Super6: Stirling Wolves pick up first win of campaign away to Boroughmuir Bears

Four second half tries see Ben Cairns' men triumph at Meggetland

Stirling County picked up their first win of this Super6 Championship campaign against Boroughmuir Bears tonight. Image: Steve Langmead
Stirling County picked up their first win of this Super6 Championship campaign against Boroughmuir Bears tonight. Image: Steve Langmead

Boroughmuir Bears 16

Stirling Wolves 28

COLIN RENTON @ Meggetland

STIRLING WOLVES finally chalked up their first win of the FOSROC Super6 competition after a second half effort brimming with character. And they did it in style with a four try bonus. Bears battled all the way and were still chasing a narrow defeat bonus at the final whistle, but could have few complaints about losing to a gutsy side that deserved the victory.  

“That game was almost a microcosm of our championship – we made it way too easy for them in the first half but I thought the way they stuck together at half time, solved the problem, then the way they played in the second half showed outstanding character”, said Wolves coach Ben Cairns. ”We talked about respecting the ball and that we don’t need to force it, and I thought we did that second half.”

Hs Bears counterpart, Graham Shiel, acknowledged the quality of the Wolves performance, saying, “To be fair to Stirling, they worked hard and they wanted it more. We struggled in the second half, but that’s the way it goes,. We have to dust ourselves down and go again. We have been in these positions a lot of times before, and we have had a really positive season. Things are going in the right direction. It’s no lack of effort, it was lack of accuracy in the first half.”


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Bears shrugged off the early loss of Mikey Jones through injury to edge ahead after four minutes when Jack Bergin banged over a long-range penalty. The hosts have earned a reputation for entertaining rugby and they were keen to continue in that vein, running the ball at every opportunity. And the pace of ball transfer was at the heart of the opening try, Callum Atkinson gathered line-out possession inside the opposition 22 and Ruaridh Swan fed Scott Robeson, who was halted just short of the line. Swan took the recycled ball and fired it out to Bergin, whose pass picked out Joe Jenkins for a run to the line. Bergin’s conversion just scraped over for a double-digit lead.

Wolves were not just passive observers and they asked questions of the home defence. However, although Walter Fifita, Craig Robertson and Benedict Grant all had a go, there was no way through and the home line never came under serious threat. The Wolves attacking efforts earned a penalty within striking distance, but they opted for the line-out rather than going for the posts. A catch and drive looked to have created the foundation for a drive that saw Duncan Weir foiled just short, before Callum Norrie barged over, only to be held up.

That proved to be the final scoring opportunity of the half and the hosts went in at the break with a ten-point advantage.

 

The gap grew four minutes after the restart when Bergin landed another long-range penalty. That sparked a reaction from the visitors. Murphy Walker became the second Wolves player held up over the line but the score was only delayed briefly and it went to Angus Fraser, who powered his way over. Weir added the extras, and the accurate boot of the Scotland international nudged Wolves into a single point lead when he hammered over the conversion after Marcus Holden sent Ryan Southern in at the corner for try number two.

Bears reclaimed the initiative through Bergin’s third penalty, but the lead was only briefly in Bears’ possession before another multi-phase effort ended with Weir feeding Euan Cunningham who sent Holden over. Weir’s immaculate boot stretched the lead to five points.

Not satisfied with securing the victory, Wolves set about bagging the bonus point and they achieved that with a couple of minutes to spare when Gregor Hiddleston capped another spell of pressure as he thundered over between the sticks to leave the simplest conversion of the night.

Bears still believed they had a chance to take something from the match and they produced a strong finish but, despite a flurry of attacks, the Wolves defence held firm.

 

Teams –

Boroughmuir Bears: T Brown; K Johnston, D Munn, S Robeson (A Scott 76), J Jordan; J Bergin, R Swan (M Johnstone 74); M Jones (M Goodwin 3 (L Alessandri 74)), J Blyth Laffert (I Carmichael 56), C McFeat Smith (B Sweet 76), J Fisher, C Atkinson, L McConnell (T Andrews 61), S McGinley, C Keddie© (P Bogie 70).

Stirling Wolves: C Robertson (E Cunningham 48); L Jarvie, R Southern, M Holden©, W Fifita; D Weir (L Brims 78), G Christie (F Burgess 40); A Wood (G Breeze 27), A Fraser (R Tanner 77), C Norrie (M Walker 40), J Pow, H Ferguson (H McLeod 65), J Hill (G Arnott 78), G Hiddleston, B Grant

Referee:  R Campbell

 

Scorers –

Boroughmuir Bears: Try: Jenkins; Cons: Bergin; Pens: Bergin 3.

Stirling Wolves: Tries: Fraser, Southern, Holden, Hiddleston; Cons: Weir 4.

Scoring sequence (Boroughmuir Bears first): 3-0; 8-0; 10-0 (h-t) 13-0; 13-5; 13-7; 13-12; 13-14; 16-14; 16-19; 16-21; 16-26; 16-28.

 

Man-of-the-Match: The Wolves front-row was outstanding in the second half, with the introduction of Murphy Walker key to the turnaround in fortunes. But Angus Fraser’s all-round excellence and try scoring contribution earned him the nod.

Talking point: Bears have made significant progress over the season but they face a tricky finale to the campaign. It is still in their hands to finish in the top three, but a mounting injury count means it will not be easy.


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About Colin Renton 228 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!

1 Comment

  1. Powerful second half performance, with some real belief from the Wolves. Good to see hard work pay off. Scotland have two very good hookers coming through innGus Fraser and Gregor Huddleston. Duncan Weir was class. Looked very sharp, kicked well as always and went looking to make an impact in defence.

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