PLENTY of competition for the No 1 jersey this week, with that man Shawn Muir once again getting the nod after leading Hawick in a commanding 50 point demolition of Aberdeen Grammar at Mansfield Park, which means Gary Strain of Glasgow Hawks and two-try Luke Pettie of Selkirk are left fighting it out for a bench spot.
There’s another familiar face in Fergus Scott of Currie Chieftains is at hooker, whose contribution covered all the bases of throwing, tackling, powerful running and exceptional leadership against Jed-Forest. The front-row is completed by Colin Arthur, who was at the forefront for Musselburgh in their excellent away win at GHA.
Mike Vernel was excellent as always in open play and at line-out time for Currie Chieftains so gets the nod in the engine-room alongside Jamie McCarthy of GHA, who made life difficult for Musselburgh at line-out time and put in a big shift at the coal face.
The battle for the No 6 jersey was even more fierce than at loose-head, with Jed-Forest’s Donald Grieve, Glasgow Hawks’ Stephen Leckey, Marr’s Mackenzie Pearce and two-try hooker-convert Callum Renwick of Hawick all making compelling cases for selection, but Michael Maltman was man-of-the-match for Musselburgh as they picked up another vital win to keep their Premiership survival quest on track.
Jamie Sole was a warrior in a losing cause for Edinburgh Accies against Selkirk so gets the open-side slot, while Ewan MacDougall of Selkirk was into everything and picked up a try for good measure to claim the No 8 jersey.
Jack Preston of Marr is at scrum-half, just ahead of Danny Owenson of Musselburgh, while Gregor Hunter was a commanding presence for Currie Chieftains, which edges him ahead of Hawick’s Ali Weir.
In the centre, Wiaan Griebenow was a dominant force in the middle of the park for Hawick and Rory Watt of Musselburgh was a brick wall in defence and made good decisions going forward in difficult conditions at Braidholm. Honourable mentions are due to Andrew Michell, also of Hawick, Paul Cunningham, also of Musselburgh, and the Glasgow Hawks duo of Erland Oag and Callum Harrison, who all showed up well in midfield.
Ronan McKean was always a threat and scored a good try on the right wing for Hawick, and Max Priestly also got on the scorecard and asked questions on meagre rations on the left wing for Glasgow Hawks versus Marr.
Henry Bithray of Selkirk is at full-back, just ahead of Lewis Young of Jed-Forest, Greg Montgomery of Marr and James Ferguson of Musselburgh.
15. Henry Bithray (Selkirk)
14. Ronan McKean (Hawick)
13. Rory Watt (Musselburgh)
12. Wiaan Griebenow (Hawick)
11. Max Priestly (Glasgow Hawks)
10. Gregor Hunter (Currie Chieftains)
9. Jack Preston (Marr)
1. Shawn Muir (Hawick)
2. Fergus Scott (Currie Chieftains)
3. Colin Arthur (Musselburgh)
4. Mike Vernel (Currie Chieftains)
5. Jamie McCarthy (GHA)
6. Michael Maltman (Musselburgh)
7. Jamie Sole (Edinburgh Accies)
8. Ewan MacDougall (Selkirk)