- 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.
- It was not plain sailing for Currie Chieftains against Jed at Malleny – but they picked up what could be a priceless bonus point when it comes to home advantage in the play-offs. Skipper Fergus Scott was outstanding up front and Gregor Hunter marked his return to action by managing the game adeptly, pulling it back and screwing it firmly down when things started to drift mid-way through the second half.
- 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:
- 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.
- Edinburgh Accies failed to cope with Selkirk’s physicality at Raeburn Place and compounded the problem with a glut of unforced handling errors – so leaving themselves with a what looks like a straight shoot-out between themselves and Hawks to avoid automatic relegation.
How it stands –