SUCCESS at last for Southern Knights as they finished their involvement in the 2022 Super6 Sprint Series with a first win of the campaign at home to Heriot’s and their achievement is recognised by the selection of six players in this week’s team-of-the-round, starting with full-back Callum Grieve, who had to leave the field at half-time but set the defensive tone for the team.
Team-mate Patrick Anderson, wearing 14 but playing on the left wing, was also outstanding in defence for Knights, while Lomond MacPherson was man-of-the-match on the right wing as Watsonians held on for a win at Millbrae with a busy and effective all-round performance which featured a try, several more probing breaks from all over the park, some fine aerial work, solid defence and a couple of valuable turnovers on the deck. Thomas Glendinning is unlucky to miss out after scoring two of Bulls’ three tries during their second half fightback against Watsonians.
Lewis Berg was typically powerful and reliable at outside-centre for Watsonians so wears No 13. It was a tough call at inside-centre, with Robbie Chalmers showing up well for Southern Knights and his opposite number Cammy Hutchison creating a try for Heriot’s with a great arcing run, but Watsonians skipper Lee Millar edges it with a polished performance on the ball and some ferocious defence, including a sensational cover tackle which prevented a certain Bulls try eight minutes into the second half.
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Jason Baggott made a strong case for joining his two Watsonians team-mates in this week’s midfield, but Tom Jordan, who initially came on as an inside-centre then moved to stand-off, was the catalyst to the Bulls’ late fightback at Millbrae, which ultimately came up short but really made a contest of a game which had been floating away from Peter Horne’s side.
Tough call at scrum-half. It was a right old tussle between Rory Brand of Watsonians and Cam Jones of Ayrshire Bulls at Millbrae, two characters who live up to the stereotype of chippy scrum-half who love a bit of niggle, and Ben Afshar slick service for Southern Knights made him a big contender. In the end, Jones’ running threat was the decisive factor.
In the pack, Southern Knights stalwarts Grant Shiells and Fraser Renwick got their rewards after sticking in during a tough season with that long awaited win and led from the front once again this weekend. They are joined in the front-row by Bulls tight-head Michael Scott, who worked hard in the loose and had Watsonians under pressure on a number of occasions at scrum time, playing almost the full 80 minutes after his replacement Calvin Henderson picked up a leg injury just one minute and 10 seconds after coming off the bench. Scott is selected ahead of Dan Gamble of Heriot’s, who had a fair old tussle with Shiells at the Greenyards.
The physicality of Edinburgh pro Pierce Phillips was a big factor in Watsonians’ win at Millbrae but his yellow-carding counts against him, but his relentless team-mate Luis Ball does get the nod in the second-row, where he is joined by the noble and athletic Ronan Seydak of Heriot’s, who is selected just ahead of promising Knights youngster Rudi Brown. who was “outstanding” according to his coach Bruce Ruthven, and the hard-work Dalton Redpath, also of Knights.
In the back-row, Allan Ferrie hustled over for the Souther Knights’ confidence-lifting opening try against Heriot’s and provides a real hard-edge at blindside, similarly Seb Cecil was a big presence at openside for Watsonians and played a useful role assisting Iain Moody with a dominant line-out showing from the Edinburgh side, while Sam Derrick has made rapid strides with the Knights since graduating from Melrose Wasps under-18 programme and showed whilst playing at No 8 on Saturday that he should be a contender for Scotland Under-20s in their international ‘Sumer Series’ at the end of the moth.
15. Callum Grieve (Southern Knights)
14. Lomond MacPherson (Watsonians)
13. Lewis Berg (Watsonians)
12. Lee Millar (Watsonians)
11. Patrick Anderson (Southern Knights)
10. Tom Jordon (Ayrshire Bulls)
9. Cam Jones (Ayrshire Bulls)
1. Grant Shiells (Southern Knights)
2. Fraser Renwick (Southern Knights)
3. Michael Scott (Ayrshire Bulks)
4. Luis Ball (Watsonians)
5. Ronan Seydak (Heriot’s)
6. Allan Ferrie (Southern Knights)
7. Seb Cecil (Watsonians)
8. Sam Derrick (Southern Knights)
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