ARDROSSAN Accies coach Andrew Duncan has shared his delight after watching his players set down a real marker in their first league match of the new rugby season.

A fine display of attacking rugby saw the Accies chalk up a 45-25 win away to Strathaven - something of an unknown quantity for Duncan and his players after the Lanarkshire side won promotion last season.

A brace of tries from Jamie Jack, as well as scores from Ruairidh Anderson, Andrew Buchanan, Scott Campbell and a penalty try, earned Accies a bonus point from Duncan's first match in charge - with Jack Anderson's six conversions and one penalty the icing on the cake.

Duncan told the Herald: “They’ve got a massive pack, I feel like we have quite a strong pack but they were big boys – so they gave us a real test up front.

“I think they’ll give a lot of teams a test up there, so the fact we’ve came away with a really strong win is good.

“Any first game is always going to be hard, you can play as many pre-season games as you want but nothing fully prepares you for the first league game.

“The fact we’ve had our first league game and went away from home and scored 45 points is a massive positive to build the season on."

The result was particularly pleasing for Duncan given the turnaround in the playing squad this year.

The manager added: “Hopefully that is something we can kick on from because we’re still gelling as a team, there’s a lot of new connections and young boys.

“There’s some guys who lost a lot of rugby when they were coming through that missed a lot of that development stage into senior rugby. They’re guys that are going to keep developing."

The performance of Jamie Jack was one which caught the eye, with the weekends opposition voting the outside centre man of the match.

It was a performance that the 23-year-old was pleased to put in having struggled with a string of injuries towards the end of his youth rugby career.

But as he made his first competitive first team start - he showed no signs of the time lost.

“He’s had a really good pre-season," Duncan added, "and was someone I was really excited to see in a game. He really stepped up and got two good tries.”

Jamie told the Herald: "It was an amazing feeling scoring two tries - it really set the bar for the squad and the excitement on everyone’s faces after scoring is worth it all.

"Coming back from injury I never thought I’d be playing at a first team level but through great coaching an good teammates I've come back.

"I was over the moon when that final whistle went at the weekend - it was brilliant - it’s a small step in the right direction for this season.

"We've just got to keep driving forward and keep the fitness up to keep up with the strong teams we’ll be coming up against."

The next test for the Accies is a more familiar opponent, with Kilmarnock visiting the Memorial Field at 3pm on Saturday, September 9.

Duncan is hoping that the game can be used to set a marker down for what the rest of the season will hold.

He commented: “It’s a team that finished above us in the league last year so it’s another one where we are trying to reverse that situation.

“Local derbies always bring a little bit of feistiness and tension which is hopefully something the boys will be up for.

“I’m really looking forward to it. Obviously it’s too early to tell anything, but with five games this month, we will really have a good idea of what we’re going to try and do this season by the end of September.

“We’ve got some high targets set and it only is going into game two but if we step up to the bars that we have set recently then I’m looking forward to a good performance.

“This stage of the season doesn’t define where you finish but the more points you pick up at the start the less pressure it is when you get towards the end because everything’s in your own hands.”