THE destination of the points in Glasgow Caley's league opener could have gone in any direction - for the first 25 seconds at any rate. That's all the time it took for Caerphilly go ahead, and the alarming fact was that they had little difficulty in staying there.

Richie Dixon's Reds had been widely expected to kick-off with an emphatic victory over the side who struggled to dodge relegation last term. And the coach was first to admit - as he has had to do so often on Welsh soil - that the

performance of his men was ''unacceptable.''

''Losing a try so quickly was obviously a setback, but we should have been able to wipe out the deficit right away,'' he declared. ''We went on to lose the game,

not because of what Caerphilly achieved, but because of what we didn't achieve.''

He said: ''We created several gilt-edged opportunities and just didn't take them. When you are playing against a team like them you have to get ahead of them on the scoreboard and stay there.

''They lose heart in that situation, but on this occasion because they kept seeing us wasting our chances, they grew in heart and stature. Over the piece, they were hungrier for it than our guys, which is totally unacceptable.

''The teams down here know that two of them are going to drop next year - so they will pull out all the stops to make sure they are not one of them.

''It is a tremendous incentive for them, but it is still no excuse for rugby players of the quality we have to by-pass the chances they created. We missed three clear-cut openings just after they had gone ahead. Our players don't yet seem to realise that down here you have to pick up the points that are on offer.''

To compound Caley's misery, substitute scrum-half Fraser Stott - who had replaced Graeme

Beveridge - faces a lengthy lay-off after being stretchered off with cartilage damage.

Dixon said: ''We were obviously disrupted with both scrum-halves being off the field. Mark McKenzie went on originally at full back for Barry Irving and then had to move forward to No.9.

''But again, that is not an excuse. The players need to take a long and hard look at themselves. They created enough opportunities to win the game, but didn't do it. Caerphilly stuck with it and were simply hungrier throughout.''

Apart from the Stott injury, there were the usual bumps and bruises. But Dixon summed up

his thoughts by saying: ''I hope there are also a lot of dented egos.''

Caley were effectively on rack before any of their players had even touched the ball. A ruck in midfield was the Caerphilly platform and when they spun the ball wide Gareth Jones was waiting to pounce.

Craig Chalmers got the Reds off the mark with a penalty, but soon the Cheesemen were back on the attack. James Craig was then penalised for not releasing just yards from his own line and Caerphilly scorned an easy option of a three kicked points by deciding on a line-out.

And their adventure paid handsome reward when lock Mark Workman was driven over, with Luke Richards adding a fine conversion.

Richards increased Caerphilly's lead with a 42-metre penalty when lock Steve Griffiths was penalised for illegal footwork at a ruck, Chalmers replying in identical fashion on the stroke of the break.

It was more of the same after the break with Caerphilly asking most of the questions and the Reds struggling to get any fluency into their game.

Dave Hawkins claimed the

next home try, and Richards kicked the rest of their tally as Caley's plight grew even deeper. At least Dixon's rag-tag brigade refused to give up the ghost and Chalmers converted an injury-time consol-ation touchdown by replacement back-row Gordon Simpson.

Caerphilly - J Thomas; S Marshall, R Boobyer, D Hawkins, N Berbillion; L Richards, A Jacobs; C Fitzpatrick, J Hughes, M Wilson, M Workman, N Jones (capt), B Watkins, G Jones, A Williams. Replacements - S Fonua for Wilson (26 mins); N Strong for B Watkins (46-64); M Bolton for Fitzpatrick (58); N Watkins for N Jones (65); C John for Hawkins (71); T Carless for Hughes (76); N Strong for Williams (78); J Hooper for Berbillion (78)

Glasgow Caledonians - B Irving; J Craig, R Shepherd (capt), I Jardine, J Steel; C Chalmers, G Beveridge; D Hilton, G Bulloch, G McIlwham, J White, S Griffiths, R Reid, G Flockhart, J Petrie. Replacements - F Stott for Beveridge (40); M McKenzie for Irving (51); G Simpson for Flockhart (66); J Stuart for Stott (68).

Referee - T Rowlands (Treorchy).

Scorers, Caerphilly: Tries - G Jones, Workman, Hawkins; Conversions - Richards (2); Penalties - Richards (4). Glasgow Caley - Try: Simpson. Conversion - Chalmers. Penalties: Chalmers (2).

Scoring sequence: 5-0, 5-3, 10-3, 15-3, 15-6 (HT) 18-6, 18-6, 21-69, 28-6, 31-6, 31-13.