Premiership talking points from Saturday 29th February

Things are getting a bit clearer at the top of the table, but the relegation battle looks set to go down to the wire

Aaron Purewal makes a first for glory – but his team, ultimately, came up short against Musselburgh at Braidholm. Photographer: Colin Robinson
Aaron Purewal makes a first for glory – but his team, ultimately, came up short against Musselburgh at Braidholm. Photographer: Colin Robinson
  • With their game against Hawks being switched from Fullarton to the 3G pitch at Marr College because of flooding, Marr did enough in very difficult weather conditions to keep themselves in pole position for this season’s Premiership ‘Blue Riband’. Too many scoring opportunities squandered – and the deciding try was maybe fortuitous – but a win is a win – and that is all that is needed at this stage of the season.

 

 

  • With their nine try demolition of Aberdeen at Mansfield, Hawick took their winning run to nine league games stretching all the way back to Glasgow Hawks on 19th October. Shawn Muir put in a huge shift – and they were much too strong for the visitors up front. Ali Weir played well at fly-half, kicking beautifully from hand and mixing the game up adroitly. Reserve hooker Callum Renwick seconded into the back-row was a revelation, grabbing two excellent tries. Andrew Mitchell and Wiann Griebenow dominated the middle of the park – with Ronan McKean looking very dangerous on the ball – and youngsters Mully Bannerman and Bailey Donaldson impressing from the bench. Home advantage in the play-offs is probably gone – but on this form, it is a brave man who would bet against them anyhow.

This weekend’s Premiership match reports:

GHA v Musselburgh: penalty try puts the seal on valuable away win

Currie Chieftains v Jed-Forest: Malleny men hold their nerve to stay on track for a home play-off

Edinburgh Accies undo their own efforts and drop to the bottom

Marr v Glasgow Hawks: hosts tough it out but visiting bonus point could be key

Hawick v Aberdeen Grammar: Greens blow away lacklustre visitors


  • Poor stuff from a makeshift Aberdeen Grammar at Mansfield saw their play-off prospects disintegrate. Their scrum was in trouble from the off – and they just could not find a way into the game – though, in fairness, they were not helped by a very soft yellow card from a particularly finicky referee.

 

  • Jed-Forest were well worth their try bonus at Malleny and they could maybe have taken more from the game. 19 points down within the opening 13 minutes, they fought their way right back into it – but not for the first time this season a needless yellow-card thwarted their efforts.

 

  • On a filthy day at Braidholm, with the match switched to the artificial and badly exposed training pitch, Musselburgh tailored their game to the unpleasant conditions – big scrums, attacking round the corner, tackling every thing that moved. Old heads Michael Maltman and Colin Arthur really stepped up to the plate for a hard-earned victory which should be just about enough to keep them clear of the automatic relegation slot.
  • Only 8-3 down to Musselburgh at half time and with the wind at their backs in the second half, GHA must have fancied their chances of putting clear daylight between themselves and relegation – but it just did not happen. Scrummed out of it.

 

  • Glasgow Hawks fought tooth and nail against Marr to earn a losing bonus point which could possibly become critical. With heroic defence into a strong wind in the second half, it was, according to Andy Hill, as it has so often been this season, down to ‘fine margins’ – and because, as has tended to be the case all season, these margins went the other way, they now find themselves very much on the edge of the relegation precipice – with the crunch game away to Accies on 7th March.

 

How it stands –

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David Barnes
About David Barnes 1985 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.