Super Series: continuity key as Heriot’s cruise past Watsonians

Classy hosts carve open Watsonians four times in a 20 minute spell in first half to take game out of site

Callum Anderson of Heriot's is tackled by Jason Baggott of Watsonians. Image: Malcolm Mackenzie
Callum Anderson of Heriot's is tackled by Jason Baggott of Watsonians. Image: Malcolm Mackenzie

Heriot’s 39

Watsonians 21

COLIN RENTON @ Goldenacre

HERIOT’S made an impressive start to the FOSROC Super Series Sprint with a comprehensive win over their city rivals. The visitors looked menacing in the opening few minutes, but had no answer when the Goldenacre men got going, carving open the away defence four times in a 20 minute spell to build a lead that they never looked likely to surrender. The visitors snatched a lifeline just before the break, but were unable to impose any real pressure on a home side brimming with pace until the closing minutes when two converted scores created a scoreline that suggested a closer game than was actually the case.   

Heriot’s coach Ben Cairns was happy with how the match had unfolded, saying: “I thought we came out the blocks pretty well. We had some nice bits of play, good accuracy, some decent offloads, good support lines and we were generally pretty clinical.”

He believes that continuity in the squad means Heriot’s are well-placed to benefit from the short, sharp nature of the tournament, adding: “The positive from our end is that we’ve got 21 guys who were with us last year and eight new signings – four of them trained with us last year, so we only have four new guys to get into the squad.”


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His Watsonians counterpart, Fraser Brown, was understandably annoyed about a spell in the first half that effectively killed off any chance of the win.

“It’s just frustration, we didn’t respect the ball in the first half and we had a bad 20-25 minutes,” he admitted. “To be fair to Heriot’s, they were really clinical. We gave them opportunities to score and they scored four, and that was the game.

“We came out after half time and controlled the ball a lot better. We had some good possession but didn’t turn it into points.”

However, he saw reasons for optimism, adding: “Two tries in the last five minutes was really pleasing. It shows what we can do. We go to Ayr on Friday night, so it’s a short turnaround, but that’s the nature of Super Series. The point of it is that it’s a higher level of club rugby so you have to learn, review and take your learnings then move on for next week. I’m confident that we will be better next week.”

Watsonians had an opportunity to open the scoring after two minutes. However, despite a sweet strike, Jason Baggott’s long-range penalty effort was just wide of the target.

Heriot’s celebrated that narrow escape with the first points of the afternoon. Sam Wallace pounced on a loose ball just inside the opposition half and fed Ruairidh Leishman who powered his way to the line, wrong-footing the last defender with a dummy. Liam Richman booted the conversion.

Leishman struck again four minutes later, this time profiting from a scything run by Matt Davidson who offloaded to the flanker to finish the job. Richman again converted.

Heriot’s offered another glimpse of their counter-attacking skills when Sam Pecqueur raced from deep to create an opportunity for Davidson to show his pace as he raced in at the corner for an unconverted score.

Watsonians’ plight was not helped by losing skipper Neil Irvine-Hess and Baggott (temporarily) after they appeared to clash heads as they tackled Lewis Wells. Normal service resumed shortly afterwards when Davidson combined with Fergus Wood to send Wallace over for the bonus point score.

And the gap widened after a penalty to touch and a catch by Leishman sparked a drive that ended with Cammy Fenton dotting down.

Shortly before half time, Watsonians offered themselves a glimmer of hope when Lewis Berg pounced to charge down an attempted clearance and gathered the loose ball to touch down and leave Baggott – back after repairs to his cut – added the additional points.

 

 

Baggott’s return had sparked some life into the away ranks and they made a decent start to the second period. However, they failed to add points. And any slender hopes they may have had of fighting back were snuffed out when Wallace raced into opposition territory and released Pecqueur to sprint over.

Watsonians had a brief spell in the ascendancy, with Josh Mitchell and Baggott breaking clear. But their efforts yielded no points and instead it was Heriot’s who stuck next, with six minutes to play, when Wells blasted down the left wing and passed inside for Christian Townsend to score the try.

The visitors clawed seven points back when Oliver Gordon burst clear, Mitchell continued the move and Hugh Flinn finished it off, with Baggott converting. And they had the final word when Dom Coetzer sprinted in for a converted score.

 

Teams –

Heriot’s: C Townsend; S Pecqueur, M Davidson, F Wood, L Wells; L Richman © (A Hunter 59), S Smith (E McAra 53) ; J Scott (M LIness 40), C Fenton (L Porter 59 (J Scott 65)) (, E McLaren (O Blyth-Lafferty 53), R Sendak, J Campbell, R Leishman (W Nelson 59), S Wallace (D Hood 59), C Anderson (J Hill 53).

Watsonians: D Coetzer; L Macpherson (R Coetzer 48), L Berg, F Thomson (S Clark 61), J Mitchell; J Baggott, M Scott (H Flinn 48); R Deans (C Davidson 61), F Duraj (G Parry 48), B Bratton (C Lamberton 61), K Watt (O Gordon 78), J Parkinson, L Ball, N Irvine-Hess © (S Cecil 22), K Van Niekerk.

Referee: David Sutherland

 

Scorers –

Heriot’s: Tries: Leishman 2, Davidson, Wallace, Fenton, Pecqueur, Townsend; Cons: Richman 2

Watsonians: Tries: Berg, Flinn, D Coetzer; Cons: Baggott 3.

Scoring sequence (Heriot’s first): 5-0; 7-0; 12-0; 14-0; 19-0; 24-0; 29-0; 29-5; 29-7 (h-t) 34-7; 39-7; 39-12; 39-14; 39-19; 39-21.

 

Man-of-the-Match: There were numerous contenders in the home ranks, with Ruaridh Leishman, Josh Scott and Matt Davidson each having solid claims. However, the man who pipped that duo was Sam Wallace, who was dynamic with ball in hand, solid in defence and a try scorer.

Talking point: Playing the tournament in more favourable conditions means the matches should feature plenty of running rugby to keep crowds entertained, while also allowing players to produce plenty of running rugby.


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About Colin Renton 292 Articles
Colin has been a freelance writer on various subjects for more than 20 years. He covers rugby at all levels but is particularly passionate about the game at grass roots. As a fluent French speaker, he has a keen interest in rugby in France and for many years has reported on the careers of Scots who have moved across the Channel. He appreciates high quality, engaging writing that is thought provoking, and hopes that some of his work fits that bill!

9 Comments

  1. Ah little mouse i said i’d be at The Raeburn, and i was. I’d recommend the food, delicious. The family and i arrived shortly after the Heriots game.

    You did not respond to me when i asked how i’d recognise you in the previous article, the fault for us not meeting is yours sadly. Always happy to have a debate.

    It’s Raeburn place btw. I suggest in future you show some respect towards Accies 😎.

    Ps – The crowd at the Heriots/Watsons game was more than double that of the Accies/Marr game i’ve gauged after speaking to the good folk at the Raeburn. Whats going on??

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    • So you’re a Nails man Angry Gala 2 .
      .
      Also a magician to be at all these places you say

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    • Do your family know that you spend half your day trolling Scottish rugby forums AngryGala2? How many years you been at this now? It really is about time you found a new hobby, don’t you think?

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    • Angry Gala2
      Why would you leave Goldenacre when you’re amongst your few S6 ‘Cronies ‘
      Surely you would stay in club rooms and mix with whoever was there .
      To move somewhere else to fish out information about something you detest .
      Are you for real .
      Nobody in their right mind would do that .
      But there again ?

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  2. Proper rugby this – Hugely entertaining game, Good crowd, Great atmosphere. More of this please!

    Townsend played well at 15, Blyth-lafferty impressive off the bench. Looking forward to seeing more of them.

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    • Angry Gala2 .
      you said you’d be at Rayburn place .I’ll never believe a thing you say in the future .
      Obviously full of porkies .but most people like myself will know that already .
      Missed a great game of Cup rugby .
      Well done Accies .
      Hawick next week on Super Saturday

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  3. Would love to see either of these teams play Scottish Champions elect Hawick.

    Would highlight the strategic error being made in getting rid of super series. Proper rugby vs pub rugby.

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    • Hmmm ok so a chunk of the mercenaries have already left the S6 debacle n the last version replied on 3rd tier club players just to fulfill fixtures. There isn’t a single rugby player who because pro BECAUSE of S6 but sone have despite it. SRU lost £10 million whilst indulging this nonsense and all the revisionist nonsense that ‘it was about to bear fruit’ ignores hoe awful it has been for our young players. They were whitewashed at 6n this year and year before it took Wales 5 yellow cards for them to scrape a win. We are having to host the gimpy tier u20 tournament to give the u20s a chance to qualify for the actual u20 RWC after the mighty Uruguay humiliated our kids last time out. Anyone that thinks S6 was preparing young players for pro rugby is insane or a corrupt troll with their tongue so far up Dodson’s backside that they can’t taste the coffee anymore.

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