Helensburgh captain Cammy Kerr says he was proud of his players – even though the Grizzlies fell to defeat in their opening league fixture on Saturday.

The Burgh flanker insisted the game away to Strathaven was a lot closer than the 48-10 final score in the hosts’ favour would suggest.

Off the back of a heavy loss to another Lanarkshire outfit, Dalziel, in the West Regional Shield the previous week, it was another tough 80 minutes for the Grizzlies, who never had their troubles to seek – but Kerr insisted there were still positives to take from another resounding defeat.

“I thought there was a massive improvement from the heavy loss to Dalziel in the Shield the week before,” he said.

“It looks a bad score but when you consider the injuries we had, and having to play 80 per cent of the match with 14 guys, I was proud of the fight we put up, and we only trailed 19-5 at half-time.

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“We fought from the first minute to the last and played some great rugby at times and I believe that if we can take that attitude into our run of three homes in a row now, and with a full squad to pick from, we can get ourselves back on track.”

Helensburgh’s players might have been forgiven the odd gulp of trepidation as they opened their new league campaign on Saturday: the Lanarkshire side had rather dished out a doing in Burgh’s season-closer back in April, and it was a Burgh side shorn of several starters and starlets that made the trip.

With only Liam Flanagan covering the bench, David Calderwood and Stuart King yet again turning back the years if not the gears, and against a home side off to a flyer, the fact that Burgh were in the game for nearly an hour is great testament to their courage and determination.

In the end, losing prop Dan Bowles and player/coach David Calderwood to injury was the last straw, and Strathaven ran up a sore scoreline for the Burgh to take.

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Burgh’s try-scorers were prop Phil Ard and centre Mark Robertson with the man of the match award going to young flanker, Sam King.

The great sage that is Oprah Winfrey once said: “Turn your wounds into wisdom”. If you read that and think “well, where’s the wisdom in going out and getting tanked each week?”, then perhaps rugby, and in particular, Helensburgh RFC, isn’t for you.

On the other hand, if you know that adversity only makes you tougher, that you can lick your wounds and come back stronger, that though this may be a long road back for the Burgh, it’s a trip worth taking…then you’ll be making a wise decision.

Burgh: Stuart King, Rogers, Robertson, O’Brien, Kinsman, Bowman, Welch, Ard, Jamieson, Bowles, C.Calderwood, D.Calderwood, Alton, Kerr, Sam King. Sub: Flanagan.

Burgh have a run of three home league matches in a row, starting this Saturday against Paisley. The Grizzlies boshed the Buddies at home last season then lost narrowly through at the Anchor in the return match and Calderwood’s men will want to get a big W for win under their belts.

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Fixtures against Cumnock (September 28) and Oban Lorne (October 5) at Ardencaple follow. The Burgh boys need your support more now than ever; kick-off is at 3pm.