Rugby beaks could yet rescind a three-point deduction imposed on Uddingston Rugby Club after they failed to bring enough players for last Saturday’s Tennent’s West Division 2 fixture at Wigtownshire.
The game was postponed as the Villagers didn’t have the minimum number of three front row men in order to start the match, with West Rugby committee members immediately imposing the statutory three-point penalty.
But – with Uddingston and Wigtownshire due to square up again on West Regional Shield first round duty this Saturday – the two clubs and West Rugby have agreed that this weekend’s instant rematch will be a ‘winner takes all contest’ played at Wigtownshire.
Uddingston Rugby Club head coach Grant Talbot told the Times and Speaker: “I think this decision makes sense when you consider that the teams are playing each other two weeks in a row.
“The stakes have been doubled now. Whoever wins on Saturday gets the league points and is also through in the cup.
“We have lost the home advantage we originally had for this cup tie.
“But if we play on Saturday we think the three-point penalty will be wiped out.”
Grant is 100 per cent confident that he will have the minimum of three front row players required for this Saturday’s game.
In a further boost, he reckons that scrum half Callum Maxwell and number eight Donald Haldane are both in contention to start the match after lengthy absences.
“We have had less than 20 players available for every game so far this season,” he added.
“But – with players’ job commitments outside of rugby easing – I expect to have 33 players available to pick from as of October 12.”
Uddingston are bottom of the league on -3 points after losing their first three league games this season.
Grant said that West Rugby would decide whether or not to nullify the three-point deduction at their monthly meeting, date unconfirmed.