SWINDON St George may have begun their season in defeat but captain George Cowley described their performance against Somerset Vikings as “very encouraging”.

Two first-half tries from Jakob Kauusberrg and one from Reece Kinnett gave St George a 16-4 lead at the break. After the interval, Vikings came roaring back into the contest, scoring two quick-fire tries before Swindon responded with one of their own through Cowley. After that Somerset took control, adding three more scores to finish 34-20 victors.

Cowley was far from despondent despite his side’s defeat and praised the character of a St George team, which featured a lot of new faces.

“The team ethic was fantastic, I couldn’t fault the commitment,” Cowley told the Advertiser.

“In the first half we were beating them, physically we much bigger than they were, we were winning the collision point for 80 per cent of the game. Though in the heat sheer muscle doesn’t win, we lacked that pace in attack and as people got tired they got a couple of late tries.

“First half we were three tries up, basically it was there for us to take after the half. They scored in the first 10 minutes of the second half and we had an adrenaline dump.

“That last quarter our fitness showed through as an issue, and we became less effective in attack than we were in the first half and started making silly offloads and chasing the game.

“It was very encouraging, at no point did a head go down, we were complimented by the opposition on our attitude. Historically for St George, from what I know, morale has collapsed in defeat, that’s not happening in this team, they kept coming and coming and coming.”

It is too early to read into any placings in the West of England Premier League but St George’s return to action after a break this weekend is against last season’s title winners, Cheltenham Old Patesians, who beat Oxford Cavaliers in their first game.

For that fixture St George will be buoyed by the availability of two of their Dorset & Wilts rugby union players, Matty Dickens and Killian Spain.