Rangers rounded off a forgettable campaign with a comfortable win against St Mirren. 

Goals from Fashion Sakala and Antonio Colak sealed the victory for Michael Beale’s outfit. 

It was a pleasant afternoon SMiSA Stadium, although deceptively cold, as fans of both clubs packed out the ground the wave goodbye to the players and staff for the summer. 

The match certainly has an end-of-season feel to it, with most involved clearly ready for their holidays.  

Here are five things we learned in Paisley… 

Ending a hellish season on a high for Gers 

The 2022/23 campaign is not one that will be remembered fondly by all connected to Rangers. Trophyless and humiliated in Europe. Of course, Celtic are on the brink of securing another domestic treble to their collection. It’s been a painful season and all of the fans will be happy to see the back of it. Beale said himself that it would be a case of “good riddance” when speaking to the media last week. Now is when the real work begins for him and his staff after a short period off before pre-season starts at the end of next month. But while it’s been a tough campaign to endure, these last few weeks have provided an ideal opportunity for Beale to shift out the players who will no longer be at the club beyond the summer and give minutes to those who he wanted a closer look at. Ridvan Yilmaz, Rabbi Matondo, and Ianis Hagi probably being the prime example. As for this game specifically, Rangers were never really under any threat of losing the match. It was very relaxed, they could’ve scored more but ultimately neither team got out of first gear as they saw it out. There were still some nice interchanges and attacking flurries on display, though, which could point to how Beale intends to set up next term. The fans haven’t been given much to shout about, so they’ll have appreciated one final win to ensure the result didn’t stew over the summer. 

Ianis Hagi false nine role 

The Romanian was handed another start by Beale as he was afforded the chance to prove what he could do with a short run in the side. He had a lively start as he drifted in the inside right and left positions, switching depending on where fellow attacker Todd Cantwell found himself. He flashed a dangerous ball across the face of the goal but there were no takers for a tap-in after only three minutes. It became very obvious that Hagi was fulfilling the false nine role up top with no recognised striker in the team. Antonio Colak was named on the bench, with Alfredo Morelos not involved at all, and believed to be out the country. Hagi’s match did die down somewhat, with the pace of the game very slow. He picked up the ball in some advanced areas of the pitch, but his final pass was lacking on more than one occasion, as he didn’t receive the ball as much as he’d have liked. He did do a power of work off the ball though, tracking his runners and doing his defensive duties. It remains to be seen whether he has a part to play in the squad rebuild.

McCrorie steady, but not an ideal test 

Beale has been as good as his word regarding Robby McCrorie’s involvement in the team over the past month. Aside from the recent 2-2 draw Rangers played out with Hearts, he's played in all of the top six fixtures. He was absolutely given a stiff test in most of those games, showing what he’s capable of as Beale weighs up his goalkeeping situation next term with both Allan McGregor and Jon McLaughlin leaving the club. However, the Ayrshire lad barely had anything to do in this one. He comfortably held a Mark O’Hara header around midway through the first half. Aside from that though, there were no other notable saves. With all of that said, another first-team game under his belt will do the keeper no harm. Whether he turns out to be the new No.1, with Jack Butland reportedly on the way in, that’s not to say that he won’t get a significant upturn in game time as a back-up. 

Buddies see out memorable campaign 

Stephen Robinson’s men achieved a top-six finish for the first time since the 80s this season. Undoubtedly, the Saints fans can be happy with their team’s efforts this year. They’re a club with a sense of great stability around them, all pulling in the right direction. While delighted to have secured their top-half finish in April, the message clearly was to set about the task of sneaking into the European positions. A combination of hard luck and some poor performances saw them fall just short of that goal, but the ambition for there. And that’s an admirable quality from those at the club's helm, both on the footballing side and behind the scenes. They will likely lose a couple of members of the squad. They will certainly have interest clubs in Keanu Baccus, Ryan Strain, and captain Mark O’Hara. Curtis Main and Charles Dunne are out of contract and are free to move on in the coming weeks. Robinson has already admitted that he couldn’t blame either of them for seeking one last big contract as they head toward the final years of their careers. But if the Buddies can build on where they’ve been this year, the consistency they’ve managed to showcase, they will be fine next term. A solid summer while seeing the club aiming for back-to-back top-six finishes. Maybe they can go that one step further. 

Lack of minutes to youth products 

The mantra from both Rangers, Celtic, and Hearts is that B teams are needed to help improve the national team. Since the Hoops were crowned champions in early May, only two starts had been afforded to young Scots in either of the Old Firm sides, Leon King. Considering the amount of dead rubbers that have taken place over the past three weeks, that’s really poor. At least Rangers have given some minutes to King, but it totally debunks the idea that their Colt teams are meant to be a benefit to anyone else apart from the clubs involved. Both King and Adam Devine were given some game time in the final 20-minutes or so against St Mirren. But why did they not start? This is before we even mention Bailey Rice or Alex Lowry who remained on the bench. There was nothing to lose and the game was so relaxed that it would’ve been a perfect opportunity to do so. I’m afraid there’s no positive spin for either club to put on it. If they can’t afford opportunities to their best young products in a meaningless game, then when can they?