Caledonia Reds.......17


Exciting? It was a case of pass the pacemakers as Caledonia Reds played up-and-at 'em rugby, taking the ball suicidally to the Italians at close quarters, with Dave McIvor a hero, as well as sundry backs, in a game that looked like American football short of yardage winning.

They were aided by Stuart Grimes and young Jason White in the second row, to record their first victory in Europe. It was a day to put the smile back into Scottish rugby.

''What a difference a week makes,'' said a smiling Reds coach, Ian Rankin. ''We had a long hard look at ourselves, and we had to win today. I thought we played well. Our defence was good, but we need more composure in attack.''

That was echoed by captain Rob Wainwright. ''All praise to the youngsters who have come in so well,'' he said. ''It was a team effort and we needed the win badly. ''

Treviso came to Perth with a side including 11 Italian internationalists and two South African provincial players in Lance Sherrell and Lee Stewart, the latter having played a season for Glasgow Accies. They were sent back to Italy to think again, beaten by one try, and 15 brave hearts.

How the Reds must now rue the slip-up last week against Llanelli.

The first-half started off promisingly, with two penalties by Rowen Shepherd as the wind howled at his back. But as the scrum creaked the Italians were prepared to launch attacks on the Perth line and stand off Sherrell made amends for an earlier miss with his own sucessful kick.

Shepherd's third penalty came after two charges from captain Wainwright, recycled ball, and a breenge from Stuart Grimes, who must surely now not be far away from his first cap. Martin Waite, too, did some mopping up that bordered on the heroic before being replaced by Gareth Flockhart, and McIvor revelled in his speciality of getting the opponents' side and then pulling them over.

Behind the pack, Derrick Patterson proved his worth at linking with Bryan Easson, and the half ended bizzarely as Paul Rouse missed with a long- range drop from his own half.

An electric second-half saw Grimes knocking the ball on over the line as a score beckoned, and then a sweet drop goal from Bryan Easson to give the Reds a 12-3 lead.

In footballing terms, the crowd went bananas as a lineout in their own half set Flockhart downfield from Gavin Scott's pass, and as the ball went along the back line Rouse straightened up when Long- staff might have scored, and Grimes, with his second chance at the line, was bundled into touch.

Caledonia's continuity was exemplarary with McIvor's driving, supported by Wainwright and Grimes, but one necessary form of action when Treviso were in their tight mauls was to collapse them, and one such infringement allowed Sherrell to place a penalty between the posts and reduce the deficit to six points.

Another Aussie run gave Sherrell the opportunity to go for the penalty, which he missed, and that allowed Shepherd to run powerfully out of defence. He was rewarded as the pack promptly stomped up field, won a lineout, Grimes lept like a gazelle for the ball and the pack drove the talented Jason White over.

Minutes later Grimes ran almost the length of the pitch, only to pass to White when he might have scored himself.

Scorers: Caledonia Reds - Shepherd 3p Easson 1dg White 1t. Treviso - Sherrell 3p.

Caledonia Reds: R Shepherd; S Longstaff (D Officer), P Rouse, A Carruthers (M Fraser), J Kerr; B Easson, D Patterson; J Manson (D Herrington), G Scott, S Penman (W Anderson), J White, S Grimes, D McIvor, M Waite(G Flockhart), R Wainwright (capt).

Treviso: P Dotto; M Perzanio, F Mazzariol, M Dallan (P Donati), L Manteri (D Dallan); L Sherrell, A Troncon (capt); M Sie (N Demenenghi), A Moscardi, G Gorza, V Crostofoletto (D Scaglia), C Checchinato, L Stewart, J Gardner, A Sgorlon.

Referee: M D Gillet (France).