set to be a key period in their season.

“It was the first time we’ve played Garioch, so it was a good occasion because of that,” Smith commented.

“There were bits where we played well, and there were bits that we were not so happy about.

“It was not a complete 80 minute performance, but we won and picked up another five points at the end of the day, so we can’t really complain.

“It was really good. We had another couple of debuts, which is satisfying to see, and we’ve got good depth in multiple positions now, and our bench is strong.”

Looking ahead to Dunfermline’s upcoming schedule, Smith continued: “Those are the games that you want to be involved in.

“In knockout rugby especially, you apply a bit of pressure on yourself, and you have to be on your game each time.

“Murrayfield (if they beat Grangemouth in their Caledonia Shield semi-final) is at the back of our mind, but we have to take one game at a time.

“We’re fighting on two fronts just now, which is great.”

In addition to the first XV, Dunfermline were able to field a second and third XV once more on Saturday, but the former were out of action as opponents Morgan were unable to field a team.

The third XV, however, won 40-18 at Bo’ness, and Smith added: “It was another busy day at the club and we were one of the only teams in Scotland to field teams for three games, although the second XV’s game was unfortunately cancelled.

“It’s fantastic to have three strong teams. It breeds competition and competition makes everyone play better.

“We want to win games of rugby but there’s also a balance of having good craic, a couple of beers and enjoying your rugby. The beer always tastes better when you win and it brings the boys together.

“I’m happy with the way things are going.”

Meanwhile, Rosyth Sharks’ Caledonia Division Two match at Madras was postponed due to a lack of players.

They return to action on November 9 at home to Kinross.