AT least one stand-off from Gala called Gregor is getting some plaudits this week, with Gregor Hunter being selected as a shoo-in for The Offside Line’s Premiership dream team following a masterful performance in Currie Chieftains’ impressive victory over Hawick at Malleny Park.
That means Colin Sturgeon of Marr, Jamie Loomes of Edinburgh Accies and two-try Sam Knudson of Aberdeen Grammar are all unlucky to miss out.
Hunter’s half-back partner is 18-year-old Sandy Greig, who had some nice touches and was an assured presence in his first start for Glasgow Hawks, despite his team coming up short at Riverside Park.
The centre positions were fiercely competitive this week. Tom Aplin of Aberdeen Grammar gets the No 12 slot as a fulcrum in both attack and defence for his side in their convincing win on the road at Philiphaugh, and he also kicked 14 of his team’s 44 points, which means Adam Hall of Currie Chieftains, Richard Mill of Edinburgh Accies and Conor Bickerstaff of Marr are unfortunate exclusions on the occasion .
Steven Hamilton of Currie Chieftains edges in ahead of Robert Wilson of Edinburgh Accies and Gregor Paxton of Marr at outside centre.
Gregor Tait of Musselburgh came close to getting the nod on the left wing after a busy afternoon in which he looked dangerous for the Stoneyhill men despite his side being up against it, but he misses out to Jackson Baillie of GHA,who score a good try, made two try-saving tackles and was, according to our reporter Iain Hay, “unbelievably brave in the tackle when he’s built like the side of a fiver”.
Meanwhile, Jed-Forest’s Callum Young has been unlucky to miss out on selection to the Dream Team during the first two rounds of the season due to the scintillating form of Aberdeen’s Nathan Brown on the right wing, but finally gets his long overdue selection after another two tries against Glasgow Hawks this week to go joint top of the league’s try-scoring chart
Yet another Gregor – this time Gregor Ness of Marr – scored two well-taken tries and was named man-of-the-match in his team’s victory over GHA so is handed the No 15 jersey.
This weekend’s Premiership match reports:
It was a pretty miserable day for Hawick at Malleny Park, but they can take some solace from the selection of Dale Johnston at loose-head (he played on the tight side last season) after he thrived in the scrum battle against a big Chieftains pack, which is good news for the Borderers given the likelihood of a prolonged absence of talismanic captain Shawn Muir, whose injured knee goes under the surgeon’s knife today.
An honourable mention is due to Andrew Cook of Aberdeen Grammar, who might have got the loose-head spot after an excellent start against Selkirk, but then picked up a dead leg just before half-time.
Cook’s front-row comrade Ben Inglis does. however, get selected at hooker for his outstanding performance in their fine win on the road. Calvin Henderson is at tight-head after another solid performance as the anchor of a powerful Marr pack.
The consistently excellent Mike Vernel of Chieftains is in the second-row alongside Angus Inwood of Edinburgh Accies.
Dario Ewing, who is ostensibly a hooker, was a buzz-bomb at open-side flanker of GHA and must have ended the match with a huge tackle-count so deserves selection, but the No 7 jersey has to go to Edinburgh Accies captain Jamie Sole, who returned to action after being in New York during the first two weeks of the season and was a massive influence in his team’s big victory over Musselburgh.
Mackenzie Pearce of Marr is once again named at blind-side flanker.
Jed-Forest have been battling their way through a fairly significant injury crisis in the pack during these opening weeks of the season, but seem to be over the worst of it. The return of Dom Buckley – who previously played centre for Hawick before shifting to the back-row at Jed – after missing last week provided the Riverside club with a real boost. Against Hawks, the No 8 was prominent in both attack and defence but it was his eye for the gap and adroit handling that made him man-of-the-match.
15. Gregor Ness (Marr)
14. Callum Young (Jed Forest)
13. Steven Hamilton (Currie Chieftains)
12. Tom Aplin (Aberdeen Grammar)
11. Jackson Baillie (GHA)
10. Gregor Hunter (Currie Chieftains)
9. Sandy Greig (Glasgow Hawks)
1. Dale Johnstone (Hawick)
2. Ben Inglis (Aberdeen Grammar)
3. Calvin Henderson (Marr)
4. Mike Vernel (Currie Chieftains)
5. Angus Inwood (Edinburgh Accies)
6. Mackenzie Pearce (Marr)
7. Jamie Sole (Edinburgh Accies)
8. Dom Buckley (Jed-Forest)