2023 Super Series Championship: Round 12 Dream Team

Heriot's and Watsonians dominate selection with five players each

Lewis Wells is one of five Heriot's players in this week's Super Series Dream Team. Image: Peter Watt
Lewis Wells is one of five Heriot's players in this week's Super Series Dream Team. Image: Peter Watt

IT was a tough week for Stirling Wolves who followed up their one-sided win over the Future XV with two big losses to Heriot’s and Watsonians, both of whom showed they are peaking well at the business end of the season with performances that must rank among their best of the season. As a result these two teams dominate our selection this week.

At full-back, Dom Coetzer produced several electrifying breaks from deep, and his incisions through the Wolves defence set up a significant number of chances for his team. He wins selection over Euan Muirhead, who scored another try, and Luca Bardelli, who completes the trio of full-backs who caught the eye and reminded us size is not everything in the No 15 jersey.

On the wings, the Heriots pair Lewis Wells and Jack Blain complete our back three selection. Blain added two more tries to his four last week, while Wells was one of only six players to start both games for Heriot’s, and he dominated the Future XV with a hat-trick of his own.


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Inside them, Grant Hughes scored in both the Heriot’s games, and although he went off injured in the first half against the Future XV, he had already done enough across the two games to seal his selection. Beside him is the excellent George Pringle who finished off an excellent Watsonians try and looked a threat every time he had the ball in his hands. The understated Chris Elliott and the highly promising Kerr Yule and Duncan Munn all had their moments in their games, but the competition at centre is tough at the moment.

Although Connor McAlpine and Fin Campbell both continued their recent run of fine form at scrum-half, it is hard to look past Kaleem Barreto, who keeps his place in the team from last week after another all action performance kept the Bears in the game at Millbrae.

Who to select at stand off? Craig Jackson again showed his vision in setting up Ross McKnight’s try for the Wolves at Myreside with a delightful grubber, and the veteran Ross Jones contributed significantly in creating and converting tries in both Heriot’s games, but Jason Baggott wins selection for the first time this season with his all-round distribution and confident kicking for Watsonians.

With the way Super Series sides tend to play, props don’t really get a chance to excel in the art of scrummaging and those who stand out tend to be those who make ground with ball in hand. In addition, Ayrshire Bulls, who have a fine stable of props, have got into the habit this year of rotating them at half-time which gives players only 40 minutes to impress, but Calvin Henderson did enough in his time on the pitch to win selection on the tight side this week, while young Craig Davidson, who played Scotland under 20s last season received rousing appreciation after a strong 77 minute performance in front of the Myreside support.

Between them it was good to see Jerry Blyth-Lafferty of the Future XV, in only his third game of the season, beginning to hit the heights he demonstrated last season for Scotland Under-20s and the Bears, with a strong set-piece performance against Heriot’s. For that he holds off Alex McGuire who did much to ensure a misfiring Bulls side got the win against the Bears.

Charlie Jupp looks to have recovered the outstanding form he showed early season before an injury in week two caused him to miss five games. Playing at six against the Wolves and at five against the Future XV, he was both strong in the set-piece and consistently involved in open play so is an easy choice for us. His team mate Jamie Campbell could easily have joined him with two good performances as he continued his 100 performances start record for Heriots this season, while Alfie Scopes and substitute Tom Smith, both with try-scoring contributions for their respective teams, had their claims – but in the end the Bulls’ Rory Jackson wins the second spot in the boiler-house for his work-rate and strong mauling performance at Millbrae.

Competition in the back-row was tough this week with outstanding performances in all the games. Karl Main was both bulldog and terrier-like for Watsonians in the No 7 shirt, and Freddy Douglas again caught the eye for the Future XV, but his opposite number at Goldenacre, Sam Wallace, wins the shirt with two outstanding performances for his team in the space of four days. Where Chris Fusaro led in the professional game, Wallace might very well follow.

Ed Hasdell had a big impact in both the Wolves’ games, and could easily have won selection at No 8, as could Kwagga Van Niekerk for a superb 80 minutes against the Wolves, but Trystan Andrews was simply outstanding in defence for the Bears against Ayrshire Bulls.  If someone could keep that lad fit in the off season so he makes an impact from week one, his all round game would give him a real chance at a higher level in a Matt Fagerson type role.

Completing the back-row we’ve opted for Seb Cecil, not so much for his try within a minute of coming on as a half-time sub for Watsonians (which was a little fortuitous) but because his energy and work-rate seemed to inspire his forward colleagues to up their game in the second half, so that they turned a 7-10 half-time deficit into a 40-17 victory at the end. While Cecil was on the park they ‘won’ the game 33-7. That’s a big impact by anyone’s reckoning.

 

15. Dom Coetzer (Watsonians)

 

14. Lewis Wells (Heriots)

13. George Pringle (Watsonians)

12. Grant Hughes (Heriot’s)

11. Jack Blain  (Heriot’s)

 

10. Jason Baggott (Watsonians)

9. Kaleem Barreto (Boroughmuir Bears)

 

 

1. Craig Davidson (Watsonians)

2.  Jerry Blyth-Lafferty (Future XV)

3. Calvin Henderson (Ayrshire Bulls)

4. Charlie Jupp (Heriot’s)

5. Rory Jackson (Ayrshire Bulls)

6. Seb Cecil (Watsonians)

7. Sam Wallace (Heriot’s)

8. Trystan Andrews (Boroughmuir Bears)


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About David McAdam 18 Articles
David has been watching club rugby round Scotland for more years than he can remember. Currently working for a charity supporting people returning to community after time in prison, Saturday afternoons are time to himself, standing behind posts, somewhere in the West of Scotland watching the progress of young Scottish players & enjoying the banter of local rugby people.