TALKING POINTS FROM ROUND 18 OF THE BT PREMIERSHIP

18/02/2017 Bridgehaugh - Stirling Stirling County v Heriots Heriots Tom Wilson with try Mandatory Credit © Craig Watson
  • Six tries for Ayr against Hawks last week; and now eight against Watsonians, with Blair Macpherson having a big game in dreadful conditions. The defeat at Myreside earlier in the season was well and truly avenged and a marker was firmly laid down for the play-offs.
  • Melrose are still in the driving seat for the top spot. A brilliant first half against Hawick with the bonus point in the bag by half-time and Fraser Thomson providing the vital spark; but they got themselves horribly bogged down in a totally disjointed second half.
  • Given the league situation Currie always looked like a nothing game for Hawks – and so it proved. Finlay Gillies is now focused on rebooting their season – and winning both the Premiership and the Cup.
  • Malcolm Maltman’s red card from last week’s Melrose game has been rescinded, but Heriot’s were on the receiving end of another crazy refereeing decision against Stirling when, rather than awarding a penalty try, Keith Allan sent Stirling replacement prop, Craig Black, to the bin – and neutered the Edinburgh side’s domination with the anathema of uncontested scrums. They did, however, pull through but need a huge favour from Boroughmuir if they are to have the opportunity of retaining their Premiership title.
  • Ross Weston’s nous, Harvey Elms pace and Jamie Forbes’ goal kicking earned an important victory for Currie against Hawks, and leaves them still in charge of their own destiny so far as the play-offs are concerned –  but it was not quite as comfortable as the scoreline maybe suggests.
  • Watsonians’ whole season has been a veritable curate’s egg – the good bits have been very good, but the bad bits have been rotten. No last hurrah for Marcus Di Rollo and Simon Taylor against Ayr at Millbrae where they started  with a bang but finished like a damp squib.
  • Boroughmuir did enough at Netherdale to preserve their Premiership status, thanks in no small measure to Jordan Edmunds opportunism – but Peter Wright is talking already about having to tighten things up next season.
  • Stirling live to fight another day but they had lost four key players to the Under-20s for their game against Heriot’s, including leading two tight-head props, and were comprehensively out-scrummed. Their receipt of restarts were not clever either – but their under-18 centre, Andrew McLean, looks like another real prospect.
  • Not a good weekend for Hawick – an injury conflagration at The Greenyards and another yellow card for Bruce McNeil as they were consigned to the relegation play-off. Then they lost Nikki Walker!
  • Gala fought bravely in the first half against Boroughmuir, but as in so many other games, they fell away badly after the break, despite Graeme Speirs’ best efforts.