Super Series: Jake Kerr hat-trick helps Watsonians ease to victory over Boroughmuir Bears

Myreside men secure a third successive Championship win with dominant second-half display against local rivals

Jake Kerr
Jake Kerr opens the scoring for Watsonians against Boroughmuir Bears. Image: © Craig Watson.

Watsonians 33

Boroughmuir Bears 7


WATSONIANS tightened their grip on top spot in the FOSROC Super Series with a bonus-point win over their near neighbours in a full-blooded local derby. While the five-try haul – three for the impressive Jake Kerr – was just reward for a well-drilled home side, it was a solid defensive effort at key moments that underlined why the Myreside men are many people’s favourites to take the title.

Bears played some nice rugby but were blown away by a set piece that was the basis for Kerr’s treble. The visitors had plenty of possession but found the Watsonians whitewash virtually impenetrable.

“Not conceding was an improvement from last week [and] I think it was an improved performance,” said Watsonians coach Nikki Walker. ”We weren’t happy with our performance in the first half,  but that attitude in the second half, going down to 13 men and still managing to keep them out, shows the desire we’ve got.”

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While it was impressive stuff, Walker already has a plan for the coming week, adding: “There’s still a lot of fixes to come. But I’m happy with where we’re at. We’ve improved week on week, we’ve got the bonus point, so what more could I ask for?”

His Bears counterpart Graham Shiel had a mixed view of the visitors’ showing. “We did a lot of good things in the first half. Second half we made errors and Watsonians capitalised. We stuck in, but our accuracy was a wee bit away and we just didn’t have the cutting edge at times to break them down,” was his assessment, although he saw grounds for optimism.

“It’s difficult to compare, but it was probably a step forward from last week in terms of what we showed and the way we went about it. But we’ve clearly got a long way to go,” he added.

Watsonians raced from the blocks and opened the scoring in five minutes. A break by George Pringle carried play to within a few metres of the opposition line. A subsequent penalty was despatched into touch and Luis Ball gathered the throw from Kerr, who looped round to apply the final touch. Jason Baggott banged over the conversion from wide on the left.

Bears struck back with a spell of pressure that tested a resolute home defence. It took something special to find a way through and that came with a slick handling move featuring both centres before Mason Cullen supplied the scoring pass for Joe Jenkins. George Paul added the extras to restore parity.

Bears continued to attack at pace, but a ferocious home defensive effort kept them at bay. Paul was off the mark with a penalty attempt then looked to have created a try when he fired out a long pass for Cullen to finish, but it was deemed to have gone forward.

Watsonians regained the initiative with a series of powerful surges and they snatched back the lead five minutes before the interval. A penalty to touch again created the platform and a replica of the earlier move saw Kerr finding Ball before joining the maul and claiming his second score of the match. Baggott’s reliable boot again added the extra two points to complete the first-half scoring.

The hosts extended their lead three minutes after the restart when Pringle’s pace took him deep into the Bears 22, where he exchanged passes with Murdo McAndrew before dotting down for the third Watsonians try, with Baggott again converting.

The bonus-point score came in familiar fashion, with a penalty to touch, and an accurate throw from Kerr, who then barged his way over to complete a personal hat-trick, with Baggott maintaining his immaculate kicking contribution.

He recorded his first miss of the night a couple of minutes later after Lewis Berg had raced away to bag try number five.

Bears rallied and spent virtually all of the final quarter trying to unpick a solid home defence. Brandon Sweet was held up over the line but, despite both Gregor Scougall and McAndrew being yellow-carded as the hosts held firm against a Bears onslaught, there was no further scoring.


Teams –

Watsonians: M Reid (C Davidson 70); S King, G Pringle, L Berg, F Owsley; J Baggott, M McAndrew; B Bratton (D Williamson 70), J Kerr (C Davies 58), M Wilson (G Scougall 58), K Van Niekerk (K Watt 62), A Scopes, L Ball (J Berrisford 50), S Cecil (M Wilson 80), N Irvine-Hess© (C Wilson 58).

Boroughmuir Bears: E Muirhead (C Ramm 60); M Cullen, A Thom, S Robeson (co-©), J Jenkins; G Paul (C Anderson 72), R Swan (J Beveridge 64); L Alessandri (B Sweet 50), A Allen (Z Griffiths 72), M McGinley (D Winning 50), M Lodoba (T Andrews 50), J Fisher, J King, C Keddie (co-© (L Habib 64)), K Westlake.

Referee: Jonny Perriam.


Scorers –

Watsonians: Tries: Kerr 3, Pringle, Berg; Cons: Baggott 4.

Boroughmuir Bears: TryL Jenkins; Con: Paul.

Scoring sequence (Watsonians first): 5-0; 7-0; 7-5; 7-7; 12-7; 14-7 (h-t) 19-7; 21-7;  26-7; 28-7; 33-7.


Yellow cards –

Watsonians: Scougall, McAndrew


Man-of-the-match: Both sides were well served by the pacy individuals behind the scrum, and Luis Ball was outstanding in the first half for Watsonians, but it was Jake Kerr who stood out, carrying well, being accurate at the lineout and claiming a three-try haul.

Talking point: The product is generally entertaining and online viewing numbers for some matches are decent, but the Super Series is failing to attract supporters – with fewer than 300 for this local derby – and desperately in need of a marketing drive if this is to change.

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About Colin Renton 281 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!