- Ayr are ‘done and dusted’ as number one seed in the play-offs with a game in hand. ‘Job done in tricky conditions,’ was how Peter Murchie saw his team’s six try demolition of Glasgow Hawks at Millbrae, recognising fully that this boys had needed to work for their win – with a hat-trick of tries from man-of-the-match Paddy Dewhirst to add to the brace he grabbed at Mansfield last week.
- Currie Chieftains absolutely deserved their victory over Melrose at The Greenyards – but it was tighter than the score-line suggests, with a couple of very late tries adding a flattering gloss. They did, however, always look sharper in both attack and defence – and they kept their shape rigorously –despite Mike Vernel picking up another yellow card. Prompted by Gregor Hunter’s cultured boot and tactical nous, Fergus Scott, Thomas Gordon, Joe Reynolds, Robbie Nelson and Jamie Forbes rampaged all over the paddock – and Ben Robbins, Chris Davies, Matthew Hooks and Vince Wright all took their tries well. A great January for Chieftains – having put Heriots, Watsonians and now Melrose to the sword in consecutive weeks they have effectively claimed a home play-off slot – and nobody likes going to Malleny!
- Heriot’s had to work hard against Boroughmuir at Goldenacre in a game where the final score perhaps flattered them – and their stronger bench maybe gave them the crucial edge. They struggled to get any of their hallmark speed into their game in the first half but Ross Jones and Rob Kay defended well in the centre, while Boroughmuir had a fair spell in the ascendancy – but they came onto their game when fresh legs were introduced at the break. The bonus point kept alive their chance of a home play-off slot – though it is not a great chance – involving, as it does, a bonus point win at Mansfield – and Chieftains not collecting a bonus point against Accies at Malleny.
- Melrose put in a big but ultimately futile shift against Currie Chieftains at The Greenyards. Rowing against the tide is hard work – and their already stretched resources were pushed beyond the brink with second half injuries to Neil Irvine-Hess and Fraser Thomson. Time now to draw a line in the sand, regroup, rehabilitate the wounded and mobilise for the play-offs. And it is a brave man that would bet against them.
- Not much happening for Watsonians in an error strewn match on a sodden pitch at Raeburn Place against Edinburgh Accies. A disappointing denouement of an oscillatory campaign as they inexorably threw in the towel on any slim hope they might have had of making the play-offs.
- A cold windy day at Bridgehaugh where Stirling County picked up a bonus point win against Hawick without really playing to their undoubted potential. They scrummed well – Ali Mackie was all brute strength and aggression – Logan Trotter showed his class in both attack and defence – but they picked up a couple of concomitant yellow cards – and, overall, were not totally convincing.
- ‘Groundhog Day’ was how Peter Wright saw Boroughmuir’s performance against Heriot’s at Goldenacre. They gave as good as they got in the first half with the excellent Aubrey MnCube to the fore – but the wheels came off in the second half. ‘If you are missing a penalty in front of the posts, overthrowing line-outs when you are five meters from the line and making basic errors, you don’t deserve to win games,’ explained their exasperate coach – keenly aware that that is now three on the trot they have lost – and that they have still not beaten another Super 6 club.
- Another pretty miserable day for Hawick, this time against Stirling County at Bridgehaugh. Their scrum was under pressure again and they were discomfited by Stirling’s rush defence – but at least they kept the score respectable.
- Fin Gillies reckoned his Glasgow Hawks just could not match Ayr’s physicality – but he must have been encouraged by the commitment with which his young troops stood their ground in the face of heavy artillery. As a tough season draws to a close, the challenge must now be in keeping as many of the young bucks – Ross Thompson, Angus Fraser, Andrew Nimmo, Kaleem Barreto, Murray Godsman, Cammy Symes and Gavin Wilson – on board as is possible within the context of the proffered realignment of Scottish rugby.
- Another win for Edinburgh Accies when they beat Watsonians at Raeburn Place. Derek O’Riordan thought that they had played ‘bloody well’ and that they had ‘raised the energy levels ten or fifteen percent in the second half’. Stevie Lawrie acknowledged that ‘the better team won’ and that Accies were ‘hungrier and more disciplined’ than Watsonians. It maybe was not pretty but it was fair reward for the effort Jamie Sole has put in over the season — an effort epitomised by his resolute defence when his team were under the cosh in the closing stages.
Melrose v Currie Chieftains: Malleny Park men climb to second
Edinburgh Accies v Watsonians: Raeburn Place men defy odds again
Heriot’s v Boroughmuir: second half surge secures bonus point win for hosts
Stirling County v Hawick: hosts recover from slow start to bag comfortable win
Ayr v Glasgow Hawks: Paddy Dewhirst hat-trick sets up home win
” A disappointing denouement of an oscillatory campaign ”
A line worthy of Hugh McIlvanney, in the week the great journalist died.