10 talking points from round 12 of the Tennent’s Premiership

Ayr and Melrose edge tight wins to keep themselves on track for home play-offs, Heriot's move up to third place with a comfortable win at home to Edinburgh Accies and Currie Chieftains come unstuck at Mansfield

Russell Anderson
Russell Anderson on the charge for Melrose against Watsonians. Image: Douglas Hardie
  • Still top of the league, but Ayr left it very late against Stirling County at Bridgehaugh – and they were maybe lucky to get away with it.  Their line-out was poor and they struggled throughout to contain the aggressive young home pack. They will need to sharpen up for Heriots’ visit to Millbrae next week.


  • Melrose did enough in a fiercely competitive match against Watsonians at the Greenyards to keep themselves within a bonus point of the league leaders, Ayr. Watonians boxed clever to frustrate their driving maul but man-of-the-match Russel Anderson still managed to bag a couple of tries from driven ball. Tight-head Connor Young did well filling in as a ‘dressing room’ replacement for James Head in the second0row. Not a vintage performance – but job done.


  • A comfortable enough bonus point win for Heriot’s against Edinburgh Accies at Goldenacre. They came out all guns blazing  and bossed the game throughout – but they did struggle a bit with the scoreboard either side of half-time. Young second-row Charlie Jupp played well both in the line-out and about the field,  whilst Callum Marshall showed willing as ever when he came off the bench.


  • Mansfield Park is not the sort of place you want to be on a dank December afternoon when your scrum is not working – as Currie Chieftains found to their cost on Saturday.  They have maybe been papering over that crack all season  but it blew up in their faces big style against a tight Hawick pack – and corroded the rest of their game. Their decision making was capricious – their ball retention was wayward – they could not convert pressure into points – and their discipline was atrocious. A critical game against Stirling County next up – Ben Cairns has some work to do this week.



  • Good stuff and 22 unanswered points in the first 30 minutes for  Boroughmuir against Glasgow Hawks at Meggetland, but they dropped their intensity disappointingly after the break – though a late flourish did secure the bonus point. A crackerjack performance from Jordon Edmunds who clearly relished his move into the centre – and could easily be kept there for the big game across the road at Myreside next week.



  • Organisation, discipline and good old-fashioned grit won the day for Hawick against Currie Chieftains at Mansfield. Shawn Muir was immense in the scrum and Bruce McNeil dogged it out – but it was the young guns who really caught the eye. Andrew Mitchell showed phenomenal pace to get back to make a crucial early tackle which set the tone for the match, the outstanding Drew Davison was into everything – and Stuart Graham was in there with him every step of the way. A hugely encouraging performance  – but now they need to transpose this form up the A7 – and Glasgow Hawks at Balgray next week would be as good a place as any to engender the process.



  • After their 71-12 drubbing in September, and with a spate of injuries, it was difficult to see Edinburgh Accies taking anything from their match against Heriot’s – but they defended enthusiastically – and kept the score line semi-respectable – and Derek O’Riordan blithely defiant.

14-man Glasgow stun Scarlets with inspired display