Premiership Dream Team – 18th January 2020

Musselburgh's big home win over Jed-Forest is recognised with four players selected in this week's team, while Aberdeen Grammar, Currie Chieftains, Hawick and Marr are also well represented

Mike Vernel is named in the second-row after a 'gazelle-like' performance for Currie Chieftains in their big win over Glasgow Hawks. Image: Fraser Gaffney
Mike Vernel is named in the second-row after a 'gazelle-like' performance for Currie Chieftains in their big win over Glasgow Hawks. Image: Fraser Gaffney

FRASER SAYERS, an 18-year-old who has come through the ranks at Currie Chieftains, has managed to make the No 15 jersey his own at Malleny Park this season, impressing with his counter-attack ability and bravery in defence, so fully deserves his call-up at full-back this week.

Scott Bickerstaff‘s two tries in Marr’s hard-fought win at Selkirk earns him the right wing slot, just ahead of the impressive Lewis Ferguson of Hawick. On the left wing, Doug Russell of Aberdeen Grammar gets the nod.

There is loads of competition at centre, with Aberdeen Grammar duo of Murray Mitchell (sliced trough for one try, unlucky not to get a second plus uncompromising in defence) and Tom Aplin (excellent with the boot from hand and the tee) particularly worthy of a mention, but Adam Hall of Currie Chieftains (who linked up well in midfield with Ryan Southern as well as scoring a cracking try) and the consistently excellent Conor Bickerstaff of Marr edge it into the team.

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Sam Knudson of Aberdeen Grammar, Gregor Hunter of Currie Chieftains, Ali Weir of Hawick and Colin Sturgeon of Marr were their usual accomplished selves, but the No 10 jersey this week goes to Freddie Roddick, who came on at stand-off after seven minutes for Musselburgh and oozed class, gliding around the pitch like a Rolls Royce, taking the ball to the line when needed and breaching it on several occasions, scoring two tries into the bargain.

Danny Owenson once again showed excellent game management ability and was a constant threat round the edges of rucks so teams up with his Musselburgh team-mate at half-back.

Graeme Carson, with two tries for and a strong scrummaging performance for Currie Chieftains against Glasgow Hawks, made a strong case for selection at loose-head, but Shawn Muir also got a brace against Edinburgh Accies and continues to be highly influential in the loose and the tight in a Hawick side who are on a real roll at the moment.

Matt Carryer of Hawick edges out Fergus Scott of Currie Chieftains at hooker, and Colin Arthur battled through a lot of hard yards for Musselburgh to get the tight-head spot.

Not for the first time this season, there was a load of strong contenders for the second-row slots, and on this occasions the ‘gazelle-like’ Mike Vernel of Currie Chieftains and Robin Cessford of Aberdeen Grammar form an experienced boiler-room partnership, edging out Daniel Suddon of Hawick, Adam Barnett of GHA, Ewan Hamilton-Bulger of Marr and  Sean Rankin of Selkirk.

In the back-row, Jae Linton was part of an outstanding Hawick back-row effort, which dominated the breakdown against Edinburgh Accies, so gets the nod at blindside, with his brothers-in-arms Stuart Graham and Billy McNeil unlucky to miss ot on this occasions.

The open-side berth goes to Jonny Spence of Aberdeen Grammar, who not only made a huge number of tackles but did so with real aggression; while Musselburgh’s No 8 Luke Hutson had an outstanding work-rate both sides of the ball and was a constant thorn in Jed-Forest’s side so is selected ahead of Benedict Grant of Marr and Ewan MacDougall of Selkirk.

Premiership Match Reports:

Hawick v Edinburgh Accies: ‘The Green Machine’ rolls on

Musselburgh v Jed-Forest: rampant hosts reignite survival quest

GHA v Aberdeen Grammar: discipline and defence clinch away win

Marr move another step closer to securing top billing in the play-offs

Currie Chieftains v Glasgow Hawks: Malleny men rediscover their mojo

15. Fraser Sayers (Currie Chieftains)

14. Scott Bickerstaff (Marr) 

13. Adam Hall (Currie Chieftains)

12. Conor Bickerstaff (Marr)

11. Doug Russell (Aberdeen Grammar)

10. Freddie Roddick (Musselburgh)

9. Danny Owenson (Musselburgh)

1. Shawn Muir (Hawick) 

2.  Matty Carryer (Hawick) 

3. Colin Arthur (Musselburgh)

4. Mike Vernel (Currie Chieftains) 

5. Robin Cessford (Aberdeen Grammar) 

6. Jae Linton (Hawick)

7. Jonny Spence (Aberdeen Grammar) 

8. Luke Hutson (Musselburgh)

Premiership talking points from Saturday 18th January