10 THINGS TO TAKE AWAY FROM ROUND 13 OF THE BT PREMIERSHIP 

Image: Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
  • Melrose march on with their peerless demolition of Gala. Injury concerns at half-back have been well allayed by young Struan Hutchison and the outstanding Craig Jackson.

 

  • Having got out of jail against Hawick yesterday, and survived a leaden second-half at Netherdale last week, Ayr know as they head to The Greenyards on Saturday that they will need to up their game dramatically if they want to reclaim top spot.

 

  • For the second week running, Hawks won ugly and yet still grabbed a bonus point – but they were very lucky to get away with it. Finlay Gillies will not be looking for a card from referee Keith Allen this Christmas!

 

  • In a tight game against Boroughmuir, Heriots did what they needed to do to stay in contention for the fourth play-off place – which will probably come down to their game at home to Currie on 14 January. Which  also happens to be a chance for the Goldenacre men to become only the second team ever to get their name engraved on the Bill McLaren Shield. Callum Marshall is a consistently good player for them.

 

  • Bonus point win for Currie at Stirling closes gap with Heriots to only one point. Slow start but confident finish – they feel good about their own fitness levels.

 

  • If Marcus Di Rollo and Simon Taylor were any more laidback they would be horizontal – but they must have pressed the right buttons for Watsonians at half-time on Saturday. A huge second half against Hawks – nobody hiding – nobody looking for excuses – a colossal contribution from Rory Drummond – and two vital bonus points. A declaration of intent maybe?  Survival will be tough, however, with Melrose and Ayr both to come – and both away.

 

  • Stirling again snatched defeat from the jaws of victory against Currie. Now in the drop zone – and like Watsonians they have Melrose and Ayr to come – but both at home.

 

  • Boroughmuir had their chances against Heriots but could not take them. Hawick at Meggetland next week is now a must-win for them.

 

  • Under-powered set piece, high error count, flaky defence and Gregor Hunter’s recurring hip injury. Not much going for Gala at The Greenyards – but at least they know what they are going to have to do, and that of the five clubs in the drop zone they have the easier run-in.

 

  • Tremendous performance but heart-breaking result at Ayr leaves Hawick with an interesting selection dilemma: Do they reinstate the old guard, presumably reinvigorated by their jolly jaunt to Barbados? Or do they stick with the young guns who are clearly prepared to play for the jersey? Whatever – two vital bonus points yesterday.

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David Barnes
About David Barnes 1368 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Herald/Sunday Herald, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.