Super Series Sprint: Heriot’s fend off Boroughmuir Bears fightback

Hosts fail to turn second half pressure into suchificent points to pick up win over capital city rivals

Heriot's got the better of Boroughmuir at Meggetland. Image: Steve Langmead
Heriot's got the better of Boroughmuir at Meggetland. Image: Steve Langmead

Boroughmuir Bears 19

Heriot’s 28

COLIN RENTON @ Meggetland

HERIOT’S bagged a bonus-point win over a youthful Boroughmuir Bears side, with most of the damage done in the opening half-hour. For the home side, there was a sense of frustration that their pressure, particularly in the second period, had not been rewarded. However, the main observation from this encounter was that the tournament is producing rugby of a decent quality, and the teams are increasingly offering opportunities to youngsters.

Afterwards, Heriot’s coach Ben Cairns was keen to praise his men for the things they did well, saying: “I thought the way we started the game was really impressive. We had massive control at the start, we played in the right areas.”

However, he also acknowledged that there were some areas of concern, adding: “We took our foot off the gas, the discipline went a bit and we started chasing things. We started doing things off script and on our own and that led to problems. Then we struggled second half, we struggled to get any momentum and control back.”

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Cairns was honest in admitting that Heriot’s had benefited from some refereeing decisions that could have gone against them. That was also the view of Bears coach Graham Shiel, who was annoyed by some of the officiating. That said, his assessment of the game was largely positive and confirmation that his squad is developing, despite the outcome.

“It was frustrating in the first half. We conceded soft scores, which is always going to make it an uphill struggle against teams in this competition. However, we had a bit of play in the first half and we got something out of it. The second half was probably more of a concern in terms of the dominance we had and the reality is we didn’t get the reward for that,” he said.

“We’ve got to be realistic about where we are. We are working hard and making progress with a very tight squad. The guys physically are stepping up to the mark and imposing themselves, which is really pleasing and is something we’ve struggled with in the past. The spirit within the group is good, the desire, the hunger and the willingness to be better is there.”

The visitors struck early, pouncing on an error in the home ranks to open the scoring in two minutes. Bears lock Josh King gathered at a defensive lineout but, as the ball was moved along the line a spillage in front of the home posts handed possession to Heriot’s, who spun the ball wide to where Matt Davidson was on hand to dart in. Bruce Houston banged over the conversion.

The Goldenacre men came close to extending the lead but Wallace Nelson was foiled just short of the whitewash. In response, Bears gradually came into the game, with both Mason Cullen and Trystan Andrews asking questions of the opposition defence.

However, after Houston was just wide with a long-range penalty attempt, the visitors struck again when Cam Jones took a quick penalty on halfway and his offload freed Mikey Gray to scamper in, with Houston again converting.

The hosts were unable to make an impression on the scoreboard and they fell further behind after 27 minutes when Houston offloaded to Charlie Jupp who shunted aside an attempted tackle and galloped over for the try, leaving Houston a simple conversion.

The reply came quickly. A line-out on the away side’s 22 created the platform for Bears to bag a score, with the ball tapped back to Brodie Young who fed Scott Robeson and he stepped inside then outside to finish in style, with Andy McLean adding the extras.

Bears ended the half in the ascendancy but failed to add to their points tally, the closest they came being the final play of the half when Jupp held up King over the line.


The hosts came out firing for the second period and after 13 minutes of sustained pressure, finally managed to breach a solid Heriot’s defence. A penalty booted into touch was followed by a powerful surge from Corey Tait, with Young taking the recycled ball and feeding Cullen to dot down in the corner. Another 15 minutes of momentum proved fruitless and with 10 minutes to play the score line was unchanged.

One score was scant reward for such a lengthy period in the ascendancy. Heriot’s celebrated having escaped relatively lightly by mounting their first serious attack of the half with a penalty to touch followed by a drive that ended with Iain Wilson extending his exceptional scoring run by bagging a seventh score in four matches. Houston thumped over the touchline conversion to leave Bears needing three scores.

They set about achieving that goal with another string of attacks. The Heriot’s defence held firm, although their growing desperation led to a string of penalties that earned Jupp a yellow and could easily have cost a penalty try. Eventually the hosts did fine a route through, with Arthur Allen applying the final touch. Tom Quinlan’s conversion proved to be the final points of the match, leaving Bears empty-handed.


Teams –

Boroughmuir Bears: C Ramm (A Scott 70); M Cullen, A Thom, S Robeson, J Jenkins; A McLean (T Quinlan 61), B Young (R Swan 61); I Carmichael (B Sweet 70), C Tait (A Allen 70), M Goodwin (M McGinley 55), J King (K Westlake 66), J Fisher, C Keddie©, S McGinley, T Andrews (S Whittaker 66).

Heriot’s: D King; J Couper, M Davidson, G Hughes, M Gray (B Evans 40); B Houston (M Russell 70), C Jones (E McAra 70); C Keen (J Scott 64), M Liness (C Fenton 53), E McLaren (C Ramsay 50), C Jupp, R Seydak, W Nelson (C Cobbett 40), I Wilson©, C Anderson (E McVie 50).

Referee: Ross Mabon.


Scorers –

Boroughmuir: Tries – Robeson, Cullen, Allen. Cons – McLean, Quinlan.

Heriot’s: Tries – Davidson, Gray, Jupp, Wilson. Cons – Houston 4.

Scoring sequence (Boroughmuir Bears first): 0-5, 0-7, 0-12, 0-14, 0-19, 0-21, 5-21, 7-21 (h-t) 12-21, 12-26, 12-28, 17-28, 19-28.


Yellow card –

Heriot’s: Jupp.


Man-of-the-Match: It was a close run thing, but a sparkling first half effort and solid second half contribution earned Cam Jones the nod over his Heriot’s team-mate Charlie Jupp.

Talking point: Another high-scoring affair, but once again it was the defences that dictated the outcome.

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About Colin Renton 246 Articles
Colin has been a freelance writer on various subjects for more than 20 years. He covers rugby at all levels but is particularly passionate about the game at grass roots. As a fluent French speaker, he has a keen interest in rugby in France and for many years has reported on the careers of Scots who have moved across the Channel. He appreciates high quality, engaging writing that is thought provoking, and hopes that some of his work fits that bill!


  1. There will be a great advert for all of Scottish rugby at Murrayfield next Saturday at the Scottish Cup Final.

    • Why are these finals not on BBC Alba ?
      The womens final is .
      Cmon SRU .get your act together and do something for Scottish rugby .it’s not all about pro rugby
      This is your chance to promote Prem and National league rugby .
      But as usual your making an arrsse of it .
      Why are all the finals not on International pitch? …..ridiculous decision not to


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