Super6: Watsonians rack up big win against struggling Stirling Wolves

Myreside men bounce back from last weekend's away loss to Ayrshire Bulls with 66-7 home win

Joe Reynolds carries the ball for Watsonians versus Stirling Wolves. image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
Joe Reynolds carries the ball for Watsonians versus Stirling Wolves. image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

Watsonians 66

Stirling Wolves 7

GARY HEATLY @ Myreside

WATSONIANS bounced back from their defeat at the Ayrshire Bulls last time out with this crushing victory over winless Stirling Wolves at Myreside to put them top of the FOSROC Super6 Championship table once again.

Boroughmuir Bears had gone to the summit of the table on Friday night, but Watsonians now have 21 points from their first five regular season matches after this one-sided 66-7 triumph.

After the nine try victory, their head coach Fergus Pringle said:  “We are really chuffed with our performance. We spoke before the game about wanting to bounce back from the Bulls defeat, we wanted a reaction from the boys and I thought that we got that.


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“With the ball we were good and scored some nice tries, but without the ball we were equally as good and defended well for most of the game.

“Stirling were missing a few players, but we had to go out there and play our own game and be clinical and the boys did that.

“They will now get a week off before we reset for what will be a tough second half of the season with more pro and representative players likely to be available for all sides.”

A deft kick by Watsonians centre Joe Reynolds got them into the Wolves 22 early on and from the resultant line-out there were some handbags between home tight-head prop Bobby Bratton and visiting No 8 Benedict Grant, but nothing came of it.

In the fourth minute, from an attacking lineout near the Stirling line, Watsonians took the lead through hooker Cal Davies, converted by skipper Lee Millar, who then added a penalty two minutes later, before the home side scored their second try. The forwards set up the backs with good ball some 25 metres out and scrum-half Murray Scott and Millar combined to put back-row Campbell Wilson through a big gap in the midfield and he did the rest. Millar converted and it was 17-0.

After a whirlwind start there was then a lull in proceedings until the half hour mark when Watsonians scored their third try. The ball was shipped right and centre Lewis Berg and full-back Dom Coetzer linked up to set up winger Lomond MacPherson, who showed good strength to shrug off the tackle of full-back Craig Robertson to score.

Watsonians had the bonus point in the bag four minutes before the interval when a breakout from their own half was finished off by Reynolds. Millar converted to make it 31-0 at the break.

 

The bedraggled Wolves made a couple of changes at the interval to try and freshen things up, former Scotland under-20 back-row Jack Hill coming on with back Callum Beckett. However, it was the home team who were straight back on the attack and try number five arrived for them in the 43rd minute.

They disrupted a Wolves line-out around the halfway line and second-row Luis Ball, Millar with a between the legs pass, Berg and Coetzer combined to send winger Angus Guthrie over, with Millar once again converting to make 38-0.

Six minutes later the visiting team did get some points on the board when scrum-half Gregor Christie set up second-row Hamish Ferguson, who bounced off a couple of tackles to go in under the posts. Co-captain Marcus Holden, the centre, converted.

Holden was next in the action just before the hour mark when he was yellow carded by referee Jonny Perriam for a deliberate knock-on. It was perhaps a bit harsh, but when things aren’t going for you, they really aren’t going for you!

Soon after Watsonians back-row Seb Cecil looked like he had scored his side’s sixth try, but last gasp Wolves defence saw him knock the ball on in the act of putting it down.

The home side did not have to wait long for the next score though – and indeed two came along in a short space of time.

Replacement loose-head prop Cole Lamberton scored the first of the pair and sub winger Ryan Daley showed great pace to score the second. Millar converted both to keep up his 100 percent record with the boot.

With 12 minutes to go, Watsonians scored their eighth try when second-row Jamie Berrisford went over. Millar converted again and as Holden returned to the field his side were 59-7 down and had leaked 21 points when he was in the sin-bin.

In the dying seconds Watsonians scored their ninth and final try when replacement centre Connor Eastgate caught a clearance kick and ran in unopposed. Millar converted to give him 21 points on the day.

After their fifth defeat on the spin, in which they have conceded a total of 198 points, Wolves head coach Ben Cairns said:  “We are in as hole, aren’t we? When you are in a hole you have to try and build momentum and confidence at the start of the game.

“We talked about doing that, but when it came to it the start of the game just was not good enough from us. We haven’t showed any control and we were 17-0 down before we knew it.

“We can talk about the rest of the game all we want, but the start killed us.”

Cairns is hopeful of having a number of players back from injury and unavailability to bolster his squad for the second half of the campaign including young talents Ben Salmon, Fin Burgess and Callum Norrie.

 

Teams –

Watsonians: D Coetzer; L MacPherson, L Berg, J Reynolds, A Guthrie; L Millar©, M Scott; H Courtney, C Davies, B Bratton, L Ball, J Berrisford, S Cecil, C Wilson, N Irvine-Hess. Subs: M Badenhorst, C Lamberton, G Scougall, K Watt, K van Niekerk, R Brand, C Eastgate, R Daley.

Stirling Wolves: C Robertson; K Clark, A Thom, M Holden©, C Jardine; E Cunningham, G Christie; C MacMillan, G Hiddleston, G Breese, H Ferguson, A Sinclair, C Cruikshank, C Gordon©, B Grant. Substitutes: R Tanner, J McKenna, S Cessford, H McLeod, J Hill, K Singleton, C Beckett, A Scott.

Referee: Jonny Perriam.

 

Scorers –

Watsonians: Tries: Davies, Wilson, MacPherson, Reynolds, Guthrie, Lamberton, Daley, Berrisford, Eastgate; Cons: Millar 9; Pen: Millar.

Stirling Wolves: Try: Ferguson. Con: Holden.

Scoring sequence (Watsonians first): 5-0; 7-0; 10-0; 15-0; 17-0; 22-0; 24-0; 29-0; 31-0 (h-t) 36-0; 38-0; 38-5; 38-7; 43-7; 45-7; 50-7; 52-7; 57-7; 59-7; 64-7; 66-7.

 

Yellow cards –

Stirling Wolves: Holden

 

Man-of-the-Match: With Watsonians dominating this game from start to finish it could have been any number of their side, but full-back Dom Coetzer gets the nod for incisive runs from deep and an eye for numerous gaps.

Talking point: With nine different try scorers, Watsonians showed that they have threats all over the field and will be the team to beat during the rest of the Championship season – although Ayrshire Bulls and maybe even Boroughmuir Bears will have something to say about that.


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About Gary Heatly 301 Articles
Gary has loved rugby ever since he can remember and since 2004 he has covered the sport and others in a professional capacity for many publications and websites and runs his own company, GH Media.