Super6: Ayrshire Bulls power past Southern Knights

Borderers have no answer for pack power of Peter Murchie's side leaving The Greenyards still winless after three games

Southern Knights head coach Rob Chrystie says his team need to smarten up after have loss at home. Image: © Craig Watson -
Southern Knights head coach Rob Chrystie says his team need to smarten up after have loss at home. Image: © Craig Watson -

Southern Knights 10

Ayrshire Bulls 29

ALAN LORIMER @ The Greenyards

AYRSHIRE BULLS looked like show champions in inflicting a heavy defeat on a Southern Knights team that struggled to impose themselves in a game dominated by the rolling maul. 

Whether the final scoreline was as a result of the visitors stepping up several notches. or whether it was Southern Knights dialling down a bit, was hard to determine. What was certain was that Peter Murchie, the Bulls coach, was a lot happier than his opposite number, Rob Chrystie, albeit the Ayrshire team took its time to turn pressure into points.

“To come to the Greenyards and come away with a bonus point is great for us,” said Murchie. “Southern Knights gave away a lot of penalties in the first half and gave us a lot of opportunities to kick to the corners. It was frustrating in the first 35 minutes that we didn’t take the opportunities.

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“We were in their 22 a number of times and we weren’t coming away with anything. In fairness to the guys. they kept on going, picked up their first maul try and then got a second from back play off a maul. Defensively we forced a lot of errors.”

As a unit the Bulls forwards were effective and over the piece were considerably ahead of the Knights’ eight. Moreover, when they did move the ball wide, the visitors also looked more dangerous. But it has to be said that they shifted the ball along the backline sparingly, to the extent that winger Craig Gossman was released only once.

The Knights, too, looked unwilling to handle the ball along the backs, but that was probably due to the Bulls’ tight and quick engaging defence that forced the Knights to spill ball all too frequently, leaving Chrystie working out how to repair the damage.

“It wasn’t very clever,” was Chrystie’s terse summation of his side’s performance. “Individual errors cost us. We need to get better. Managing field position was a bit of an issue.”

In a tight first half a penalty each by Ross Thompson of the Bulls and Jason Baggott of the Knights were the only scores until three minutes before the break, when Bulls hooker Sam Kitchen finished off a driving maul for the first try of the game, converted by Thompson.

Then in stoppage time Thompson scored a peach of a try off a rolling maul, the stand-off taking Stafford McDowell’s pass to cut through the Knights’ defence, before adding the extras for a 17-3 interval lead.

The Bulls’ advantage was eroded ten minutes into the second half and again it was the rolling maul that was the weapon of choice but this time in the hands of the Knights, hooker Russell Anderson claiming the try to which Baggott added the extras.

In double quick time the Bulls replied in kind. After a penalty kick to the corner following the trip to the sin-bin by Ewan McQuillin for a deliberate knock-on, the Bulls drove the resultant line-out ending with Kitchen scoring his second try.

The Knights were then forced to chase the game but their pursuit proved costly when they tried to kick the ball out of defence. In the event, McDowall charged down Baggott’s attempted kick and then controlled the ball for the Bulls fourth and bonus point try, converted by Thompson.

The Knights made changes and that seemed to add urgency to their game, notably when replacement scrum-half Struan Hutchison made a telling break only for the Bulls defence to close in, as indeed they had all game.

Teams –

Southern Knights: C Whyte (N Sweeney 56); G Wood, P Anderson, J Baggott, J Jenkins; T Galbraith, B Colvine (S Hutchison 60); S Gunn (G Shiells 49), R Anderson (F Renwick 58), C Young (E McQuillan 47), A Runciman (J Head 47), D Redpath, N Irvine-Hess, R Knott (D Taylor 52), I Moody.

Ayrshire Bulls: O Smith (M Davidson 70); R Nairn, T Beary, S McDowall, C Gossman; R Thompson (F Climo 64), D Armstrong (H Warr 75); G Reid, S Kitchen (L Anderson 66), W Griffiths Maraschio (R Sayce 56), F Hastie (M Sykes 56), L Morrice, G Bordill, G Geldenhuys (B Macpherson 71), P McCallum.


Scorers –

Southern Knights: Try: Anderson; Con: Baggott; Pen: Baggott.

Ayrshire Bulls: Tries: Kitchen 2, Thompson, McDowall; Cons: Thompson 3; Pen: Thompson.

Scoring sequence (Southern Knights first): 0-3; 3-3; 3-8; 3-10; 3-15; 3-17 (h-t) 8-17; 10-17; 10-22; 10-27; 10-29.


Yellow cards –

Southern Knights: Knott, McQuillan, Renwick

Ayrshire Bulls: Morrice, Reid


Man-of-the-Match: Ayrshire Bulls stand-off Ross Thompson, admittedly playing behind a dominant set of forwards, looked the part at stand-off, managing the game well and capping a good performance with a perfectly executed try off a set-piece move.

Talking point:  Southern Knights looked very much out of sorts and will certainly need to work hard from what was a heavy defeat by an Ayrshire Bulls side that had the answers in the forward struggle.

Super6: Boroughmuir Bears repel late Heriot’s onslaught


About Alan Lorimer 366 Articles
Scotland rugby correspondent for The Times for six years and subsequently contributed to Sunday Times, Daily and Sunday Telegraph, Scotsman, Herald, Scotland on Sunday, Sunday Herald and Reuters. Worked in Radio for BBC. Alan is Scottish rugby journalism's leading voice when it comes to youth and schools rugby.


  1. John gibson i fully understand its not the super 6 clubs to blame.Just think about this situation.This should not have been aloud to happening. You can not have this amount of talent isolated from the game week in week out its a farce.

    • Oricle, absolutely in agreement with you on this.
      There are too many talented young players not getting enough game time and it isn’t going to help Scottish rugby develop. This needs to be looked at and quickly.
      Let’s hope this can be resolved ASAP.

  2. Walter i agree but the problem is bigger than most people realise.The only possible way this might have worked was.1 have a match day squad of 25 players.2 keep the club 15 in prem1 and be able to draw players from there as required.This weekend there would have been 70 plus players standing on the side lines not touchline.70 players that would start each week in prem .You only need to read what mr gemel and lineen say about super 6 there will be leasons to learn ! At present scottish rugby is going backwards.we cant afford to make mistakes like 70 good boys standing week in week out watching super 6.We have stopped looking for the best coaches.Its jobs for the boys mr lineen in charge of super 6 and the scottish under 19 boys.You cant have these guys playing multi role postions in scottish rugby. Its not healthy for the game it cant continue

  3. I see Peter Murchie is talking about his 35 man squad. I think he forgot to add in the pros released to them by their friend Kenny Murray.

  4. Oracle.
    Both Ayr &. Melrose club Xv defeated yesterday . As you say a lot of boys not playing regular rugby.
    Can’t see the point of this
    Are these two super 6 management really bothered what happens to Club xv . I would be as this situation is not sustainable .
    As where do future players come from .?.

    • Of course the Super 6 clubs want their players to play regular rugby. however, its the clubs outwith Super 6 who don’t want or will not let them play, in either the Premiership or n National 1!! Don’t blame the Super 6 clubs.

  5. Good result for ayrshire bulls.Not so for there club side.Ayrshire bulls 2 pro released players playing full game.That 14 players on the side line not involved.How long before these boys say enough is enough.Player development! bridge the gap! how can this be done standing on the side lines.We need to sort this out quick.This is not helping scottish rugby. We are going backwards in world terms under this regime.When are people going to waken up!

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