There is always an air of the unknown when a top player returns to action after a long absence, but after his notoriously indiscreet tweets about various state leaders last year it was a fairly safe bet that Rory Lamont's comeback would not be marked by a flurry of congratulatory messages from Barack Obama, David Cameron and Angela Merkel.
Certainly, none of that trio could be spotted among the thin crowd that gathered at Malleny Park yesterday afternoon to witness Lamont's first taste of competitive action since he shattered his fibula playing for Scotland against France in February. Currie's compact ground is one of the more picturesque in the country, but it has never been the sort of place where spectators struggle to find elbow room.
Still, those who did turn up witnessed a hugely satisfying outing both for Lamont and his Dundee team-mates, some of whose names he might even have managed to learn before the start. The 29-times-capped winger/full-back played a solid and pretty much faultless 60 minutes, embroidering his contribution to Dundee's thumping victory with a sharp try midway through the first half.
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Lamont's moment of glory arrived when he thundered up in support of winger Andy McLean, accepted a well-timed pass and sprinted over the line. Cleverly, he also pulled off this little trick just a few feet away from Glasgow Warriors coach Gregor Townsend and Scotland coach Scott Johnson, a duo whose presence gave the audience a star quality that Obama, Cameron and Merkel would probably have struggled to match.
Lamont might have been a little bit lucky with his timing for the score, but he certainly looked fit, eager and sharp for the hour he was on the pitch. In fairness, he was blowing a bit by the time he trotted off, but it was a hugely satisfying return for a player who has known little but frustration for the 11 months of setbacks and false dawns he has endured since he suffered the injury that brought his season to a sudden and painful halt.
"It is nice to finally get some game time under my belt," he smiled at the finish. "It's been a long time and a difficult 11 months, with some really tough days, but I'm delighted to be at this stage when I can take the field.
"It was a real honour just to come and play with these boys and I was blown away by the intensity we played. And obviously the result today was pretty good to be involved in."
Lamont's feelings about Dundee's post-match celebrations were more ambiguous. When the game was over, the Mayfield mob gathered in a circle behind one set of posts and went through a routine that looked like the most unco-ordinated haka in history as performed by the Broughty Ferry morris dance society. Lamont had gone about his playing duties with obvious relish, but while all this went on he stood on the periphery with a slightly queasy expression across his face.
"I was really nervous today," he said, albeit with reference to the game rather than the hokey-cokey that followed it. "The last thing I wanted to do was let down these boys. Coming from a professional team you don't want to step on anyone's toes, and you don't want to let down the coaches and team-mates who you are only just getting to know."
Lamont could yet figure in one or both of Glasgow's remaining Heineken Cup fixtures, against Ulster and Northampton, but he hinted that another outing with Dundee would suit him just as well. As for returning to the Scotland fold, he was understandably reluctant to make himself a hostage to fortune by suggesting if, let alone when, that might happen.
Certainly, Dundee would be happy to hang on to him for another game or two.
Second from bottom in the RBS Premiership, they demolished third-placed Currie with an aggressive performance of bite, endeavour and no little skill.
It was all but over by half time, in fact, as Dundee led 21-7 through Lamont's try, another touchdown by No 8 Richie McIver, and a raft of kicks by Jack Steele. Currie's try had come from James Johnstone, and they added another after the turn through Malcolm Peacock, but Dundee coasted home with further scores by Richie Hawkins and Brandyn Laursen.
Currie: C Van der Westerlo; A Hinds, J Johnstone, S James, A Whittingham; G Hunter, C Leck; A Hamilton, G Temple, S Marcell, M Cairns (captain), M Entwhistle, R Weston. Subs used: M Elmslie, F Watts, M Erskine, M Vernel, M Peacock, A Binikos.
Dundee: R Lamont; A McLean, H Duthie (captain), J Steele, T Paris; B Laursen, R Lavery; S Longwell, D Russell, A Brown, A Linton, A Redmayne, D Levison, I Wilson, R McIver. Subs used: P Islam, G Robertson, R Hawkins, J Urquhart, A Dymock.
Referee: R Dickson (SRU)